Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Monster Squad

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Monster Squad - 3 out of 5

I had never actually heard of this 1987 film until a friend of mine told me about it. So, I put it on my Netflix queue and read a couple of reviews before I sat down to watch it (not to sway my opinion of it prior to viewing it but rather to gauge what others thought of it). For the most part, the reviews by members on Netflix was quite positive. One review caught my eye because someone called it The Goonies with Universal's monsters. That set the bar too high I think because The Goonies is a masterpiece. The Monster Squad, however, is just a mildly entertaining film that isn't even in the same league as The Goonies.

The film centers around a small town (that apparently has the most moronic and easily killed cops to ever be put to film--seriously, a feather could hit one of these cops and they would suffer multiple fractures) and in this small town is where Dracula decides to gather the rest of the monsters Universal made famous (Frankenstein's monster, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Mummy and The Wolfman) and team together to take over the world. However, a small group of children obsessed with monsters decides they must take the responsibility to stop them after Abraham Van Helsing failed to do so many years prior.

There's no real actors of note in this film other than a couple of 80's staple stock actors and the story isn't going to change your life. The special effects are definitely dated by today's standards but the make-up effects and creature designs are truly the best part of this film. Of course, this shouldn't be surprising because a Mr. Stan Winston did that part!

There was one thing that I did take notice to with the film, however, and it's something I've started to notice more and more as I re-visit films from the 1980's. That being the derogatory and downright homophobic language used like it's nothing in this film (and other films of the era). Young children throw the word "faggot" around like they're calling another kid "butthead" or more innocent insults (three times in one scene alone) and another kid is telling the other kid about the dangers of "homos." It goes to show you how times have changed and how were making progress towards acceptance of homosexual lifestyles because the talk and language used by these children in this family film (by 1987's standards) would now be used to vilify characters in movies produced nowadays. Not to go on a rant or anything but I've just noticed this more and more as I re-watch films from the 80's and think it's cool how progressive our society is becoming and how we won't allow such blatant hatred of homosexuality in family films anymore.

Anyway,this movie is one of those films that isn't terrible but not earth-shattering either. It has its moments that are truly entertaining and make it worth the time (like when the kids take out the mummy or the end battle--that part is loaded with hilarity, mostly unintentional, however.) It's just good enough to watch once and awhile when you don't feel like watching anything else and just need something you can zone out to and relax with.

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