The Monster Squad

  • Review Date: August 21, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 1987
  • Running Time: 82 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Goofy monster mash with a touch of negative 'tude.
  • Review Date: August 21, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 1987
  • Running Time: 82 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Boys call one another "faggot" as a menacing insult. Sean says a teacher was "fully homo-ing out." Horace is bullied for being fat, and several kids call him Fat Kid. Sean tells Phoebe, when she insists on membership in the all-boy monster squad, that she's creating "reverse discrimination."

Violence

Considerable cartoonish violence: vampires are staked in the heart, a mummy comes unraveled, the Wolfman is blown apart repeatedly and puts himself together again, kids get beat up and threatened by bullies and monsters, Gill Man crushes a man's head, people and monsters are shot at, a hearse driver and police officer are killed.

Sex

Rudy uses binoculars to stair at a girl through her window. She's shown in various states of undress. It's implied that Frankenstein accidentally snaps a picture of her naked. Lots of talk about whether a girl is a virgin.

Language

Some swearing, mostly by kids, including "asshole," "son of a bitch," "holy s--t," "hell," "godamn," "tits," "chicken-s--t," and "bitch" (said to a little girl).

Consumerism

Kids drink Pepsi, talk about Twinkies and Burger King, and visit Fox photos.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Rudy, who is in middle school, is the cool kid who also smokes cigarettes. Sean's dad smokes. Rudy drinks a beer.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while most of the movie is good Scooby-Doo-style fun, it also has an undercurrent of intolerance. In addition to Dracula and the Wolfman, the movie sets up the boogeymen of the day: gay men, fat people, and girls who want to be included in a boys club. There's also lots of cartoonish violence that, while completely unrealistic, is likely to scare younger kids. Sean's parents are also going to a marriage counselor and fight loudly where Sean can hear them. And while Rudy protects Horace from getting bullied, he's also not someone to look up to -- he drinks and smokes. The kids also swear quite a bit and call their teacher and other kids "faggot."

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Sean (Andre Gower), Horace (Brent Chalem), cool kid Rudy (Ryan Lambert), and the gang may be in junior high, but they still love the Wolfman, Dracula, and the whole ghoulish bunch. When strange things start happening -- a man (Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Gries) shows up at a police station desperate to be locked up to keep him from harming people as a werewolf, a mummy disappears from the museum, Dracula's casket gets dropped in a marsh -- the kids know what they have to do. "Something's out there and it's killing people," announces Sean in their treehouse. "No one is going to do anything about it but us." With the help of Scary German Guy and the diary of vampire-hunter Abraham Van Helsing, the gang learns that every 100 years, the forces of evil can take over the world if a special amulet isn't protected and they fail to find a virgin to read an incantation -- in German. But can they find the amulet, fight the monsters, and save the world, even while their families don't believe them?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For teens who think they're too old for the Scooby Doo TV series but not old enough for real horror movies like Shaun of the Dead, consider THE MONSTER SQUAD, a little-known 1980s monster movie that's basically Buffy-light.

There are some priceless moments in the movie: Eugene (Married… With Children's Michael Faustino) tells his dad that there's a monster in the closet. Dad opens the closet and he's so busy hamming it up he's oblivious to the fact that there's a real mummy in there. Eugene sends a note to the military -- "Dear Army guys, There are monsters, come quick!" -- and they actually show up. But most of it is your typical Scooby-Doo intrigue: creepy houses, hidden passageways. But for avid monster lovers, none of that will matter. It's a frolicking good time. If you can ignore the fatphobia, homophobia (did these kids have to use the word "faggot"? Ugh.), and no-girls-allowed attitude at the beginning of the movie, the rest is a hoot.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about cartoonish violence vs. the real thing. How do you differentiate the two? What makes the cartoonish kind fun to watch in this movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 21, 1987
DVD release date:July 24, 2007
Cast:Andre Gower, Michael Faustino, Tom Noonan
Director:Fred Dekker
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Horror
Run time:82 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13

This review of The Monster Squad was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byNapkap August 8, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

A Strange Family Horror Film

The film tries to cross a family film with a horror film. They do it very well, with the gore plentiful enough to keep horror fans watching, but not so much that parents won't approve. The monster effects are beautiful, and it is a very entertaining film.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 5, 9, 11, and 14 year old Written byJamesRobertson January 4, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
Kid, 9 years old June 24, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

the monster sqaud reweiw

this movie has TONS of swearing like fa***t, h*ll,da*n, and more.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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