Fred Dekker’s The Monster Squad from 1987 is hard to get hold of now. I eventually got my hands a Far Eastern copy and decided to watch it straight away.
This is a children’s movie and I watched it a lot as a kid and loved it. I wanted to watch it gain to see what had so attracted me to the film. The first shock was the scriptwriting credit on the opening title sequence – Director Fred Dekker and Shane Black!
Black must have written this script around the same time as he was working on Lethal Weapon. Of course Black is still around and still writing, digging deeper on the IMDb I find that he’s still writing with Fred Dekker (a sequel to Predator is in production – written by both men.)
Dekker hasn’t directed for many years, but he was talented and The Monster Squad holds up against other similar films of the time like Spielberg’s The Goonies.
What’s great fun about this film is that it’s actually a feature length tribute to Universal Horror films of the past. The practical effects are great and it’s surprisingly bloody for a kid’s film. The script moves at pace, has some genuine laughs and a lot of pathos. Dekker directs well, the camera work is good and the film looks better than its budget suggests. It’s worth hunting down, and will stand up on repeated viewings.
The trailer is below…
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. Matthew was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge, the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on firstname.lastname@example.org