31 Days of Halloween 2016 #28 Monster Squad is 80s

monster1I’m not I agree with critics who say Monster Squad (1987) is a B-Movie, but it sure is a product of its time.  This movie is like Goonies with young kids chasing after monsters.  Each of the kids has their own archetype, and they have a treehouse, where they plan to save the world from monsters.  I don’t think this movie is quite on the level for a family film, although it tries to be.  Dracula screams nasty words at little kids and there’s plenty of other adult dialogue.  This isn’t for little kids.  It’s more teen oriented and for comedy fans.

Dracula and his pals are the evil villains, except for Frankenstein’s Monster, who doesn’t like to be bossed around apparently.  This film is pretty black and white morally and the monsters are there to fight and scare people.  That’s it.  I do like the modern developments of many of the classic characters, like when the Wolfman reforms after being blown up with a stick of dynamite, because he can only be killed with a silver bullet.  Good to know.  The effects are pretty good and the make-up works.  It’s a well-made film.

monster4It’s a good move to put the Frankenstein’s Monster as a good guy.  He’s always been somewhat sympathy, if not mostly misguided.  The kids need some help, so Frankie is the muscle.  His character is actually developed, unlike most of the other monsters and the ending leaves us feeling pretty sad about him.

I wonder if the film could have done better with a complete set of older teens, instead of little kids trailing along for the ride.  Goonies did well in that regard and it has probably the best ensemble cast of teens I can remember, except maybe Stand By Me or American Pie.

Overall, this is a fun movie.   It’s got that nostalgia vibe mixed with a modern touch that works well.  The kids aren’t even that bad in the acting department, which works well hold up the film.  Bad acting can drag a film down, but this one doesn’t have that problem.  The only thing I have to complain about is that it feels really rooted in the 80s and there isn’t a sense of timelessness you get in some other films aimed at teens.  It’s a good time.

monster2

 

31 Days of Halloween 2016
31. Young Frankenstein (1974) 
30. Jason X (2001)
29. Cloverfield (2008) 
28. The Monster Squad (1987) – This post
27. Bad Moon (1996)
26. The Haunting (1963)
25. Splinter (2008)
24. Frenzy (1972)
23. Aggression Scale (2012)
22. The Exorcist III
21. At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1963)
20. Silver Bullet (1985)
19. Joy Ride (2001)
18. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
17. The Funhouse (1981) by Tobe Hooper
16. Videodrome (1983)
15. Re-Animator (1985)
14. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
13. Cube (1997)
12. Evil Dead
11. Day of the Dead (1985)
10. Tales of Halloween (2015)
9. They Live (1988)
8. The Innocents (1961)
7. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
6. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
5. I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990)
4. Hatchet (2006)
3. The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
2. Halloween II
1. Silence of the Lambs

 

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