Favorite Scene Monster Chiller Horror Theatre: The Monster Squad (1987)
In honor of Fred Dekker’s October 15 appearance at the American Cinematheque with a director’s cut of NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, here’s one highlight of his delightful uber-80’s cult film, THE MONSTER SQUAD. This was a bad period of over-produced and under-whelming spfx sci-fi horror as Dekker and co-writer Shane Black’s affectionate tribute to creature features got lost in the shuffle. Even I missed this one in the theater. But I rented it the second it hit home video, pleasantly surprised by the fun, nostalgic script and impressed with Dekker’s stylish, dynamic direction. Here was a genuine Sam Raimi fully formed and informed of the genre.
To that end, THE MONSTER SQUAD features a reel fangtastic four such as Dracula, Wolfman, a proto-Creature From The Black Lagoon, and of course, Frankenstein’s monster, wonderfully portrayed by Tom Noonan. The late, great Stan Winston designed the superior make-up, probably the finest cinematic tributes to the Universal series. Like the ABBOT AND COSTELLO monster mashes, Dekker blends comedy and horror as this tense, cathartic scene above demonstrates. Although THE MONSTER SQUAD has since received its due, I’d love to see Fred Dekker directing again as his two films showed such visual genre promise and passion. Bogus!