The Goonies, but with monsters!
So I’m going to share my thoughts on Monster Squad. This movie….blew my breath away. Also this article will probably be the longest one I have ever written because this movie surprised me so much, and halfway through I started to take notes as this article started to form in my brain. Anyway, this article/random series of thoughts will be unedited, so please excuse any grammar mistakes I make.
Let’s begin. I’m going to change the format of the article just a little. Here we go:
[Warning: There will be a fair amount of spoilers, and if you haven’t seen the movie, I ask that you do so for your enjoyment and mine]
Let me first begin by saying that the opening, where (old) Van Helsing brings a group of monster hunters/angry villagers with pitchforks, to Dracula’s castle so that they can destroy an amulet which if activated, can produce a portal to limbo and suck the monsters through. The plan goes bad and instead (old) Van Helsing gets sucked through the portal. (Side note: The amulet can only be activated once every one hundred years)
What happens after that?
Cut to what I’m pretty sure is 1987, and we are introduced to a group of kids, Sean, Patrick, “Fat Kid” (Horace), and Rudy. There are a couple more people who join the group at the end of the movie. (Sean’s younger sister, Patrick’s older sister, and some random kid named Eugene). Here’s a list I made to show how they compare to The Goonies. Because if I’m being honest, the Monster Squad is basically The Goonies but for monsters. Sean and Mikey even have the same actress as their mother!
Mikey - Sean
Data - Patrick
Mouth - Rudy
Stef - Lisa (Patrick’s older sister)
Chunk - Horace
Brand - Eugene (This is the only weak comparison)
Andy - Phoebe
You’re probably wondering why Frankenstein is on that list. Well, exactly like in Goonies, not ALL the bad guys are bad. Turns out the rejected monster has feelings. Exactly like Sloth. HE even ends up saving the day by beating up Dracula.
Is there a lot of fighting in this movie?
Actually yes. The climax of the movie in which Dracula, the Wolfman, some vampire ladies, and the Creature from Black Lagoon (who is credited as Gill-Man) all try and take the amulet from the Monster Squad before the kids activate the portal. Here’s how it all goes down. An old German guy who helps the kids read the spell to activate the amulet is next to a church.
Inside a nearby building is Dracula, who fights Sean’s dad, who happens to be a cop. Right when Sean’s dad (Detective Del Crenshaw) has Dracula cornered, the Wolfman sneaks up and tries to kill the detective. Also there’s a lit stick of dynamite that Del was going to kill Dracula with rolling around on the floor. Then suddenly the tables turn and the Wolfman is shoved out a window and blown up very spectacularly.
Outside, Rudy, who has a bow and quiver full of finely cut wooden stakes, faces down three vampire ladies. Apparently Rudy is really good with a bow and stake, because he kills them all pretty easily. Then again, the vampires just walk slowly towards him in a straight line. After taking them out, we suddenly find that the Wolfman can regenerate (is that a thing werewolves can do?!) And attacks a couple of cops. Rudy, who’s standing nearby having just faced three vampires, finds a gun and calmly loads a silver bullet and kills the Wolfman. So by now I realize that this guy must be a super monster hunter or something.
Horace, watching all this go down, suddenly finds Gill-Man popping out of a sewer. So what does the kid do? Finds a shotgun, tries to hide inside a store with some bullies that picked on him at the beginning of the movie, but they won’t let him in, so he does a 180-degree spin and straight up unloads the shotgun into the Gill-Man’s chest, effectively taking him out of the equation. The bullies come outside and say: “Good job Fat Kid, you did it!” Horace puts on a serious face and replies: “My name’s Horace” and cocks the shotgun like a BOSS.
Dracula, sensing that the tides are turning on his supernatural force, makes a move towards the amulet. About a dozen police officers come at him with beating sticks, and do literally nothing. Dracula just tosses them aside. (Speaking of asides, here’s a quick one: This Dracula, played by Duncan Reghr, is apparently considered one of the best interpretations of the character). Right before he grabs the amulet, the spell is finished and the portal opens up. As all of the lesser monsters get sucked in, Dracula tries to kill Sean, who has been leading the Squad to victory. Suddenly, (old) Van Helsing jumps out of the portal and drags Dracula into it. He also gives Sean a thumbs-up before being sucked in himself.
Wow. What else do you have to say?
Not only is this movie a great monster movie, it also has good comedy. Here are some of the better scenes (in no particular order): The Monster Squad is sitting in their tree house and decide to join together to fight off Dracula and save the world, so they put their hands on top of one another’s. The dog also puts his paw in, and Rudy says: “How did the dog get up here?” Which is great because in most movies you’re just supposed to ignore logic like that, and this movie decides to explain stuff a little bit. When Sean doesn’t believe that his little sister has found Frankenstein, she bites his hand. Which makes me wonder if this actually was scripted or just improvised. I feel like it had to be scripted. Also the kids get ambushed by Dracula and Horace pulls out leftover pizza and presses it against Dracula’s face. Turns out it had garlic. That is the greatest vampire weapon I have ever seen. Whenever the Monster Squad preps for the monsters, they play one of the most 80s songs I have ever heard. (“Rock Until you Drop”).
Were there any other songs?
One actually. An army officer (who brought like thirty army men and a tank because one of the kids wrote him a letter) glances at the chaos of the monster fight at the end of the movie, and asks: “Who are you guys?” Sean, realizing that the movie needs to end on a high note looks at him with a cocky smile on his face, replies: “We’re the Monster Squad.” And immediately after he says that a rap song about the Monster Squad starts up. (Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6H-DcLYJbg ”)
Sweet. Anything else?
Not really. This movie was a super amazing surprise to find one morning will surfing through Amazon Prime’s list of movies, and I hope there are more like it. The monsters looked great, better than they probably should, and the acting isn’t shabby by any mean. Also the tagline for this movie is: “You know who to call when you have ghosts but who do you call when you have monsters?” Let’s all just take a moment to clap for how great a tagline that is.
And with that readers, I bid you farewell. Now go listen to that groovy rap song!