A box office failure when it was released in 1987 Fred Dekker (NIGHT OF THE CREEPS) and Shane Black’s (LETHAL WEAPON, PREDATOR) THE MONSTER SQUAD has gone onto amass a strong following in the years since. Coming out just a couple of weeks after another iconic genre film THE LOST BOYS it was overshadowed and only seen by the hardcore genre fans who saw everything that played near them. Slowly, through VHS rentals and occasional cable TV screenings, it found it’s audience. WOLFMAN’S GOT NARDS is a documentary for, and about, these fans.
André Gower, the director of WOLFMAN’S GOT NARDS, would know a thing or two about this phenomenon, he played Sean in the original film. The result is as much as a celebration of the film as it is an insider’s perspective of its creation and rediscovery. Starting at the beginning with the collaboration between Black and Dekker on the film’s script and ending with the 30th anniversary showing at the Alamo Drafthouse.
There’s a nice mix of interviews, highlighted by Black and Dekker, (who didn’t know it had a following until nearly ten years after it was released). It would have been interesting to see how their collaborating style then compares to their re-teaming for THE PREDATOR. But I suppose that falls outside the scope of the film. There are loads of other cast and crew interviews with an obvious emphasis on the effects crew. From designing the creatures to look familiar, but not familiar enough to be sued by Universal, (whose lawyers did send a threatening letter). to the building of the suits and bringing them to life.
The head of the effects team, Stan Winston (PREDATOR, ALIENS) is also one of two now departed figures from the film who are paid tribute in WOLFMAN’S GOT NARDS. The other is Brent Chalem who played Horace. Both are given fitting and touching remembrances.
The release and box office failure of MONSTER SQUAD is also covered but not dwelt on. Cast and crew do tell how it affected them and their careers. But the mood isn’t allowed to stay depressed for long. The main focus of WOLFMAN’S GOT NARDS is the film’s fans and how they rediscovered the film and brought it back to life.
Among those interviewed and both genre celebrities like Heather Langenkamp (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, HELLRAISER: JUDGEMENT), Joe Lynch (MAYHEM), Adam Green (VICTOR CROWLEY, DIGGING UP THE MARROW), and Graham Skipper (THE MIND’S EYE, SEQUENCE BREAK). There’s also plenty just plain fans, some second generation, who’ve come out to celebrate the film at screenings. Stories of how much they love it and what it means to them abound. It’s a very uplifting celebration.
I saw THE MONSTER SQUAD when it came out. I liked it, though was never a huge fan. This movie appealed to me with my casual interest. I can only image how much fans like those seen in the film will love it.