26 July 2014

The Monster Squad (1987)
82 min.
Directed by Fred Dekker.
With Andre Gower, Robby Kiger, Stephen Macht, Duncan Rehger, Tom Noonan, Brent Chalem, Leonardo Cimino.
Cute, sanitized - and unfortunately, fangless - this heartfelt homage to classic Universal monsters coulda been so much better.

A group of suburban kiddies are members of a secret club called 'The Monster Squad,' an organization devoted to the study of all things creature-related.

But what the Squad doesn't know is that the infamous vampire Dracula is alive and well, and he's lurking somewhere nearby.

It seems the Count is in search of a precious, centuries-old amulet. And if he gets his hands on it, he'll be able to rule all of modern humanity.

To help him achieve his diabolical goals, Dracula has enlisted the aid of his pals: the Mummy, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, and the Gill Man.

Now, the youths of the Squad must destroy this terrible quintet of horrors...before the world succumbs to their evil domination!

We're all about homages to horror's past, especially when it comes to recognizing the genius of Universal's classic monster lineup from the '30s and '40s.

And in its defense, this 1987 comedy-horror starts off promising.

But it soon descends into humdrum boredom. The iconic creatures are never allowed to be truly frightening, perhaps because the movie seems forced to straddle an erratic line between kid flick and cult wannabe.

We can't totally pan Monster Squad - given that it rightfully eulogizes a golden era of horror.

But this late '80s effort commits the one, unforgivable sin of horror filmmaking: it's never scary.

From director Fred Dekker, who also did Night of the Creeps (1986).

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