The Monster Squad is a 1987 film directed by Fred Dekker and written by Shane Black. The film follows the exploits of a group of genre-savvy kids who seek to stop Dracula — and a host of other infamous monsters — from finding a mystical amulet and bringing about The End of the World as We Know It.The film was an out-of-print classic for a long time, but was given a new spiffy DVD release in time for its twentieth anniversary (with a Blu-ray release two years later). The makeup and special effects work on this film is a lesser-known effort of the late Stan Winston (who is better known for the frighteningly realistic puppets from classics as the Terminator and Jurassic Park films).Not to be confused with the Saturday morning TV show.
All Boys Are Perverts: When not discussing monsters, most of the time spent in the treehouse is spent trying (in vain) to snap a picture of the Girl Next Door undressing.
Only Rudy (and by accident, Franky) takes the pictures, since the boys aren't old enough to have those kind of feelings yet (They don't really understand what a virgin is), and one of them is said girl's brother!
All Germans Are Nazis: Teased with the Scary German Guy, but he turns out to be a concentration camp survivor.
Artifact of Death: The Amulet may be concentrated good but it's just as dangerous to innocents as to monsters, as the opening scene shows us.
Dracula also uses a silver skull on top of his cane.
Bullets Do Not Work That Way: During the scene where Rudy shoots the Wolfman with the silver bullet, the bullet in question hasn't been fitted into a cartridge, but yet is still able to be fired from a police-issue revolver.
Bully Hunter: Rudy notices Horace, aka "Fat Kid", getting picked on. He's not pleased and he turns the tables on Horace's tormentors.
Danger Takes A Back Seat: The man who becomes the Wolfman causes an incident at the police station when he tries to get the cops to lock him up, and when he grabs an officer's gun he's shot several times and apparently dies. He's taken away in an ambulance and transforms during the ride, grabbing the driver from behind and killing him.
Drive-In Theater: Sean lives near one, and occasionally takes to the roof to catch free movies with his dad.
Homage: The scene with Frankenstein and Phoebe by the pond is a Shout Out to the original Frankenstein movie, when a little girl attempts to play with the monster by a lake. In this film, it ends much better for the little girl.
Improbable Aiming Skills: Sean's father shoots Dracula in bat form out of the sky, with his non-dominant hand, while driving a car.
Keep Circulating the Tapes: For the longest time, bootlegs were the only way to see the film, as many networks had long stopped showing the film and it was out of print on VHS. In 2006, the film was shown in several independent theaters across the US, which led to a campaign for a proper DVD release of the film. In 2007, a two-disc DVD was finally released in honor of the film's 20th anniversary; it features a brand new commentary by the film's director and several of the cast members, a five-part documentary on the film's creation and its eventual cult following, and - of course - a brand new remastered version of the film. And, to put icing on the cake, it only took two years after that for the Blu-Ray, which shows the film in extremely good HD and retains all the extras from the DVD, most of them in HD.
Kids Are Cruel: If one were to take a drink whenever the kids made an anti-gay or anti-fat joke, you'd be very soused by the credits.
Odd Friendship: Rudy's first line in the movie has him state that Horace is his friend. Makes one wonder how a goofy, nerdy fat kid and the school's coolest badass became friends in the first place.
Given the follow-up scene where Horace introduces Rudy to his friends it's likely that they weren't friends until that point, and that Rudy got involved simply because he just hates bullies and claiming friendship with Horace would ensure that the bullies would leave Horace alone after that point.
Offhand Backhand: A cop attempts to stop Dracula during the climax. Dracula just punches him in the face and keeps walking.
One hundred years before this story begins, it was a time of darkness in Transylvania, a time when Dr Abraham Van Helsing and a small band of freedom fighters conspired to rid the world of vampires and monsters and to save mankind from the forces of eternal evil.
Papa Wolf: Sean's father gets a call that Sean is in danger, and immediately leaps into action, eventually even shooting Dracula in bat form out of the sky!
Parental Bonus: A decidedly non-joke example - after the Scary German Guy mentions that he's had prior experience with monsters, the camera points to a strange tattoo on his forearm; no younger viewer would be expected to recognize that as a concentration camp ID tattoo.
People in Rubber Suits: Well done, thanks to Stan Winston. Many people consider the costume and effects for the Gillman in this film to be the best representation of the Gill Man in film history, despite the fact that he gets very little screen time.
The Army isn't entirely useless, however, seeing as they get up and ready for battle with monsters on the word of a six-year-old kid. They arrive after the battle's already gone down, granted, but you have to applaud the effort.
The So-Called Coward: "Fat Kid" Horace guns down the Gill Man while his former bullies cower and watch.
Spit Take: Rudy, after asked by Sean if he knows any virgins. And Rudy again, upon opening up some freshly developed photos, discovers that Frankenstein (accidentally) snapped a perfect pic of the Girl Next Door undressing.
Stab the Salad: "Children, your time is almost up..." *brandishes butcher knife* "...It's your last chance for more pie!"
Super Strength: The titular Monsters (save for the Mummy). Each one of them gets a scene where they demonstrate it. Curiously, it seems to be the Gillman's only power (aside from his Nightmare Face), as he gets gunned down pretty easily.
The Slow Walk: Played deadly straight towards the end of the film, when Dracula brutally murders a bunch of cops without breaking his stride towards Phoebe and the amulet.