Most folks have a favorite movie as a kid. For folks my age, the titles usually include ET, Star Wars, Transformers: The Movie, The Goonies, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I like all those movies, but when I was a kid there was little doubt what my favorite movie was: The Monster Squad.
The Monster Squad is what happens when you take The Goonies and have them meet the Universal Monsters. Written by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, Iron Man 3) and directed by Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps, Robocop 3) The Monster Squad was released in 1987 to mixed critical response and a lack of box office profits. The film made just 3.8 million of its 14-million-dollar budget back and it seemed destined to be lost forever.
I was four years old in 1988 and I saw the film around that time. It was scary, but there was something about the film that I connected with. I’m not sure if it was just the cool monster designs or the coolness of the cast, but I loved it. I rented it a lot and it became the film my parents would grab if I couldn’t make up my mind or if my Dad stopped by the video store without me. Everyone knew that Brandon would be happy with The Monster Squad.
In the early 90’s, HBO began airing The Monster Squad, and I just kept watching it. I have no idea how many times I saw the film as a child, but it was several dozen.
Then something happened, I just forgot about the film. I didn’t see it in the video store often and it didn’t cross my mind. Even as I began falling in love with the 80’s and revisiting things in the late 90’s, The Monster Squad had fallen into my subconscious where it sat just waiting to be rediscovered.
Sometime in the late 2000’s, it all came back to me. The iconic phrase “Wolfman’s got nards” boiled up from the recesses of my mind and I decided to see if I could find someone else who knew of The Monster Squad. I remember as a kid, I tried to share my fandom with my classmates, but no one had heard of The Monster Squad. I even remember one kid accusing me of making the movie up.
I was working at the movie theater, so I began asking my fellow managers and staff about The Monster Squad and only two people knew of it: Lane, our horror obsessed projectionist, and of course, fellow Middle-Aged Fat Kid Jimmy. It was so nice to get a moment to geek out about one of my favorite childhood movies and thankfully a 20th Anniversary DVD came out around this same time which gave me an opportunity to revisit the film and learn more about it through the DVD special features.
Since then, I’ve watched The Monster Squad probably another dozen times. There is something comforting about this film and I can see where my love of horror and creepy things came from. I still haven’t met many people who have seen The Monster Squad outside of Jimmy and my buddy Michael over The Wrestling Insomniac. We’ve geeked out quite a few times discussing The Monster Squad.
A few years ago, a documentary was released titled Wolfman’s Got Nards. It breaks down how the film became a cult classic thanks to HBO and home video, and how shocking it was for the cast and crew to discover they had fans. I wrote a review for this documentary and I’m going to see if I can locate that review and post here on Fat Kids in the near future.
Okay, so now that you are caught up on The Monster Squad, let’s talk about what inspired this post, the soundtrack.
Last year, Matt at Dinosaur Dracula gave away cassette copies of the soundtrack in one of the dino-packs. I was so irritated that I missed out, I contacted the producer of the cassettes to inquire about buying one. I got a bit of the run around and then I got ghosted, so I gave up on buying it.
Last week, it popped back in my mind and sure enough, I found a cassette copy that I could afford online, but then I saw the CD and well… I don’t have anything to play the cassette with and I noticed that Rock Until You Drop was included, which is the song that plays during the montage scene. I jam to this song regularly on YouTube (the only place I’ve been able to find it) so the idea of having it on CD and being able to rip an mp3 in great quality sounded like too good of a deal to pass up. So, I ordered it and today it arrived!
The soundtrack includes the score composed by Bruce Broughton (Tombstone, Lost in Space (1998) as well as the previously mentioned Rock Until You Drop and Monster Squad Rap. And well… it’s wonderful!