Monday, August 10, 2015

Wolfman's Got Nards!

 The 80’s were a magical time for movies. A veritable cornucopia of films about coming of age and the pitfalls involved exploded out of Hollywood like an erupting volcano filled with John Hughes’s mind lava. The outfits, the slang, the stereotypes all of which, I’m sure, seemed incredibly hip and relatable at the time, but now just seem like a comical depiction of a hilarious era in America’s pop culture history. Amid the bevy of Flock of Seagulls haircuts, leg warmers, and piano key neckties was a gem of film making that has gone almost completely unnoticed: The Monster Squad.

I haven’t met a lot of people that don’t fondly remember the zany adventures of the loveable band of misfits known as The Goonies. Some seriously real shit. But two years later came a film potentially trying to capitalize on the success of The Goonies. A loveable band of losers go from town laughing stock to knights in shining armor when Dracula, who really exists, raises a host of other monster movie villains in an attempt to take over the world.

Even though this movie was really a gigantic flop, only grossing just under $4 million with a budget of $12 million, it was every bit as good and classic as The Goonies. Here’s why:

  1.            This is classic monster movie fare. Dracula wearing a cape and tuxedo. The Wolfman wearing normal albeit tattered clothes. Frankenstein (the monster, not the doctor, although that small but important difference is discussed). There’s no stupid reimagining of characters or any of that garbage. It’s just basic, good old fashioned monsters how they’re meant to be.
  2.        Rudy. He is the epitome of badassdom. Leather jacket. Pierced ear. Ray-bans. Smoking. Kills monsters with a mother effing bow and arrows! And he rides a bicycle because he’s just a Jr High kid. His too cool for school attitude and obvious sexual history made him a role model for anyone younger than him. In retrospect, maybe not the best paradigm for children to aspire to, but still he was a total BAMF.
  3.       It was a movie for kids that was wildly inappropriate for children. From Rudy’s peeping tom antics to a rampant use of the word “faggot”, just about nothing of this movie was really kid friendly. But that’s what was so great about the 80’s, parents didn’t really give a crap about what you watched as long as you weren’t murdering people or doing drugs. Really, The Monster Squad is an exemplary illustration of how children can watch anything they want and turn out just fine as long as parents make sure they know it’s not real and not how you’re supposed to act in real life.

In conclusion, if you haven’t seen one of the most overlooked, underrated movies of the 80’s you’re failing at life. Get your butt on the internet and figure out a way to watch The Monster Squad immediately. If you don’t have a time traveling phone booth to watch it in 1987, you’ll have to take it all in with a grain of salt, but if you walk away unhappy just know that you’re most likely a communist terrorist.

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