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Film Review: The Monster Squad Documentary "Wolfman’s Got Nards"

By Erika Ashley

Ok, let's get this out of the way. When I heard that I had a special screener, all to myself, I was very intrigued. You never know what you’re going to get when writing a review. Then I read the magical words, “Wolfman’s Got Nards”! I literally teared up a bit. I gasped, jumped up, and then tears started to come out of my eyes. I wasn’t even embarrassed, because this is solid gold to me. This was the documentary of ALL documentaries. This doc was about the ever so amazing, 80’s classic, The Monster Squad. Yes, boils and ghouls, the Monster Squad!

The Monster Squad came out in 1987 and is about a group of outcasts who have to fight off the classic universal monsters, Dracula, Wolfman, Gillman, and the Mummy. No, I didn’t forget Frankenstein’s Monster, because he was a good monster. Maybe “A little gross, Sean” but he was a friend and the backbone of this group. Just ask Ashley Bank (Phoebe) about how they are literally friendship goals. “Don’t go away, Frankenstein!” Anyone else tear up during that scene? The Monster Squad is hands down one of my all-time favorite films. It’s in my top 5. I watch it every week and I’m not joking. I grew up with this movie. This movie is my childhood. This movie is my group of friends back in the day.

This movie is nostalgia to the MAX. So, when this documentary starts off with everyone discussing what movie sparked their movie journey, it was an easy answer for me. I am an 80’s girl through and through. This movie has everything in it for me. Monsters. Cuties (Rudy). The hottest Dracula on the planet (Duncan Regehr). The coolest wolfman transformation scene I’ve ever seen. That phone booth scene is badass. There is no other way to describe it. One hell of a Mummy. Some cool vampy queens. Friendship that makes you feel like you’re a part of the group. And an ending that makes you scream, laugh, tense up, and cry. It’s everything to me!

Having Andre Gower (Sean) leading you through this doc along with Ryan Lambert (Rudy), Fred Dekker (Director and Writer of The Monster Squad), Ashley Bank, and Shane Black (Writer of The Monster Squad), you get to see their journey of making this classic film. It takes you from the simple idea Fred had and him creating this whole family of monsters and monster lovers. They of course didn’t get the green light to make these monsters like universal did, so they had to tweak things here and there, but working under Stan Winston and his amazing team, the monsters came out like a hybrid of all the monsters you grew up with and some of the best I have ever seen shot on film. They were really ahead of their time.

I think one of my favorite facts about this doc/film, is how Ashley Bank was truly terrified of Duncan. I mean let’s be honest, the man was scary as Dracula. The scene where he is walking straight towards Phoebe and completely annihilating everyone in his path is the coolest thing ever. He owned that role. In the scene where Dracula lifts Phoebe up by her jaw and hisses at her, Ashley didn’t know what was going to happen and she didn’t know Duncan had put on Red contacts, fangs, and was going to hiss at her. Her first take, she was so scared that her scream actually stopped short, because it literally took her breath away. So, the scream we see is her second take. Can you imagine being that little and him raising you up, hissing, and then delivering one of my favorite lines ever, “Give me the amulet, you bitch!”?! That would scare me as a kid too!

The one thing that I always felt heartbroken about is the fact that Brent Chalem (Horace) is not around to see just how much he and his character are loved. Brent passed away back in 1997 and I know he would just love this new surge of fans and love he receives. His character is one of the most relatable characters in the movie. Everyone has been picked on, called names like “fat kid”, and is always looked over. But here is the thing about Horace, he has the best story arc in the movie, and the documentary makes this very clear. He has the best one-liners and he is truly a badass! *cocks shotgun* My name… is HORACE! Every single person when watching that scene knows how good that moment feels. It’s when you take your power back! I know he is watching over all of us ghouls and smiling. R.I.P Brent!

One of the biggest battles in this doc is the discussion of The Monster Squad being a Cult movie or not. Every single person has their own meaning behind a cult movie. We all know that it flopped big when it first released. It came out at the same time as The Lost Boys (another favorite of mine). It’s a hard movie to go up against. It just wasn’t marketed well. Some of the old posters were just wanted signs and would have the classic monster on it, but some kind of bootleg art version. But almost 30 years later and here we are with WOLFMAN'S GOT NARDS coming at you on VOD and Blu Ray on October 27th, 2020! We now have this HUGE following of this movie and where was this when it came out? My take on it is it’s a Cult Classic. A cult classic to me is this group of outcasts who found this movie that makes them feel safe. It’s their home and all of us are all a little off. To be honest, it’s the best group to be apart of.

Watching WOLFMAN'S GOT NARDS only reminds me of why I love this movie so much. It has got me through some hard times in my life. It makes me happy. It’s like being wrapped up in a cute monster blanket and all of us monsters become friends. It has some of my favorite scenes ever filmed. It has some of the best one-liners ever written (I’m in the goddamn club, aren’t I?). It is simply PERFECT. I honestly can’t wait to watch this doc again. It was so well done, made me laugh, smile, and cry. This doc is truly a passion project and the love for this film is so strong.

Can we all stand up and scream this for Brent, “Wolfman’s Got Nards!!!”!


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