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Can Uni’s Monster Universe ‘Avengers’ Ever Live Up To ‘The Monster Squad’?

A few weeks ago news hit that the producers of the upcoming super serious Van Helsing remake, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (who also wrote Transformers, Star Trek Into Darkness and Cowboys And Aliens), were going to be creating an Avengers type universe with the Universal Monsters library. A lot of people treated this like it was a new idea, but the fact is these creatures have crossed paths many times before, going back almost 80 years.

Even studios that weren’t Universal have gotten super close to this idea, chief among them TriStar back in 1987 with Fred Dekker’s The Monster Squad. While it’s not a perfect film, it’s a lot of fun (helped in no small part by a script from Shane Black). It’s also the closest thing we’ve seen in recent years to the scenario that seems to be in everyone’s heads – these monsters teaming up for some reason. The idea of Dracula, Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster and Gill Man joining forces is inherently dumb, so something in this tone is pretty much the only way it works. For the life of me I can’t imagine a $100M+ film by committee matching it.

There’s also the framework of Kurtzman and Orci’s past work, which doesn’t really sing to me the way this does (what with its internal logic and beginning, middle and end). So what do you think? Sure Monster Squad is just a cute Goonies riff, but is there any scenario in which this idea gets better?



  • anthonyd1

    I loved The Monster Squad! Such a fun movie. I watched it on a regular basis as a child

  • Venomous-Soul

    Yup me too, and now Me and my daughter watch it pretty regularly.

  • dr.lamb

    Orci and Kurtzman. Nuff’ said.

    • EvilHead1981

      You mean that to be a good thing or bad thing. Personally, the only thing in the listed three that I liked was the Star Trek movie. Cowboys and Aliens was forgettable. Transformers was a piece of shit.

      • dr.lamb

        A bad thing,definitely a bad thing !

  • EvilHead1981

    That whole “bringing together all the classic movie monsters” seemed like something that was big in the 80s. Stephen King mentioned that the idea to bring various monsters together was a partial inspiration for It(Pennywise takes the form of a lot of the classic movie monsters), as well as the Castlevania video games(which were basically “whip wielding Conan vs classic movie monsters”). Personally, I like the idea as long as they try to do something good with it and try to keep each monster’s identity unique. Monster Squad was awesome because, despite being aimed more to kids, the monsters weren’t playing around. Love how Dracula’s casually walking towards the little girl as cops run towards him to stop him, but he’s like, snapping their necks left and right and tossing their bodies around like ragdolls, not even loosing his stride in the process. He’s still dangerous and menacing(and is taken seriously in this movie). That’s how it should be. I mean, the movie does have light-hearted moments, but those moments don’t diminish the threat, nor the seriousness of the threat. That’s what makes a GOOD kids flick, IMO. It doesn’t treat kids like they are stupid(like a lot of kid movies now). It gives them some kiddie things, but also respects that they can handle something serious and scary.

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