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‘Monster Squad’: An 80s Cult Classic For Halloween

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The Monster Squad (1987) is one of the most underrated movies to come out of the 1980s. It has everything that people love about the decade: a group of kids going on adventures, adult humor and dark imagery in a film for children, monsters (with real make up and practical effects), a ton of fun tropes and cliches, and of course 80s pop music. What’s not to love?

Monster Squad brings together every classic Universal Monster and puts them in a modern setting (well, a 1980s modern setting), featuring Count Dracula (Duncan Regehr), the Mummy (Michael MacKay), the Wolf Man (Carl Thibault), Gill-Man (Tom Woodruff Jr.), and Frankenstein’s monster (Tom Noonan). The creatures have a unique design to them because the crew had to change the looks of the Universal Monsters to avoid copyright laws.

The monsters seek a magical amulet that will help them rule the world and plunge it into darkness, and (in typical 80’s fashion) the only thing standing in their way is a savvy group of pre-teens. Led by the protagonist, Sean (Anrew Gower), the Monster Squad is a club for neighborhood kids to talk about the classic monsters and horror movies that they love. They are so obsessed with monsters that they often spend their time drawing pictures of monsters for their clubhouse during class. 

The Classic Universal Monsters

The Classic Universal Monsters

The film really doesn’t take itself seriously and shouldn’t be watched with the intention to take the movie apart. It is the very definition of a popcorn movie, targeted towards children, so its level of horror is pretty tame. There is no blood, gore, or nudity. There are no horny teenagers having sex and being killed by any of the monsters (a common scene in 80’s horror). Monster Squad has such a light-hearted tone at its core that it should be considered more of a horror/comedy. With so many tropes and horror movie references, the movie feels like a passionate tribute to not just the 80s, but to the genre of horror itself.

Monster Squad has almost every trope in the book, and it doesn’t try to hide it. There is the “Fat Kid” (Brent Chalem) who is literally called this in the movie because he is fat and does stereotypical fat things like fart and eat chocolate bars. Every group in the 80s and 90s needed a fat kid (Chunk in The Goonies, “Ham” Porter in The Sandlot, Goldberg in The Mighty Ducks, ect.) to be the comic relief of the group. He gets bullied for his weight by a couple of thugs who have no redeeming qualities other than being bully tropes, because every movie in a school setting needs generic bullies. There’s also the requisite cool kid, Rudy (Ryan Lambert), who dresses like a 1950s greaser, with the typical slicked hair, black leather jacket, and sunglasses. He even smokes at school (!), so he is the full package of cool. Being the oldest one of the group, Rudy spends his time at the club watching women change.

Greased hair, sunglasses, a black leather jacket, and smoking. The full package of cool.

Greased hair, sunglasses, a black leather jacket, and smoking. The full package of cool.

As the monsters start to run amok around the town, the police struggle to figure out what’s going on. Sean’s father (Stephen Macht) works as a detective on the case and is accompanied by his partner (Stan Shaw), who serves the black sidekick trope of the film. His partner often spends his time making jokes and being the comic relief, which is common with black sidekick characters of the time period, but he is so damn good at it that it’s not really a problem. Anyway, the two are called in to investigate why a 2,000 year-old mummy has mysteriously disappeared from the museum.

Besides hanging out with Dracula, it turns out that the Mummy likes to go into children’s closets. In one scene, Eugene (who is part of the Monster Squad) discovers the Mummy in his closet and brings in his dad to check it out for the old “there’s a monster in my closet” gag. The dad checks it out but doesn’t see the Mummy, while the audience and Eugene do. It’s a really silly scene and leaves a lot of questions (like why?), but it’s so funny and charming that it’s easy to look past its silliness. This a perfect example of the the movie knowing its just a popcorn film. Monster Squad doesn’t try to be logical; it just wants to be entertaining.

"Mummy came in my house!"

“Mummy came in my house!”

Sean’s mother brings home a book that she got from a garage sale that coincidentally turns out to be Van Helsing’s diary. Because the diary is written only in German, the Monster Squad seeks the help of the “Scary German Guy” (yes that’s actually his name in the movie and in the credits) who can translate the book for them. It turns out the amulet appears every 100 years, and if it gets destroyed there is nothing that can stop the monsters from taking over the world. The Monster Squad needs a virgin (remember it’s a kid’s film) in order to open the portal and trap the monsters in Limbo. They ask one of the member’s older sister to help them since they think she is a virgin.

