When I was a kid, growing up in the 80’s, I was obsessed with monsters. In part due to these books from Crestwood House. They had a whole series, with everything you needed to know on Dracula to Godzilla. They were my original “monster manuals” and my friends and I were intrepid monster hunters, inspired by one of our favorite movies The Monster Squad.
In case you somehow have missed hearing about this fantastic piece of 1980’s cinema, it’s basically a mashup of The Goonies and Ghostbusters by way of "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein", written by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) and Fred Dekker (Robocop 3) and directed by him as well.
In it, a Legion Of Doom style team of the greatest Universal Monsters (yet surprisingly this wasn’t made by Universal) including Dracula, The Wolf-Man (Jon Gries- Martin, Napoleon Dynamite) , The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Frankenstein’s Monster (Tom Noonan- The Last Action Hero) assemble in a small town and the world’s only hope are a group of monster obsessed kids.
I watched the film again not too long ago, and it still holds up to me. The practical effects overseen by legend of the game Stan Winston are way better than any CGI in the past few years. Also they do the coolest looking Creature From The Black Lagoon ever.
One thing I was instantly reminded of when watching this movie is how different our PG rating was compared to today’s family friendly standards. The kids talk like kids actually do, which is to say, they're cursing, quite frequently actually. Admittedly, it was one of the reasons why I loved it so much as a kid.
Be forewarned of that though, if you’re going to show this to your kids. In addition to the adult language, there are a couple of cringe inducing slurs early on, and there is talk of the sexual organs of werewolves and such so be aware before you introduce your kids to this one.
It’s a total blast of a movie though, especially if you watch it during Halloween season, and it makes a great companion piece to binging Stranger Things while we wait for the next season later this year.
I’d also be remiss though if I didn’t talk about the awesomely bad end credits song, which is like a pre-mash up of the Bobby Brown Ghostbusters 2 song and T.U.R.T.L.E. Power. And is definitely worth checking out for in and of itself.