Thursday, January 13, 2011

Monster Squad-review with spoilers

Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one's gonna save you from the beast about strike
           As a fan of the classic horror movies I am shocked I never came across this flick.  Kira told me it was a must see since it had just about every movie monster in it and she was not kidding.  It’s basically a bunch of kids up against, Dracula and his brides, a wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, a mummy, and the Gill-Man from “Creature from the Black Lagoon”. 

            The movie starts off with Van Helsing in Transylvania.  He and a crew of monster hunters are after an amulet.  They bring a barefoot virgin girl to read some German passage from a scroll to open a void to Limbo.  Unfortunately, it sucks Van Helsing and the girl in the void.   Now it goes to the present day showing us the kids who are all big fans of classic movie monsters.  They even have a club house with old school stuff which is actually kind of cool though one of the kids where’s a shirt that just says “Stephen King Rules”.  Christ, I think I may be one of these losers now as an adult.    One is named Horace but everyone calls him “Fat Kid”. 
            He is teased mercilessly by the asshole brother from “Wonder Years”.  Is it me or is that guy always typecast as an asshole?  Anyway he is protected by the somewhat older tougher kid who wants to join their group.  And who wouldn’t want to join that club?  They got a tree house and their own business cards.  The club leader Sean spends most of his time debating stupid questions with his friends like “Could the wolfman drive a car?”

            His mother has recently given him a book at a garage sale which happens to be the journal of Van Helsing.  Too bad he doesn’t speak German and how odd that his Mother would get him a book in a foreign language.  Dracula meanwhile has resurrected and is on the move to them to attempt to get the amulet.  While he does he brings his friend Frankenstein’s Monster.  Out of shear coincidence a man breaks into the police station where Sean’s dad is a cop saying he should be arrested because he is a werewolf. 

            Holy Shit! The wolfman is Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite.  Nice.  He starts to change at the full moon and tosses cops like they were footballs back in ’82 when he could’ve had state.  A mummy escapes the museum for no other reason then to say they have a shambling mummy.  Then When Dracula wants the coffin holding Frankenstein out of the swamp pops the Gill-Man.  So I guess he was there the whole time just waiting for this little gathering? 

Ahh! It's Sloth from The Goonies!
            So the kids got to translate the book at the “Scary German Guy’s” house.  He translates it and is a nice fellow.  Why it’s the Holocaust survivor from the “V” miniseries.  I guess he is playing the same type of character since when they tell him he sure knows a lot about monsters he says “Yes I suppose I do.” and we see his concentration camp tattoo.   

            As if that wasn’t enough Sean’s parents are on the verge of divorce.  And I’m pretty sure Fat Kid is about to lose it from the name calling.  They find out an amulet that is composed of concentrated good.  That must be a rare material indeed. One day out of every century, as the forces of good and evil reach a balance, the otherwise-indestructible amulet becomes vulnerable to destruction. The next day of balance falls within a couple days, at the stroke of midnight.  The kids realize they must gain possession of the amulet before the day of balance arrives; once they have the amulet, the kids can use it with an incantation from Van Helsing's diary and a virgin girl to limbo as seen in the beginning.
Wear sunscreen kids.

            One kid sends a letter to the army asking for help.  Others prepare to fight making weapons and the like.  Meanwhile Frankenstein’s Monster is wandering looking for the diary as per the Count’s request.  He finds Phoebe, Sean’s sister, and befriends the kids becoming a de facto member of the Monster Squad.  The kids find a way to get the amulet out of a stone way adorned with crucifixes which prevent monsters from coming into the room.  Using luck they escape Dracula, his brides, and the wolfman.  They even discover that the wolfman has nards.  A line made classic by this film.   
              Dracula wields dynamite like a pro blowing up their club house as well as a few other areas.  Sean’s Father, Del tries to stop him but has no luck.  The mummy is hot in pursuit of the kids in “Scary German Guy’s” jeep.  He unravels killing him.  They find Patrick’s sister and figure on her maidenhood to make them safe. They get to a church and she speaks the words but it turns out she was lying about the whole virgin thing….oops.

            Soon Dracula’s Brides are closing in.  They use stakes to eliminate them.  Even a stick of dynamite doesn’t stop wolfman from piecing himself together.  He needs a silver bullet.  Then Fat Kid gets a shot gun.  He sees those bullies that taunted him earlier.  Holy shit! Is this going to be a revenge movie?  Nope he kills the Gill-Man and makes sure they remember his name is Horace.  So they get Phoebe to read the passage, since hopefully the little girl is a virgin.
Horace got a gun.

            Dracula shows up and calls the little girl a bitch then gets a couple stakes in the heart. After turning into a coat rack the portal to limbo opens and Van Helsing drags Dracula into the void.  Phoebe gives a tearful farewell as Frankenstein’s Monster is also sucked into the abyss.  Finally safe the army arrives too late.  “Who are you kid?” he asks trying to figure out what the hell is going on.  Sean gives him a “We’re the Monster Squad” like Hannibal out of the A-Team. Then the credits roll on the goofiest rap based on a movie I’ve heard since “Turtle Rap”.

            It’s a fun movie.  If you appreciate the material it’s got a lot of laughs. It’s got a very cheesy charm to it that is really worth watching.  I think anyone that likes the old school classic monsters will love “Monster Squad.” It’s pacing decent and really just campy fun.

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