"Scary German Guy"

“Scary German Guy”

It appears that “Scary German Guy” is an expert on monsters, but unfortunately not the monsters in Monster Squad. It turns out he was a victim of the Holocaust (talk about dark for a family movie) with a concentration camp number tattoo on his wrist. This is what makes the movie uniquely a children’s film of the 1980s. Back then there was no PC culture or obsession with making a movie family-friendly. The 80s didn’t care. They just added dark scenes and adult themes in kid’s films whenever they wanted, such as basically every scene in Return To Oz, Large Marge in Peewee’s Big Adventure, Judge Doom’s cartoon reveal in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and the nightmare scene in The Brave Little Toaster. Monster Squad really pushes the limits of a children’s film and earns its PG-13 rating, like a true 80s film. It’s not afraid to have children swear, talk about virginity, reference the Holocaust, mention that the Wolf Man has “nards” (classic line), and have Dracula call a little girl a “bitch.”

One of the most charming aspects of the film is Frankenstein’s monster. When they first meet him, everyone runs away except for Sean’s five year old sister, Phoebe (Ashley Bank), who grabs the monster’s hand and welcomes him. She even goes as far as calling everyone “chicken shit” for running away (this is why people love the 80s). The Monster Squad eventually befriends Frankenstein’s monster and they walk into the sunlight together in a wonderful, yet cheesy scene that looks like an advertisement about friendship.

"Come on! Don't be chicken shit!"

“Come on! Don’t be chicken shit!”

The adults in this film are pretty useless, so it’s of course up to the children to save the world. Outside of Sean’s father, the police are often shown being clueless about what’s going on or shown being thrown around by the monsters. The army of course doesn’t show up until after everything is settled, and in another classic 80s trope, the gang prepares to battle the monsters by making wooden stakes and silver bullets via montage, with an 80s pop song in the background. It’s not an 80s movie if there isn’t a montage of some sort. The final climax has a really cool mix of practical and special effects in the fight with the monsters, with some memorable quotes. While the ending is predictable, it will leave viewers feeling pretty satisfied.

"My name is Horace"

“My name is Horace”

The Monster Squad is… well, awesome! It is pretty dark and violent for a kid’s film, but it has a lighthearted tone at its core, filled with over the top scenes that are pretty cheesy, but that’s what makes it charming. The movie has flaws and can be taken apart with logic, but who cares? It really doesn’t care about being anything more than entertainment, a tribute to everything people love about the 1980s and horror films. It’s the perfect popcorn movie to watch with friends for Halloween.

Classic 80's

Classic 80’s

Sebastian was born in the Sunshine State. Growing up at the dawn of 3D gaming, he has been playing video games since as long as he can remember. The first game he remembers playing was Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64. He has many favorite franchises and loves a wide range of genres. He has owned every console that has come out, but his favorite console of all time is still the PlayStation 2. Sebastian became a Pokemon Master in 1998 when he was 5 years old and has remained one since then. When he’s not being a gamer, he enjoys writing, especially about video games and sports. Sebastian is a huge Miami sports fan and follows his teams very passionately. Graduating from FAU with a Bachelor’s in English, he hopes to become a professional journalist. Preferably in gaming and/or sports journalism. When he’s not being a nerd, he enjoys hanging out with his friends and relaxing at the pool. Wait.. who is he kidding? He’s always a nerd.

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Watch Ninja On An Episode Of Family Feud

Don’t miss the moment Steve Harvey meets Ninja for the first time.

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Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins is heading up a team on Celebrity Family Feud this weekend, but it’s not the first time the famed Fortnite streamer has appeared on the show.

Long before he reached household name status in the gaming community, Ninja appeared on the televised game show Family Feud in 2015, when he and his family went on a three-day winning streak before losing to the Beams family of Hendersonville, Tennessee.

With Blevins now appearing on an upcoming episode of Celebrity Family Feud, we thought it would be fun to revisit those earlier episodes which have now all been uploaded online.

Regardless if you like Ninja and/or the show, you’ll get a kick out of watching his introduction when he tells host Steve Harvey that he’s a professional video game player who travels across the country and competes, playing video games. The reaction on Harvey’s face is priceless since nobody at the time could have ever guessed how popular Ninja, not to mention streaming video games, would eventually become.

Watch the videos below. Enjoy!

[via Dexerto]

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Check Out the Explosive First Gameplay of ‘Kerbal Space Program 2’

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Kerbal Space Program 2

Gamescom 2019 brought with it a host of surprising game announcements and updates on existing games. One of the most unexpected announcements was the reveal of Kerbal Space Program 2, the sequel to the viral, totally accurate space simulator that first released on PC back in 2011.

