144 of 154 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2007
I've been waiting for this DVD to come into print for years, and now the wait is finally over. Thanks to Lionsgate for finally stepping up, straightening out the rights issues, and putting together a nice 2-Disc special edition of this classic 80s kids flick.
The Monster Squad, much like the Goonies and the Lost Boys, is a kid's flick at heart, but it doesn't come off as if it were written and directed down to children. The flick stars Andre Gower, Ryan Lambert (of Kids Incorporated fame), Brent Chalem, Michael Faustino and Robby Kiger as a group of kids that have a secret Monster club where they pontificate on all things monster related. Quick, two ways to kill a werewolf? Stumped? That's right, everyone knows you need to shoot `em with a silver bullet. Anyway, the group runs into trouble when unbeknown to them the all too real rouges gallery of the classic Universal monster movies are converging on their town looking to destroy an amulet that can prevent them from taking over the world. Sean, the leader of the club, lucks into a copy of Van Helsing's diary, which provides the instructions to a ritual that will banish the monsters into limbo. With the help of "Scary German Guy" (played by the always excellent Leonardo Cimino) a concentration camp survivor and resident German diary translator, the group bands together to save their families, their town, and quite possibly the entire world.
The film was directed by Fred Dekker and co-written by Fred Dekker and Shane Black (of Lethal Weapon and Predator fame) with amazing special effects and make-up by the legendary Stan Winston. This DVD was made possible by the director, actors, and fans who banded together in the past year through letter writing campaigns and revival screenings which proves just how much of a cult classic this flick is. If you are a generation X'er who's into action, horror or nostalgia the Monster Squad is sure to be a perfect addition to your DVD collection.
The 20th anniversary special edition set is reported to contain 2 audio commentary tracks, deleted scenes, an making of featurette, trailers, as well as a vintage interview with Tom Noonan (who played the Frankenstein's monster.)
86 of 95 people found the following review helpful
This is a great scary movie for kids and adults alike...
This little-known GEM of a film & one of my favorites with mostly a cast of unknowns. Stephen Macht (Graveyard Shift& many other stephen King films) & Jason Hervey (older brother, Wayne on Wonder Years) are familiar faces. A great kids frightfest that has the Creature From The Black Lagoon, Mummy, Wolfman, Frankenstein & a really hot & sexy Dracula with his female coven!
A passel of oddball kids fight the dark forces of evil in their small neighborhood with the help of Frankenstein & Scary German Guy (an old Germanic man that is a neighbor). Great plot, cool special effects, some excellent one liners & some wonderful child acting all make for a terrifc family frightfest! Check out the teacher in the beginning of the movie. The kids call her "Meow Mix" because her head is shaped like a cat's head! Great oddball writing in this movie makes it scary & funny!
Wonderful story! I just can't wait for this to come out on DVD!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
If you grew up in the 1980's, you're probably already familiar with "The Monster Squad." It's been a long time coming for this film to get the DVD treatment and I for one am glad to see it finally happen. For those not familiar with the story, here's a brief explanation: Dracula's been after an amulet that will allow the monsters of the world take over the human realm forever. Van Helsing tried to stop him many years ago but only managed to postpone his success. Now, in the present day 80's, the amulet and the book necessary to trigger it have been found. Dracula gathers up all of his monster buddies (think Universal Monsters) to help him in his quest. Luckily for us humans, young Sean Crenshaw (Andre Gower) and his monster-crazy pals are on the case. Will the Monster Squad save the day?
For a flick made in the 80's, the special effects are pretty good. The monsters are especially good looking, but that's expected of the wonder that is Stan Winston. The only semi-cheesey effect is that of the vortex at the beginning and end of the film. It looks rather dated, but special effects aren't what this film is all about. It's about youngsters facing challenging odds and trying to succeed.
The human cast includes Gower, Ashley Bank (Phoebe), the reliable Stephen Macht (Del), Robby Kiger (Patrick), Brent Chalem (Horace), Michael Faustino (Eugene), Ryan Lambert (Rudy) and Leonardo Cimino as the Scary German Guy. The monsters include Duncan Regehr hamming it up as Dracula, Tom Noonan as the loveable Frankenstein, and "Napoleon Dynamite's" Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) as the Desperate Man (the Wolfman's human form).
Although it's considered a kids' film, "The Monster Squad" shouldn't be viewed by children under the age of nine or ten in my opinion. You're free to use your own judgment, but just know that there is quite a bit of violence including impalings, dismemberment via dynamite, people sucked into a vortex, and vehicles exploding. There is also a healthy dose of strong language, especially during a scene that will probably upset young children involving Sean's sister, Phoebe, and Dracula (it's only one word, but it's delivered with rage-filled perfection).
