Thursday, August 9, 2007
Woah! Wolf-Man's got 'nards!
Not many people dig the Eighties. The leg-warmers, the feathered hair, Reaganomics...Madonna’s armpit hair in Penthouse. (Eww.) But I love ‘em. I grew up in the Eighties and, though it wasn’t the coolest decade in our nation’s history, I look back on it fondly. I’m a nostalgic kind of guy and can listen to the music of that era, cheesy though it may be, for hours on end. One of my favorite things to come out of the Eighties was the movie MONSTER SQUAD. (Not to be confused with the similarly-themed Saturday morning kids show of the same name starring Fred Grandy.) It’s a great little cult film about Dracula gathering up a gang of monsters (based on the old Universal classics) to help him track down an amulet that will help him take over the world. The only thing standing between him and world domination is a gutsy gang of young kids.
Universal wouldn’t let the filmmakers use their character designs so FX wizard Stan Winston came up with all-new looks for Wolfman, the Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula and the Creature. His makeup effects are wonderful and worthy of this entertaining, FUN and surprisingly charming film. It’s directed by Fred Dekker (NIGHT OF THE CREEPS) and co-written by the multi-talented Shane Black, who also wrote LETHAL WEAPON and THE LAST BOY SCOUT, wrote and directed KISS KISS BANG BANG and played the jokester in PREDATOR.
For years I waited for this movie to be released on DVD and I was starting to fear it never would be. Until now. Some wonderful soul at Lionsgate tracked down the long-lost rights to MONSTER SQUAD and here we are. They just released the film on a spectacular 2-disc set with lots of extras like behind-the-scenes stuff, interviews and commentary tracks. Best Buy, as usual, let me down and doesn’t even carry the DVD. Amazon.com, my consistently reliable source for all things nifty, not only had it but shipped it to me, for free, in three days. I’ve been chomping at the bit to watch it but work, car troubles, a visit from the parents and many thwarted attempts to finish the last POTTER book have conspired to keep me from it. Hopefully, tonight’s the night. If you’ve never seen this little gem, I highly recommend it. Pop some popcorn, pour a big ice-cold soda, then sit back and enjoy one of the best monster movies ever made.
My sketch above started, like most of them, as a couple of aimless lines on the back of a memo at work. I started thinking about the movie I’d ordered from Amazon and, before I knew it, I’d drawn this. I’ve always loved the classic monsters, especially the Creature and Wolfman. In fact, I’ll buy just about any book or movie, good or bad, if it’s got a werewolf in it. I’ve always had a soft spot for the fuzzy little guys. Too bad I can’t draw them worth a damn. I didn’t really try to conform to any set “look” for these creatures. I just drew them and hoped they’d look good. Like Winston, I came up with my own designs.
I hope you enjoy the sketch and I REALLY hope you enjoy the movie.
Posted by Matt Wieringo at 4:17 PM