Movie Review: The Monster Squad (1987)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1987 comedy starring Andre Gower and Duncan Regehr.

Synopsis: A group of misfits form a club centered around their shared obsession with horror movie monsters. What they don't realize is their expertise will soon be needed as Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Mummy, the Wolf Man and the Gillman come to their hometown in search of an amulet that, if destroyed, will allow evil to take over the world.

Who's In It?

Review

My youngest daughter spent the night at her grandmother's this past weekend and, since it was just her older sister, my wife and me, I decided to watch this film, which was one of my favorites when I was younger.

It had been a while since I had seen this movie and, because of that, I didn't remember quite as much about it as I thought I did. But, even after seeing it again, I still found the film enjoyable.

OK, first of all, let me start out by saying the movie is far from perfect. In addition to some weak-looking monster costumes, the movie is pretty dated.  In fact, some of the things from this film, such as one of the squad members (Ryan Lambert) secretly taking photos of a girl (Lisa Fuller) while she is undressing and allowing a 5-year-old (Bank) wander the city by herself, probably wouldn't be acceptable if filmed today.

Plus, there's an awful lot of potty mouth coming out of the pre-teens in the film. Sure, that's probably somewhat realistic. But, I personally have never found that kind of thing funny in movies.

That being said, there are some things about this film that really make it stand out, at least in my opinion.

For one, even though I still question whether or not he actually looked the part, Regehr is actually a pretty decent Dracula. Simply put, Dracula was as evil as you can get in a movie with absolutely no likable qualities. This, in turn, makes the Monster Squad a little more likable because they are truly the underdogs.

Also, unlike many other films in this genre, the movie isn't nearly as predictable as you might expect it to be. The writers managed to throw in a couple twists toward the end that made defeating Dracula and his monsters a little less of a given than it originally looked.

Probably my only real complaint, other than what I mentioned before, is I don't like the inclusion of Gillman (Tom Woodruff Jr.) in Dracula's monster army. Of course, this is more personal opinion than anything, mostly stemming from my belief that Gillman was the victim in Creature from the Black Lagoon and its sequels, not a monster. As a result, I would have much rather seen him left out of the movie with the Wolf Man (Carl Thibault) and the Mummy (Michael Reid MacKay) getting an opportunity to do more.

Final Opinion

Unfortunately, the movie didn't age very well. But, it was still a fun film to watch and I would still recommend it as a result.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 10/07/2019, StevenHelmer
 
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