This 20th Anniversary DVD is excellent. It brings back a lot of memories for anyone who remembers and loves this film. It includes a wonderful set of documentaries on the making of the film and the events that lead up to the DVD release. There are plenty of other features as well, but just know that Lionsgate did an outstanding job of packaging this DVD and gives the fans plenty of reasons to remember the good old days.
In all honesty, the main reasons for watching this film are to get nostalgic for those of us who grew up on films like this, "The Goonies" and "Gremlins," and also to introduce the film to a whole new generation. My daughter and my brand new son are still too young to see this in my opinion, but I'll definitely introduce them to it later. This flick is a wonderful trip down memory lane and I'm sure that it will be the same for a new generation soon enough.
42 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2004
With all the Universal films being released and re-released on DVD, in addition to Stephen Sommers' VAN HELSING, I'm shocked to see that THE MONSTER SQUAD isn't being given the credit it is due. Some of the special effects may seem a bit dated by today's near-flawless CGI standards, but this is a really enjoyable movie that transcends time as much, if not more so, as all the black-and-white favorites that inspired it.
The story centers around a small band of pre-teens who are devoted fans of the Classic Monsters. The group soon learns that the evil Count Dracula is lurking nearby, and has gathered a small band of his own: Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and the Gill-Man (aka, the Creature From the Black Lagoon). Their goal: to obtain a mystical amulet that will shift the balance of power in their favor and plunge the world into total, chaotic darkness.
What follows is a series of chases, terror-filled encounters, and unforgettable one-liners ("Wolf Man's got NARDS!") that make this film a must-have for all monster fans. The Squad is a likeable lot, each member possessing characteristics that kids of any generation can identify with, and the monsters themselves aren't played for comedy or reduced to caricatures:
Duncan Regehr's Dracula is both charming and sadistic, a perfect blend of Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee, while Tom Noonan's Frankenstein Monster draws its inspiration from Boris Karloff and Glenn Strange, seemlessly integrating the best aspects of both actors' very different portrayals.
Jonathan Gries' performance as the Wolf Man's human half makes the viewer WANT to believe that he is Lon Chaney, Jr. back from the grave, and the Mummy shines in an amusing scare scene with one of the younger Squad members. Sadly, it is the Gill-Man who manages to get the least amount of time, but when he does show up, he is something to behold.
Though not released through Universal, THE MONSTER SQUAD is a wonderful cult-classic that preserves the spirits of these characters to a much greater degree than the latter-day VAN HELSING does. Only one question remains: where's the DVD?
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2002
I saw this movie when i was 12 and i must say i loved it...I always wanted to get this film on tape but I never could find it. until i was at a garage sale and load and behold in the video section i saw it monster squad in the 1.00 dollar videos..i got it for a buck...it is in great condition..
well anyways i think that this movie is really smart and witty and funny with a little jump in it... i think that the studio should re-release this film on video and dvd....i give it 5 stars and two thumbs up.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2007
I have written a few reviews on film favorites of mine from the 80's. Those select few that represent special moments from my childhood. All well known and well seen. Now it's time for another one of my favorites from the 80's that no one appears to really know. The Monster Squad was a 1987 film from director Fred Dekker, who also did the the cult favorite 1986 film, "Night Of The Creeps". Dekker's film almost seems "Spielbergian" in ways, as if it were one of those films Spielberg bought and handed over to someone like Joe Dante(since the movie feels like it definitley could of been made from the director of "Gremlins") or one of his other proteges, of which Dekker is not one. The movie is about these group of kids in a very family oriented looking town who are a part of the "Monster Squad", a club of their creation where they get together and talk about anything relating to the subject. Soon, these bunch of kids find themselves having to deal with the real thing. Dracula(Duncan Regher), assembles his Universal Pictures team of ghouls, who include the Mummy, the wolfman, Frankenstein, and the Creature From The Black Lagoon, to ascend onto this quiet little burg and retrieve an amulet that will surely put a stop to their plans of world domination. Our group of kids are the only ones to stop them. What sets this film apart from just being a light kiddie monster flick is that Dekker takes some chances(and shows he has some guts) by throwing in some things you wouldn't expect to see in such a film. I remember being surprised when Dracula calls a little girl a non flattering word. For your information, it ryhmes with "witch". There are other things. The kids are all great and are not cutesy wutsey kids in the plainest and most obvious sense. They seem real and likeable. Sadly, Horace is no longer with us. The cast of young actors include Andre Gower, Robby Kiger, Ryan Lambert, and Michael Faustino, whose big brother David was Bud on Married With Children. The role of Frankenstein went to Tom Noonan. You won't recognize him here, but he was also the killer in 1986's "Manhunter", the villain in 1990's "Robocop 2", and had a memorable appearance on an episode of "The X Files". Dekker's direction is fun and entertaining, and the usage of the picturesque town, suburbs, and the classic Universal monsters, gives it a very cool, old fashioned feel and tone. It may not break the mold, but it is a pretty stylish and entertaining ride, with those touches of non kiddie movie appropriate parts strewn throughout. The release will be what fans have been wantng. The movie has grown a very rabid and devoted following. The 2 disc collection comes with a bunch of bonus features that includes a making of documentary, a cast reunion, a vintage interview with Tom Noonan in full Frankenstein get up, and more. For anyone who has been wanting and waiting for this little 80's gem to come to DVD with all the trimmings, it looks like you got your wish. I know I will pick up my copy. The Monster Squad is pure fun from start to finish and it should of had the following it has now back then. One of the 1980s' best kept secrets...until now.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2003
I grew up watching movies like this one, Stand By Me, Lost Boys, and Goonies. Even as an adult I love them, they bring out the kid in all of us. I purchased all of these for my kids.
