Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Last Chance for Some Pie

The Monster Squad (1987)
directed by Fred Dekker
rating: 3 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Netflix

A movie for kids more than a movie about them, The Monster Squad is akin to Calvin telling Hobbes how cool a fleet of F-14s piloted by tyrannosaurs would be, and Hobbes looking at a plastic toy, shrugging his shoulders, and uttering "meh." It doesn't help that actor Tom Noonan makes the unfortunate choice of having Frankenstein sound like a mentally handicapped giant, but even that seems a part of the junior high milieu that informs so much of the gang's conversation. The bottom line is that Dracula wouldn't recruit a mummy to help take over the world, leaving Stan Winston's designs purposeless in the face of a largely gentle cashing in on The Goonies' "kids with imagination" fantasy. But it's fun enough, and The Monster Squad, unlike The Goonies, is strictly Southern California, paving the way for the movie's best scene: watching a drive-in through binoculars from the roof of a house in the hills because the older brother has to stay at home to babysit his sister.