Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Monster Squad

1987 was my latest stop in my Movies of the 1980s journey. Now I just made the journey part up, but hey it sounds good and since I'm in a 80s type of mood lately, I figure it will work.

I was about 11 years old when this movie came out and I loved every moment of it then and I still love it now. From the opening screen roll (think Star Wars) we know that this movie is going to be both horror as well as comedy.

One Hundred Years Before this Story Begins...It Was A Time Of Darkness In Transylvania...A Time When Dr. Abraham Van Helsing...And A Small Band Of Freedom Fighters...Conspired To Rid The World Of Vampires and Monsters...And To Save Mankind From The Forces of Evil...They Blew It

Of course I don't know what else you would expect from writer/director Fred Dekker. For those of you who have never heard of him, he is also the mastermind behind House, the cult horror movie from the 80s not the obnoxious TV show that's on now.

The basic plot of the movie (I will give the DVD synopsis at the end of this post) is this. Take 4 twelve year old boys, one cigarette smoking junior high kid, and one younger sister and pit them against the monsters of Universal Studios. Make the cigarette smoking, leather jacket wearing junior high kid Ryan Lambert (Kids Incorporated) and you got a hit movie on your hands. Well at least Fred Dekker was hoping for that. The movie didn't do very well at the time but has now become a cult hit world wide with an ever growing audience.

I never knew what there wasn't to like. You have all the classic monsters headed up by Dracula himself. His henchman are non other than The Mummy, The Wolfman, Frankenstein's Monster, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, and of course his Three Brides. Of course, it may not have helped that Universal didn't want anything to do with this movie and did not allow the creators to specifically say that these in fact were those legends of scariness.

Now you may ask how the kids happen to get involved. Well this is what happens. Dracula is looking for an amulet that is a repository for pure good. If he is able to destroy that amulet then the powers of evil will be able to take over the world. One of our young heroes, namely Sean, comes into possession of a diary written by Dr. Van Helsing himself that gives an account of how to turn the amulet into a gate opening up into Limbo. If that gate can be opened by a virgin (of course) then the creature of the night will be sucked in and the day will be saved. You may be thinking to yourself why would a 12 year old even be interested in such a book, especially since it's written in German. Well the simple answer to that is because him and his friends belong to a monster club and have a rather healthy fascination with all things monster. So Sean's mother brings it home to him and the fun wackiness ensues.

Now obviously Dracula can not allow such a thing to happen so he sends Frankenstein to get the book away from the kids. On the way to carry out his mission Frankenstein meets Phoebe (Sean's younger sister) in the exact same manner that he does in the classic Universal movie. Only this time the little girl is spared the dunking in the pond and the two become buddies. If you haven't already guessed Frankenstein helps the kids save the day.

The ensuing battle produces one of the best scenes in the history of movies. This may be a testament to the fact I'm a guy and that I was a kid when I first saw the movie, but this line still cracks me up today. To set it up for you Sean, Horace (another one of the 12 year old that is nicknamed "Fat Kid" even by his friends), and Frankenstein take a field trip to the decrepit old mansion that Dracula is hold up in. You may be thinking to yourself what a stupid idea, which it may have been but how else were they supposed to steal the amulet from Dracula?

Anyway, back to the story, at one point in the mansion they are discovered and set upon by the Wolfman. This is a little of the dialogue that happens between Sean and Horace. If you don't find it as funny as I do blame it on the fact I'm a guy and that it is much funnier in the movie.

Sean: "Kick him in the nards! Kick him in the Nards!"

Horace: "He doesn't have Nards!"

Sean: "Do it! Do it!"

Then we see Horace actually kick him in the aforementioned area and the Wolfman goes to the floor. The look on Horace's face is what makes the next line as funny as it is.

Horace: "Wolfmans got nards."

Sorry, but I can't talk about this movie without that scene. Needless to say in the chaos that takes place next the good guys end up winning and the Monsters lose. You have to hand it to Rudy though. He takes out The Mummy, all three Brides, and the Wolfman. I guess leather jackets really do make you tough.

Here is the synopsis from the back cover of the DVD:

You know who to call when you have ghosts, but who do you call about monsters? Whether it's a bat in your belfry or a mummy in your microwave, THE MONSTER SQUAD ain't afraid of no ghouls!

Count Dracula has until midnight to retrieve an ancient amulet that will give him final control over the delicate balance between good and evil in the world. To help him, the creepy Count calls on some old friends: the weird Wolfman, the grotesque Gill_Man, mildewed Mummy and freaky Frankenstein. as the ghoulish group gets closer to the amulet, it's up to THE MONSTER SQUAD, headquartered in the local tree house, to pool its questionable resources and stop the monster mayhem!

So the moral of this story is threefold. First don't mess with The Monster Squad. Second, there is only one way to kill the Wolfman since dynamite won't work. Third, watch this movie as soon as you can.


Michelle Stockard Miller said...

I can't believe I never saw or heard of this movie. Where was I? It sounds like one my boys would really like...I'm going to have to look for it for them.

Also, I'm in agreement with you about House the tv show. Very obnoxious! I don't know what all the hype is about. I like the actor Hugh Laurie, but his character in that show really sucks.

Great post, as usual, Mr. Wordsmithonia!

Krista said...

I have never heard of this movie before now either! Bookaddict and me must be living under rocks LOL! It sounds and looks awesome, though! I'll have to try it.

My brother loves House he has every season! I could never really get into it, though.

In agreement with Bookaddict another great post, Ryan!

Ryan said...

Michelle, my son loves this movie. Hopefully your's will as well. The special effects aren't as cool as they are now, but it's a really fun movie to watch (though there are a few cuss words in there)

Krista, It's hillarious. Once you watch it let me know what you thouht.

Nicole said...

Holy crap! Ohhhh this brings back memories! I used to have whole passages of this movie memorized--including the nards one. I actually held a tape recorder up next to the TV so I could tape the whole movie onto cassette and listen to it on my Walkman at school... Good lord, I am totally geeking out right now! And contemplating a trip to the video store...

robsad79 said...

I love this movie. Love it, love it. It came out when I was 7. I use to know the movie by heart and quote every line. I even annoyed my parents with it, hehe. I might just have to get the DVD out and watch it.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

I started reading this and didn't recognize the movie by the name. But when I started reading it sounded familiar and then the kick him in the nards, wolfmans got nards, part I remembered the movie completely. Loved it & it was funny... But I have not thought of this movie in yyyeaaaars. I will have to find it for my son. I think everyone here would get a huge kick out of it. Thanks for the memory!!

I watch House. But the last season was really not that great. The previous seasons are much better. Its his comments that catch your attention. I think the personality he plays you either love or hate.

I was very surprised when watching house and my son went through a phase of watching Stuart Little again, that the father on Stuart Little was House... I never put the two together before and the accent, wow. I had to have this whole discussion with my brother one day. It was someone I just had to share my new finds with, and he doesn't think I am too crazy.

Ryan said...

Nicole/rosbad, Thank you so much for commenting on this. I'm so excited that I'm not the only one who loves this movie. You both should go watch it as soon as you can in order to remember exactly why you loved it so much.

Melissa, You are more than welcome and I hope you get a chance to share this with your son sometime soon.

Alexia561 said...

How did I ever miss this movie? Have to go track it down ASAP!I love movies like this! And the "Wolfmans got nards" line alone makes it sound like a keeper! {snicker}

Ryan said...

Alexia, you won't be dissapointed!