Monster Squad is about a group of young boys in a "Monster Club" that find out there are real monsters in there town and they have to find a way to stop them from taking over. The kids are very likeable: Shawn, Horasce, Rudy, Phoebe, Eugene and the others were awesome. When you are a kid the Monsters are scarey: Dracula, Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Wolfman, Frankenstien, even "Scary German Guy" can be scary LOL. If you are a 80s teeny bopper fan like I am, you'll love this one!!
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2001
The Monster Squad is like The Goonies, but with your favorite Universal monsters. Monster Squad follows a group of kids who call themselves, The Monster Squad. They gather in a treehouse to discuss all things monster, and fear walking by Creepy German Guy's house. When the squad realizes that monsters are real, and are looking for a stone to begin world domination, they do everything to stop the world from being taken over. Even if it requires the help of Creepy German Guy. Of course, the best thing about The Monster Squad is the monsters. All of your favorites from the classic Universal movies are here. Dracula (portrayed wonderfully by Duncan Regehr) and his "brides," the Werewolf, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Mummy, and the all-time favorite, Frankenstein. I really like how they decided to portray ol' Frank as a gentle monster confused in his situation. The bond he shared with the little girl in the movie was also great, and made a tearful moment near the end of the movie. Oh, the ending. That's what really makes this movie a treasure. The final showdowns are always the best, but this one really shows how a final showdown should be done. If you're a fan of The Goonies and the Universal monsters, then check The Monster Squad out.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2007
First Off let me tell you, this movie isnt made just for little kids, it has plenty of bad language and violence to appeal to us adults, but if you grew up in the 80's, you know the rating system was different and not as strict as these days. I mean after movies like Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, they made the pg-13 system which was applied here, but seems even stricter to date...
This Movie isnt pushing the envelope to offend, just offer a good movie that mixes genres and tries to please all ages of audiences... Its got all the classic Universal Monsters you remember in it and a group of kids they describing themselves as Monster Squad... They are fans of horror flicks and grew up watching them and appreciating them, something i can relate to... These kids are very much like my generation from the 80s... Growing up on r rated movies and not being sheltered from the outside world... SO they know what Rambo is, or the terminator, or aliens... they probably seen it... THats what makes them so cool, you can relate to them...
ANyways this movie mixes action, adventure, horror and comedy in perfect measures making a great entertaining rollercoaster...
As for the dvd themselves, they contain plenty of nice featurettes and a sweetly remastered visual and audio presentation in 16/9 ratio widescreen... which makes me happy because i hate fullscreen cropped edges... this movie is awesome and Liongates showed alot of love towards this release and movie so pick it up and discover why this little cult classic is such a gem!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2007
Miss films made not just for kids but the whole family? Or even a film for kids that has the guts to take the action, horror, and humor to the top? This one's for you. At a Hollywood meeting, I'm sure the film was pitched as The Goonies with monsters. And yes, instead of a "Chunk" we have a character named "Fat Kid." But, the film stands on its own.
Fred Dekker, director of the 80's horror cult classic, Night of the Creeps, brings Shane Black's (the recent hilarious noir comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) script to the screen. The story centers on an offbeat group of kids who love horror films and the classic monsters who appear in them. A hundred years earlier, Van Helsing blew his opportunity to rid the world of monsters, including Dracula himself. It's now up to The Monster Squad to stop them. Monster appearances include Dracula, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, character actor Tom Noonan as Frankenstein and Napoleon Dynamite's Uncle Rico giving a terrific performance as the tragic Wolfman.
Shane Black's gift for balancing humor and action, later utilized in the Lethal Weapon series, leaves the greatest mark on the film. The massive cult of Monster Squad fans have been waiting for a true DVD release of this film. And this edition is MORE than worth the wait.