Now, shortly after its initial reveal, Gamespot has gone live with the first gameplay of this much-anticipated sequel. Fittingly enough, the footage showcases all the spectacularly explosive spaceships, interstellar exploration, and intrepid Kerbal explorers that the series has become known for.

It should be noted that the footage is pre-alpha, so although the gameplay does show some issues with frame rate and graphics, those should be polished up before the game’s full launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2020.

Here’s the full description of the game, courtesy of its official website:

With the original Kerbal Space Program having become one of the most beloved games of all time and now bigger than ever, Kerbal Space Program 2 has been fully redesigned from the ground up to meet the demands of modern and next-generation space exploration, all while maintaining the monumental foundations of the first game. Build a space program, construct powerful spacecraft, design resource-gathering colonies, and much more to uncover the secrets of the galaxy. A plethora of exciting new features will captivate veteran and returning players, as well as usher in a whole new wave of Kerbonauts to the ingenious and comedic world that has entertained millions of players.

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Netflix Releases Teaser for ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’

The Netflix Television Event will launch globally on Friday, October 11

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It was on September 29, 2013, that Breaking Bad came to an end with the final episode of that series, “Felina” in which Walter White evades a nationwide manhunt in order to return to New Mexico and deliver the remaining profits from his illegal methamphetamine empire to his family. Knowing cancer will soon kill him, Walt revisits his former acquaintances to settle his affairs and prepare himself for the conflict and his death. When the credits rolled, audiences believed it would be the last time they would see many of these characters and while we did get a spinoff show in Better Call Saul, one character who hasn’t returned in any other show as of yet is Jesse Pinkman. That’s about to change…

Netflix announced on Saturday that it will release a new Breaking Bad movie that will center on Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who was last seen in the TV series speeding off in a stolen Chevrolet El Camino to parts unknown.

The film, titled El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, was written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, and will be released on Netflix on Oct. 11. The film is also expected to be broadcast at a later date on AMC, the cable network where the TV series was originally shown from 2008 to 2013.

Official Synopsis:

The Netflix Television Event El Camino: Breaking Bad Movie reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy-winner Aaron Paul).  In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.  This gripping thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad.  The movie is produced by Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Charles Newirth, Diane Mercer and Aaron Paul, in association with Sony Pictures Television.

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Watch the Trailer for ‘The Mandalorian’ the First Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Series

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Thanks to the arrival of the D23 Expo, Disney has revealed the first trailer for its long-awaited Star Wars original series, The Mandalorian.

Created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), the series is set after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows Pedro Pascal as a mysterious, gun-slinging Mandalorian bounty hunter who navigates the seedier side of the Star Wars universe.

Along with Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian stars Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, and Taika Waititi. The first season of episodes will be directed by filmmakers like Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.

the mandalorian trailer

Here’s the official description of The Mandalorian:

After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

The Mandalorian begins streaming on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

Check out The Mandalorian trailer below.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Soundtrack Gets a Vinyl Release

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While we don’t publish music news or music reviews here at Goomba Stomp, we are huge fans of vinyl and since we cover film, we figured this announcement would interest some of our readers.

Back in 2017, Jordan Peele’s Get Out topped our list of the best films of 2017 and while the year isn’t yet over, there’s a good chance his follow-up Us, will land somewhere on our best of the year list as well. There are many reasons why we love Peele’s ambitious sophomore film including for the suspense, cinematography, performances, and direction, but one thing that doesn’t get enough praise is the soundtrack by Michael Abels. And if you like us, love the original score, you’re going to love this bit of news.

After giving his Get Out soundtrack a vinyl release last year, Jordan Peele is now doing the same for the soundtrack to Us.

WaxWork Records announced the news earlier today and if you’re planning on buying a copy, you don’t have to wait since it is now available to purchase through the label’s website.

The soundtrack, which received a digital release earlier this year, features composer Michael Abels’ score, in addition to songs from Janelle Monáe, Minnie Ripperton and the “Tethered Mix” of Luniz’s “I Got 5 on It” that appeared in the film’s first trailer. The album artwork was created by illustrator Edward Kinsella and features an interactive die-cut mirror board back cover, a heavyweight art print and an exclusive essay from UCLA Professor, scholar, and activist Shana L. Redmond Ph.D.

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Freelance Film Writers

Goomba Stomp is the joint effort of a team of like-minded writers from across the globe. We provide smart readers with sharp, entertaining writing on a wide range of topics in pop culture, offering an escape from the usual hype and gossip. We are currently looking for Film, TV, Anime and Comic writers.

Contact us: Editor@GoombaStomp.com

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