In the words of Dr. Hubert Farnsworth, "Good news, everyone!" And good news it is, indeed. Just a few days after the 29th anniversary of the release date of '80s horror cult classic, The Monster Squad, it is being reported that screenwriter Shane Black is totally down for revisiting 666 Shadowbrook Road — making legions of nostalgic fans happy in the process — by making The Monster Squad 2.
Before we get down to brass tax and discuss why this is amazing news, let's have a little bit of a refresher course.
What Is The Monster Squad?
The Monster Squad was a coming-of-age horror/action/comedy from screenwriter Shane Black and director Fred Dekker. If those names don't necessarily ring a bell then you're about to be hit with some "oooohhh....those guys!" knowledge. In addition to The Monster Squad, Fred Dekker was the writer and director of the horror film Night of the Creeps and the slightly less-than-beloved RoboCop 3. He was also the writer of House (the horror movie, not the doctor show) as well as a writer and consulting producer on Star Trek: Enterprise.
Meanwhile, Shane Black was the writer of such films as The Last Action Hero, The Long Kiss Goodnight and the seldom heard of and extremely obscure cop comedy, Lethal Weapon (that's sarcasm, just so you know). He was also the writer and director of the incredibly underrated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang as well as the billion dollar money maker, Iron Man 3. He'll soon be seen directing Dwayne Johnson in Doc Savage. Dekker and Black, together, will also soon be heading up the much anticipated reboot/sequel, The Predator.
The Monster Squad, written by Black & Dekker (heh, that's funny) and directed by Dekker, tells the story of a group of close friends who form a monster club to basically obsess over horror movies, quiz each other on ways to kill a werewolf and hang drawings of spiders with human heads on their clubhouse walls. However, when Dracula and the rest of the Universal Monsters show up in town to retrieve an amulet that will grant them the power to control the world, it's of course up to the 12-year-olds to stop them.
Now, I can understand how — by today's standards — that may sound like some cheesy piece of crap Freeform movie that you'd be watching during the 13 Days of Halloween. But it's not.
To put it in perspective, much in the way that Blazing Saddles could not be made today, neither could The Monster Squad. At least not in the same manner in which it was made in 1987. The movie had vulgarity, bad language, fairly graphic violence for a PG-13 rated movie, voyeurism and Dracula picking a 5-year-old girl up by the face and calling her a bitch. Basically, this is not your run-of-the-mill "kids" movie.
It featured some pretty deep, metaphorical scenes comparing fictional monsters to the real-life monsters of Nazis during the Holocaust and taught an entire generation of movie-goers that "Wolfman's got nards."
Fun fact: The version of Dracula specifically from The Monster Squad was voted #30 on Wizard Magazine's Top 100 Villains of All Time because this was the only Dracula with the balls to throw a stick of dynamite into a children's tree house.
Now, What Is All This About The Monster Squad 2?
Well, in a recent interview with IGN, Shane Black said that he would love to work on a sequel to the cult classic film:
“I’d love to revisit ['Monster Squad']. I hope that somebody at some point says that it would be great. They have all these new Universal monsters… At some point, the 'Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein' version… I wonder if there’s room in the 'Monster Squad' for that?”
This is, by no means, meant to be taken as any kind of confirmation that the film will ever happen. Black is just saying that he would love to do it. You see, despite all of the fan praise and loyal following that the movie has, The Monster Squad was a box-office failure, with almost 30 years having passed since its release date. In fact, there was even talk of a remake a few years back — during the boom of horror reboots — which never gained any traction and was ultimately scrapped.
However, with Universal about to launch a new "shared universe" franchise around it's classic monster lineup and the huge popularity surrounding Stranger Things — Netflix's nostalgic love letter to the '80s — Mr. Black seems pretty optimistic that interest in a sequel to The Monster Squad could find it's footing. And I, for one, welcome that kind of thinking.
But What Would A Sequel Be About?
Anything really. I mean, it's not like the story to the first movie was anything incredibly complex. It was basically The Goonies and Stand By Me taking on monsters. It was fairly straight forward. But what does Black have to say about the potential of a sequel's story?
“The first thing I go to is the movie, or the book really, 'It' by Stephen King, which is about kids who fight monsters when they’re young, then as grown-ups they’re sort of beckoned and they have to return to their childhood hometown. I don’t know how [a 'Monster Squad' sequel] would distance [itself] from that.”
I like the idea of the IT analogy. That's probably the most sensible angle to take it in. The kids, scattered by time, age and life are reunited when trouble starts brewing in their hometown. Perhaps the portal to Limbo was reopened and all manner of trouble came spilling out. Maybe Sean (Andrew Gower) is now in the father role and his child is going to head up the new Monster Squad. It could really go in any direction, but it would need to try its best to maintain the same tone as the original, even if it were to end up with an R rating and aim towards the older audience that adores it so much.
Let's only hope this story has some merit and something happens down the line. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter (@ThisIsJamesT) for all things rant and rave-y.
*This story originally appeared on Screen Rant.