The Monster Squad
the monster squad | fred dekker | shane black | andre gower | robby kiger | stephen macht | action | comedy | fantasy | united states | monster | monsters | dracula | count dracula | frankenstein | frankenstein's monster | creature | creature from the black lagoon | mummy
Film: The Monster Squad
Director: Fred Dekker
Writer: Shane Black and Fred Dekker
Starring: Andre Gower, Robby Kiger and Stephen Macht
This film starts off informing us that Abraham Van Helsing attempted to put an end to the evil in the world, but failed. We then see his attempt. They attack Dracula’s castle. With him there are his brides. A woman reads the incantation and a portal opens. Van Helsing and the woman are pulled into it.
We then shift to present time. We have two boys who are in the principal’s office. One of them is played by Andre Gower and the other by Robby Kiger. They are in trouble for not paying attention in science class and drawing pictures inside. They are scolded and sent back.
Leaving school is a heavy boy, played by Brent Chalem. Two bullies stop him, knock his candy bar out of his hand and rip his comic. Another boy pulls up on a bicycle and lights up a cigarette; he is played by Ryan Lambert. He makes the one boy eat the candy bar he stepped on.
Gower and Kiger walk home together and debate about the Wolf Man. While they walk we meet Gower’s little sister played by Ashley Bank. They stop to look at a house for a scary German guy, played by Leonardo Cimino. This group of kids meets up with Chalem and Lambert. Chalem wants Lambert to join their monster club. They take him back and quiz him on monsters. He seems more interested in watching the girl across the way, played by Lisa Fuller. There is also another boy who is younger, played by Michael Faustino, who brings his dog along.
The film then shifts to an airplane that is transporting cargo. The pilots hear something and one goes to check it out. Dracula is on board the plane, played by Duncan Regehr. He attacks the man and then makes sure the cargo falls out. It lands in some water.
Gower’s dad is a police officer, played by Stephen Macht. He is having some troubles with his wife, who is played by Mary Ellen Trainor. They are supposed to go to a marriage counselor, but something at work has come up so he has to bail. Trainor is upset with him.
There is a man in the police station who claims to be a werewolf; he is played by Jon Gries. The cops try to subdue him, but he fights back and is shot in the chest multiple times. A mummy disappears from a local museum. Stan Shaw works with Macht and they both are confused as to what is going on.
That night the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon all meet up with Regehr. They retrieve the crate from the airplane. We see that it states Frankenstein on the side. When it is opened, the monster is there. Regehr uses his cane and lightning to bring him back to life, he is played by Tom Noonan.
Trainor purchased a diary that was from Van Helsing and gave it to Gower. He is all excited, but he doesn’t read German. That night he sees something at home on a white board for Alcuard. He ends up putting it together that it is Dracula spelled backwards. The next day, the boys go to meet Ciminio, who reads the diary to them. He isn’t as scary as they thought, but they learn the following day is the 100 year anniversary of Van Helsing trying to stop them.
The boys end up meeting Noonan when he is with Bank. They know that there are monsters and they start getting ready to do battle. They need to find a virgin in order to complete the ritual and Kiger’s sister, Fuller, is approached. Can these young teenagers stop these monsters and save the world? Or will they be overcome by them?
I have to say that I first watched this growing up and I loved it. I would have fit in well with these kids in that I loved all things horror even back when I was their age. I do give them credit, because what they go through would be terrifying. I thought that the kids did a solid job in acting as well as the rest of the crew. I want to point out that Regehr was really good as Dracula, I liked Noonan as Frankenstein’s Monster and I actually liked Gries as the desperate man who is a werewolf. Regehr comes off as being a mastermind and ruthless. He is willing to kill all of these children to succeed. Noonan plays a fun monster that sees the good and wants to help them, making him turn his back on his master. The make-up for the monsters was good. The story is solid and the concept is as well. There is some good comedy mixed in as well which I liked. I also think that it’s great the newest member of the club, Lambert, kills most of the monsters.
Now this film being a comedy does take the rating down for me some. It is hard to have children in a film like this and then go too adult. It really is a fine line for something like that. I like Lambert’s character, but it is highly unrealistic. I doubt he would be smoking on school grounds, but I get why acts like this. It does add more to the comedy and gives the crew that one bad boy character that ends up being the hero.
With that said, I would recommend giving this one a viewing. It has good acting, a solid story and concept. It is fun to see all of these monsters in one film and then seeing those weird kids who are into horror being the heroes. I would say this is close to being family friendly, but it is rated PG-13 so at least for young teens. This isn’t the best horror film out there, but it is enjoyable. It does mix in some comedy which is nice as well. If you are into the classic horror films, I would say to give this one a chance.
My Rating: 7 out of 10