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.

12 comments:

Craig Zablo said...

I haven't seen the movie in years, but imagine at some point it will make its way into my dvd library... and I dig the drawing!

Leaf said...

That is one bad arse Gill-Man, Mafus. Much respect to the rest of the gang, but ol' Gilly steals the show.

Is that the piece you said you were working on when Squeeze interrupted you?

Matt Wieringo said...

Yup. Well, except that I was glad to be interrupted because it meant we could leave work. No complaints there.

Eric said...

Monster Squad was good to watch when you were in those awkward teen years, because you could take some pride in keeping your virginity -- those promiscuous peers of yours would need your help if a gang of Universal monsters ever showed up in town.

Now that I'm grown and married though? You're out of luck! Find somebody else!

Matt Wieringo said...

Fortunately, according to the movie, we won't have to worry about that again until 2087. If we can keep Leaf in cold storage until then...

When I was in high school, I found that reverse psychology was very effective. When your friends asked you if you were, uh, experienced, if you just adamantly denied it (with an ironic grin) they'd always assume you were the next Wilt Chamberlain. That kind of thing won't get you admitted into the Monster Squad, though.

Mike Wieringo said...

ANY werewolf movie....? How about AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS....?

That'll put your love of the hirsuit creatures to the test... ; )

Matt Wieringo said...

Nobody likes a smartass. :) That movie sucked. And since the werewolf effects were so bad, we'll pretend that movie doesn't count. Besides, I said "just about anything."

FanBabe said...

I watched this just yesterday. Yes it was hard to track down the damn dvd. I mistakenly thought it was coming out a month earlier and went to the stores and asked about upcoming release. The teenagers at the stores had no clue what movie i was talking about. My boyfriend loves the redesign on the lagoon creature and relates the movie to the "poor man's goonies". I feel bad for the wolfman's demise, as he was still trying to help the kids. Also, why couldn't one of the boys read the verses? You mean to tell me that all those little boys, including Eugene weren't virgins? They should have added a female stipulation to the lore.

BlueNight said...

Keep strong, man.

Mew said...

thank you so much for the update(s) on Mike and Charlie. I was so worried and thought perhaps I was in the minority. my warmest thoughts are with you and your family.

Heywood Jablomie said...

I second the thanks, Matt. Mike was a hero of mine and I send my thoughts and prayers to you and your family and friends who were all close to Mike. Maybe when you're back and settled and posting here again, maybe you can share some of your stories you have of Mike? I know I'd love to hear some. Again, my condolences to you and yours.

Mike

Kevin said...

I just picked up the movie and watched it again (for I'm sure the millionth time. It's still as good as it was when I was a kid.

I didn't realize how short it was. 82 minutes. I must be getting old.