Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Monster Squad (1987) = Had Mentor's Quest

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

This is one of those movies that I remember from my childhood.  I’d catch it occasionally on one of the broadcast networks or something.  I decided to get it from Netflix just to see what it was like what I remember.

The movie starts with Abraham Van Helsing trying to put Dracula in limbo.  He has everything he needs:  the special amulet, the special chant and a virgin to recite the chant.  Dracula manages to avoid limbo with the help of Frankenstein’s Monster, a werewolf, a mummy and a fish monster.

Cut to the present day, where  Sean and Patrick are part of a monster club.  Actually, they are a monster club.  Sean’s little sister, Phoebe, keeps trying to horn in, as little sisters will tend to do in movies.  There’s also Rudy, an older boy that Sean and Patrick look up to.  They’d love him to join, which he does.  However, he has other motives.  (Read: attractive female next door.)

When Sean’s mother gets Van Helsing’s diary at a yard sale , it’s almost the best thing on Earth.  I say almost because it’s in German.  This forces him to seek the help of the Obligatory Nice Guy That Everyone is Scared of.    It turns out that the diary explains what the amulet is and how to use it.  It’s still possible to open the portal, so Dracula is kind of bent on getting it.  It’s up to the kids to get the amulet and dispatch with the monsters before the monsters get the amulet and have their way.

It’s kind of like a teen version of a horror film.  Dracula is kind of scary, but he’s the worst of the bunch.  Frankenstein’s monster is presented as being lovable and sympathetic, like in the book.  The werewolf is aware of what he can do.  While in human form, he wants to be locked up.  He’s even suicidal.  The mummy and fish monster are kind of generic.  I get the impression that they were thrown in to have a few more monsters.  (I would like to have seen more of Dracula’s brides, but I won’t get into that here.)

The movie is a little goofy.  I think it may bee a little too goofy for most adults.  I do remember liking it as a kid.  It wasn’t really too scary.  You knew everyone was going to be ok.  There are no complicated plots or things to incredible things that will blow your mind when you realize what they meant.  It’s a fun 80-minute movie. 


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