I really like The Monster Squad. I don’t know if I “love” it, but I do enjoy it a lot. This is largely due to nostalgia. I didn’t see it in theaters. Then again, as this documentary points out nobody did. Like most kids, I probably first saw it on HBO. That’s how it was done in the 80s. You watched movies on HBO or Cinemax, record them on VHS tapes and watched them on a loop until your heart’s content.
Shane Black and Fred Dekker (the director) came up with the idea of The Monster Squad, by putting a group of kids obsessed with the horror genre against the most iconic villains in horror movie history, the Universal monsters. Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. They walked a fine line between taking it too seriously and coming off as parody. The movie pulled it off and introduced these characters to a whole new group of people. Unfortunately, the movie flopped in theaters.
Wolfman’s Got Nards takes a look at the making of The Monster Squad, how well it did in theaters and speaks to the hardcore fans that have grown up loving it. There are interviews with actors, the director and writers, but the most fascinating part is talking to people that worked on the creatures. Discussing what they did to recreate the monsters’ costumes. How they updated them and made them standalone from the old Universal monsters. It really puts it into perspective, how much they cared about doing this right.
Universal gave them the rights to use the monsters, but they had to make them distinct and different enough. Due mostly to the monsters still being used at Universal Studios. In hindsight, this was for the best. The creatures still hold up.
It’s also full of small interviews with many of the hardcore fans of The Monster Squad of course, but that all felt very relative. It’s not like they’re going to talk to people that just like it and that’s it. No, they talk to the people with tattoos, pictures/poster and memorabilia. Personally, I find that always the most boring of any documentary like this.
However, I do get it, not just so the people that were apart of the movie can feel good about themselves. The doc shows just how many people truly love the movie. It also shows how it’s affected people’s lives. Most importantly, it puts a spotlight on the cult status it’s gained.
If you’re at all a fan of The Monster Squad and it holds a nostalgic place in your heart, you probably owe it to yourself to check out Wolfman’s Got Nards. Which if you’ve never seen The Monster Squad, that title will be lost on you.