Things I Want Toys of > The Monster Squad

I can’t recall whether I saw The Monster Squad (1987) in the theater, but something makes me think I did. Even as a kid I thought of it then as a sort of store-brand Goonies, albeit a very fun, entertaining, and surprisingly violent one. Except for the infamous “Wolf Man’s got nards” line, I more or less forgot about the film until I saw it in 2004 while visiting a friend (thanks, Rustin—always the classy host!).

The Monster Squad is a kids’ horror film featuring what are traditionally thought of as the Universal Monsters: Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and the Gillman (a.k.a. the Creature from the Black Lagoon). However, unlike other monster mashes like the recent Van Helsing, The Monster Squad wasn’t a Universal film; Universal only owns the trademarks to the character names (meaning you can’t call your movie just “Dracula”). In the case of Dracula and the Monster, the novels are long out of copyright; while the Mummy, the Wolfman and the Gillman are just generic monsters (though I do think they’re on shaky ground with the Gillman, given how much he resembles the Black Lagoon creature).

Despite its relative obscurity, The Monster Squad has a decent pedigree. The screenplay was written by Shane Black, who had a string of successes in the 1980s as the writer of the first two Lethal Weapon films and The Last Boy Scout, as well as appearing as one of the soldiers in Predator. It was directed by Fred Dekker, whose other horror film Night of the Creeps is another cult classic (and was basically ripped off by the movie Slither).

If ever a film deserved the then-new PG-13 rating, Monster Squad is it. Squad features the aforementioned teenaged smoking as well as said teen making silver bullets in shop class; parents who scream at each other in front of their children; much discussion of a teenaged girl’s virginity (or lack thereof); a father who watches a slasher flick with his ten-year-old son; a wolfman who gets blown to bloody chunks by a stick of dynamite; a ten-year-old kid wielding a shotgun; a cop who screams in terror before getting blown up in a car; a Dracula who threatens a five-year-old girl and calls her a “bitch”; and the same five-year-old girl saying “chickenshit.”

None of this, however, is particularly mean-spirited or even that irresponsible; irreverent is probably the best word for it. You just couldn’t make a kid’s movie like this anymore—hell, this movie would probably get an R rating now. And it’s got some great one-liners, many of which, upon my recent viewing, I realized I’d remembered ever since (such as when Drac blows up the Squad’s treehouse, coldly uttering “Meeting adjourned” as he walks away). Also, the monster effects are quite well done—not surprising since they were designed by the late, great Stan Winston and his studio.

Unfortunately, the era of collectible action figures based on obscure cult films ended years ago. It’s no longer cost-effective to produce lines McFarlane’s Movie Maniacs or SOTA’s Now Playing. NECA’s Cult Classics is still limping along, but NECA has moved away from mixed-license lines to lines based on a single current film or franchise.

And so, barring the advent of the rumored Monster Squad remake, I don’t think I’m ever going to get to see any action figures based on my favorite Halloween movie.  There was a Gillman model kit from Kaiyodo a few years back, but as you know, if it ain’t articulated, I ain’t interested.

Still, I hold out hope that some enterprising small company might give me an articulated Gillman. And a Wolfman…with nards.


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  1. Poe

    I watched it today, actually (hadn't watched it yet this year).

    There are so many memorable lines beyond the "nards" quote…"This babe is major." "See you later, Band-Aid breath…" Are they good lines? No, but they're funny in an '80s way…

  2. Jon

    I could see Mezco doing a line like this. I love the movie. I might watch it tonight.

  3. Tom-Tom

    id like the three monsters from chappelle's show (you know, the skit he filmed right before leaving us…we miss you dave )

  4. articulated nards?

  5. eric

    Now that would be cool. I love the movie and Im glad they finally put it on DVD, couple of years ago. To see them as action figures would be awsome!!!

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