The Monster Squad,
Disclaimer: This film includes offensive language and is truly a product of its time.
Fred Dekker’s The Monster Squad, a 1987 horror-slash-comedy film, is a fast-paced and fun adventure.
Though it seems to be a kids film at first, The Monster Squad contains quite a lot of violence and swearing—it seems as if the film doesn’t know what audience it’s aiming at.
At its core, Dekker’s horror flick is about a group of pre-teenagers who are obsessed with monsters. After one of them receives Van Helsing’s diary as a present and has it translated by Scary German Guy (actual name of the character), the group finds out that the end of the world is imminent.
In hopes of performing a ritual that would then save the world, the squad must fight Count Dracula and his monstrous allies: Wolfman, Frankenstein and Gillman.
However, the main story arc in this group belongs to Dracula, who is seeking to obtain an amulet that would let the monsters take over the world.
Quite unfortunately, the only vampire trait The Monster Squad’s version of Dracula has is turning into a bat; he abandons biting people for an endless supply of dynamite which he throws at people throughout the film. Frankenstein eventually becomes a good character and Wolfman chases a few people around, later getting shot with a silver bullet. The Mummy and Gillman don’t do much besides getting killed by the Monster Squad, too.
Whether that’s a good thing is up to the audience to decide—entertaining risk or poor adaptation?
WRITER’S FINAL WORDS
The Monster Squad is an extremely charming film with a weird and wonderful cast of characters.
The film is also only 81 minutes long. It moves so quickly that you don’t really have the time to question any of the film’s strange choices.
Jamie Kitcheman is a Leeds-based freelance journalist with a finger on the pulse of the current music scene and film.
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