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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Comedy > Satire > Monster Squad – 20th Anniversary Edition (2-DVD Set/Lionsgate)

Monster Squad – 20th Anniversary Edition (2-DVD Set/Lionsgate)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: A-     Film: B-



The end of the world starts at midnight, but this review starts right now!  Available finally to indulge all your monstrous habits is Monster Squad:  Two Disc 20th Anniversary Edition.  The 1987 film penned by Frank Dekker and Shane Black was by no means an instant hit and over the past 20 years has grown through word of mouth and countless television appearances into a cult classic.  Basically any child of the 1980’s should recognize this film. 


The story follows a group of young teens who idolize anything to do with monsters.  Unbeknownst to them, however, their childhood fantasy is about to become all too real.  While the kids debate such issues as whether Wolfman has ‘nards’ or not,  Count Dracula is gathering a troop of fellow monsters to take over the world.  The leader of the monster devotees (Sean) receives an old book from his mother that she found at a yard sale labeled The Diary of Van Helsing, excited he runs off to show his friends.  After certain events start occurring like a man supposedly claiming to be a werewolf and, oh yea, the teens meeting Frankenstein they decide it is time to see what the Van Helsing Diary really can do.


The boys not being able to read the book, since it is in German, summon up the courage to ask an old German Neighbor to help them out.  At first they are scared of him, but soon find him to be just an ordinary and pleasant old geezer.  In the book the children discover a detailed description of how to close the portal to the monster world and how to defeat the evil Count Dracula.  Only by a virgin uttering an exact incantation, while holding the sacred amulet can the gate be closed and Dracula banished.  From this point the children set out on a mission to find the amulet and defeat Dracula.  The only problem is Dracula has gathered some of the most fearsome monsters; including Gill Man, Wolfman, The Mummy, and Frankenstein.  Though, it is quickly discovered that Frank isn’t such a bad guy after all.  Can this Monster Squad stop some of the biggest evils this world has ever seen?


The technical features are pretty good, even mummy would be impressed.  The picture is presented in a newly mastered 16 X 9 Widescreen that shows little grain with only the occasional darkness issue creeping in there.  The newly mastered 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio is nice and kicks all previous releases and television versions of the film to the curb.  Though the sound is nice, to some degree the dialogue can be muffled during the bigger action sequences and could use some work.  The extras are the reason fans will buy this DVD.


Extras include full fill Audio Commentaries with the writer/director Fred Dekker and the monster squad cast, a special featurette entitled ‘Monster Squad Forever’ that is admirable with its deep exploration into the making and creation of the film.  The ‘Monster Squad Forever’ featurette also speaks with all surviving cast members, makeup artist, and more.  The featurette is simply awesome.  Other features include ‘A conversation with Frankenstein,’ Deleted Scenes, a Theatrical Trailer, TV Spots and a cool still gallery.  Overall, the documentary-like extras are great and can be watched again and again.


In the end, yes, The Wolfman has nards.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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