Thursday, October 4, 2012

MONSTER-MONTH: COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN (Day 4)

The fourth day of our Monster countdown brings us to 1987 and THE MONSTER SQUAD.  This is the kind of potential monster mash-up that gives horror geeks the chills!

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THE MONSTER SQUAD is a 1987 comedy/horror film written by Shane Black and Fred Dekker, who also directed.  Dekker is known for his film NIGHT OF THE CREEPS which pays homage to the B grade sci-fi/horror films of the 50s and 60s.

(Click to Frankensize)

This is the Tri-Star Pictures take on the classic Universal Pictures monsters as reimagined by Stan Winston and other special effects artists.  In short, it’s THE GOONIES meets FRIGHT NIGHT.


Here’s an insightful and brief interview with Fred Dekker which is about the mythology of the film, a comparison to the modern monsters and a hint a what a Monster Squad reunion could be about (hint: he’s big in Japan):

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The Frankesntein Monster in this feature is played quietly by excellent character actor Tom Noonan, known for playing such interesting fellows as the serial killer Francis Dolarhyde from MANHUNTER,  Mr. Ulman in HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, a superb horror film that mirrors classics like ROSEMARY’S BABY, and the tragically flawed Reverend Nathaniel Cole in the AMC series HELL ON WHEELS.

(Click to Frankensize)

His monster follows closely the path set by Karloff.  While visually similar, this Monster has no flat-top head, no neck bolts or furrowed brow, but the green tinged skin, jacket and scars are all there.  Slow, quiet, monosylabic and strong and with a penchant for befriending little girls.  He’s not a planner.  He’s not much for charisma but he’s got a gleam in his eye.  In a movie where the monsters are up to no good via the leadership of Dracula, this Frankenstein Monster’s vote is undecided.

(Click to Frankensize)



Dont’ be chickenshit, check out THE MONSTER SQUAD for a light scare that may take you back to your childhood or, at the very least, remind you of your love for the Universal Monsters.

(Click to Frankensize)


FIVE FRANKENSTEIN FUN FACTS
  1. Tom Noonan played Francis Dolarhyde in MANHUNTER just one year before his role as Frankenstein’s Monster in THE MONSTER SQUAD.
  2. Liam Neeson nearly captured the role of Count Dracula in THE MONSTER SQUAD.
  3. The original opening sequence for THE MONSTER SQUAD would’ve involved Van Helsing storming Count Dracula’s castle with hundreds of men on horseback and in zeppelins!  Unfortnately, it was cut for budgetary reasons.
  4. Co-writer Shane Black went on to write LETHAL WEAPON, THE LAST BOYSCOUT and KISS KISS, BANG BANG.
  5. A fictional movie entitled “Groundhog Day” is viewed in THE MONSTER SQUAD--a holiday-themed slasher flick which parodys such films as MY BLOODY VALENTINE, BLACK CHRISTMAS, NEW YEAR’S EVIL, APRIL FOOL’S DAY and, duh, HALLOWEEN.



Lookie here:



Now I’m putting this post to web here on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, but I want you to know about these Friday morning finds on Turner Classic Movies in time to set VCRs, DVRs, Tivos and the like to record these films OR to call in sick to work so that you can check them out in person.


On TCM on Friday, October 5, 2012

9am - THE REPTILE (1966)
  

10:30am - THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (1944)


11:45am - THE FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE (1959)


1:15pm - I MARRIED A WITCH (1942)


2:45pm - CURSE OF THE DEMON (1958)


4:30pm - THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY’S TOMB (1964)


6pm - SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977)


2:30am - ROAD GAMES (1981)


4:15am - HOT RODS TO HELL (1967)



AND DON'T FORGET...

2 comments:

Caffeinated Joe said...

That is a lot for one post!

Never saw Monster Squad. Need to rectify that. I just worry that the enjoyment I would have gotten had I seen it as a kid will be missing now.

Great TCM lineup for tomorrow!

Gary Lee said...

Yeah, looks like a fun Friday. Hope you get a look at Monster Squad--it's got it's faults, but it's heart and the feel of the creatures is in the right spot.

Thanks for reading.