Squad. Where does one even begin when paying tribute to a movie that
changed the world with its incisive social critiques and mind-boggling
dialogue? This was the Citizen Kane of the '80s. The best way to
describe it is a mix between
The Goonies and
The Lost Boys. It's not quite as family friendly as The Goonies,
yet not as serious as The Lost Boys. In other words, the Monster
Squad porridge isn't too hot or too cold... it's just right. Monster Squad
a highly underrated film and it's a downright travesty that it
isn't available on DVD. But just because it's not on DVD doesn't mean any
of us have forgotten about it, right? Right! So what say we closely
examine this spectacular film that changed so many lives forever.
Afterwards, I'll have a little Monster Squad bonus for you that I'm sure
you've never seen (and with good reason).
update 6/5/07: Monster Squad is
finally being released on DVD!
Check it out!
starts off 100 years earlier in Transylvania where Dr. Abraham Van Helsing
is trying to put an end to vampires and all the other monsters in the
world. After a few shots of the interior of a castle filled with spooky
cobwebs, coffins and torches, we see the Dracula himself transforming from
bat into man. Most of the actual transition is cut out, but it's still
handled decently enough and the animatronic bat looks pretty damned good.
What's sad is that shortly after this, they show Dracula walking around
with a bunch of other bats - which were clearly on strings - flapping
around his head. Ah budget cuts, gotta love 'em.
Van Helsing's men blast their way into the front gates only to find a
vampiric maiden standing there, eating some unidentified fuzzy creature
(perhaps a possum). I thought vampires really only dined on human blood,
but I guess they'll attack pets too if you're not home when they pay your
house a visit. Anyway, after Helsing fires a stake from his crossbow into
the heart of the roadkill-munching vampiress, he has his men bring in a
young girl to read a passage from an old script. But time is running out
and the big shiny amulet in the center of the room is starting to flash
like crazy while the floors start shaking and... and...
Ahhhhhhhhh! For no particular reason, the undead start to come up
from underground. They don't really seem to do much harm other than to
shake around and grab onto people. I remember hoping for at least one
brain-eating scene, but no such luck...
amulet opens up a big swirling black vortex and before the girl is able to
finish reading the passage which would presumably save mankind, she gets
sucked into the vortex. Or, as the intro text to the movie put it so
elegantly: They blew it.
current times, Sean and Patrick are getting chewed out in principal
Metzger's office for drawing monster pictures during science class.
Patrick tries to explain that their science teacher is boring and has a
head shaped like a cat - hence her nickname "Meow Mix". Metzger realizes
he isn't getting anywhere with the boys, so he tries to connect with them
by saying, "I think science is cool! I dig it maaaan! Hah!" with a
big thumbs up. Obviously this doesn't bode well with the boys and as soon
as they're excused from his office, they start talking about how Metzger
was "totally homo-ing out." Sean even goes so far as to pose the
question that the worlds greatest scholars have pondered over the
centuries: "I mean, when they send you to school, why don't they tell
you about the homos and the people with cat heads?" Why indeed Sean,
If the T&C Surf Design shirt he's wearing doesn't clue you in; Horace
is the man and you'll find out why a little bit later on in this
article. Horace, also known as "fat kid", is walking across the schoolyard
when he's confronted by two bullies. The main bully is E.J., played
by Jason Hervey who most people remember as the equally dickwadular older
brother Wayne from the hit series The Wonder Years. After taunting
fat kid about his weight, E.J. stomps on his Snickers bar. Horace tries to
stick up for himself by saying E.J. has a "stupidity" problem. But E.J.
snaps right back at him as he shouts, "What'd you say faggot? What'd you
say?" Two homophobic references by children in under 10 minutes? Welcome
to another classic '80s movie my friends. After Horace calls him an
asshole, E.J. decides to forget about the homophobic slander and commence
with the embarrassing fat kid schoolyard beatdown.
I suppose "beatdown"
wasn't really the right word to use here since it's more of a tackled
slapfest. E.J. gives fat kid a series of weak slaps to the face while he
screams and squirms. Personally, I like to think that fat kid, er Horace,
could've taken E.J. in a standup fight. Then again, it is possible that
E.J. had some deadly weapons stored in that feathered mushroom cloud
hairdo of his.
laying helplessly on the ground as his chubby face gets slapped around,
it's time for someone to put an end to all this bullying. It's time for
someone like Rudy.
jacket? Check. Fingerless gloves? Check. Shades? Check. Black hair? Check.
Smokes? Check. My friends, it appears that we have a classic movie badass
on our hands here... and he's come to aid Horace in his time of need.
E.J. that the candy bar he so politely squashed under his shoe is now his
property. And we wouldn't want a candy bar to go to waste would we now E.J.?
Of course we wouldn't. Eat up and we'll call it a day! And so E.J.
does eat it up...
And for a
brief moment, Horace feels the sweet tingle of victory. Don't worry
Horace, you'll get to taste it again...
Sean are having a deep conversation about why Wolfman had to wear pants
and Sean explains that, "it was so you wouldn't see his wolf dork".
I've never heard "dork" used as a euphemism for a penis before, but that's
just the kind of eye-opening experience that the Monster Squad was. Sean's
little sister Phoebe then tells them that she just saw "Scary German Guy"
peaking out of his window at them. We'll learn more about that old guy
catches up with the guys and tells them about how Rudy saved his life,
and wants to know if he can join the Monster Squad. They agree as long as
Rudy passes the monster test - a series of easy questions about
famous movie monsters. Why the toughest, coolest kid in school would want
to join their monster squad is beyond me. I never understood why the Fonz
hung out with Richie Cunningham either; these kind of things only happen
cargo plane is flying high in the skies, transporting wooden crates and
dead bodies. What's funny is that one of the crates is clearly labeled
"FRANKENSTEIN" - don't you thin somebody would've noticed that when
loading it onto the plane? Well anyway, one of the pilots hears a noise in
the back and goes to check it out. What he finds, is a pissed off Dracula
who punches him square in the face. The pilot then opens the chute which
drops the Frankenstein crate and Dracula quickly transforms into a bat and
flies down to the swampy area where the crate lands.
know it? That crate just happened to land in the same small town where all
the Monster Squad guys live... what are the odds? Well, back inside the
clubhouse they're bombarding Rudy with such difficult questions as "how do
you kill a vampire?" and "how do you kill a werewolf?" Rudy answers them
easily of course, but he's more interested in what's going in the house
nearby. With a pair of binoculars, he gets a nice view of a girl stripping
down to her underwear. And with that, Rudy says he's really starting to
like the monster club. Phoebe then shows up and tells Sean that he has to
let her in the club and that she knows lots about monsters. Sorry Phoebe,
no girls allowed! Not yet at least...
Dracula looks down upon the town and says "Let it begin" while some
lightning flashes to reveal his spooky inner skull. It's a fairly random
moment, and you can tell the filmmakers just had an extra skull mask lying
around and thought, "Hey, how about we try working this into the scene?"
CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE TO PAGE 2
OF THE MONSTER SQUAD TRIBUTE!
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