The Monster Squad

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
The Monster Squad Movie Poster Image
Goofy monster mash with a touch of negative 'tude.
  • PG-13
  • 1987
  • 82 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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.

What 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."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjohnnycage14 March 22, 2014

Kids movie about social outsiders saving the world against monsters!!

Great throw back to monster movies of the past, but with a well written script. A children's movie at heart that also appeals to adults. A good message abo... Continue reading
Adult Written byThe Fuzzy Dan May 31, 2016

If not for the language...

The 80s were a strange time for family films. Howard the Duck had duck-breasts. The Goonies swore like sailors. And then we have this film. As a kid, I liked T... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old June 24, 2012

the monster sqaud reweiw

this movie has TONS of swearing like fa***t, h*ll,da*n, and more.
Teen, 13 years old Written byNapkap August 8, 2009

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 tha... Continue reading

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?

This movie is a frolicking good time. If you have 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. 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.

Talk to your kids 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

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