Wolfman’s Got Nards

Andre Gower, who is probably best known for playing Sean in The Monster Squad, noticed how the film in which he starred in 1987 had grown staggeringly in popularity since its release when it didn’t have much traction. Probably because it was released the same weekend as Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys or the fact that audiences may have perceived it as a rip-off of Richard Donner’s 1985 film, The Goonies.

Wolfman’s Got Nards goes into great detail explaining the production, the reception, and the revival of the film. The film boasts many recognizable talking heads who were either in the original film, part of its creation or just loved The Monster Squad. Amongst those involved in the film’s production are director Fred Dekker, writer Shane Black, and the three principal cast members of The Monster Squad: Ryan Lambert (Rudy), Ashley Bank (Phoebe), and the director of Wolfman’s Got Nards, Andre Gower.

Then we have some well-known names/faces who are ardent fans of the film: Seth Green, Adam F. Goldberg (The Goldbergs), Heather Langenkamp (Nightmare on Elm Street ), Adam Green (Hatchet), Chuck Russell (Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors), Zach Galligan (Gremlins), etc.

“…goes into great detail explaining the production, the reception, and the revival of The Monster Squad.”

We find out that the director of The Monster Squad is still extremely disillusioned by the film’s initial box office failure and perhaps more so by its later success. It’s hard for him to believe that something he spent so much time on took almost 20 years to get the attention that it deserved from audiences. In 2006, Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse cinemas, had the idea to do a screening of The Monster Squad with the cast present. The success of the screening was so overwhelming that Andre Grower and the Alamo team decided ten years later to do a tour of different Drafthouses across the country. Ashley Bank has her baby with them, and it’s like a family road trip. The only difference that one key member of the family is missing.

Brent Chalem, who played Horace, the kid who everyone made fun of for being overweight and cowardly, and ends up being the real hero of the film, passed away in 1997. The rest of the crew who were able to grow up and see the later success of The Monster Squad note how great he would have felt to know how many people related to his character. The audience also meets his mother, grandmother, and longtime girlfriend. It was incredibly tragic that Chalem passed so young, and one can tell how much the rest of the cast and crew were affected.

“…a history of a well-loved cult film and discusses the merits of cult films in general.”

The rest of the film is mostly lighthearted fun, where we meet several extreme fans of the film, including a guy who has all the monsters from the movie tattooed on him except for the creature, and Ryan and Andre are present for the tattooing and even tattooed a little bit of the tattoo themselves. Speaking of the creature, the legendary make-up wizard Stan Winston and his team of artists was placed in charge of the film’s practical make-up effects. We also hear from one of the other monsters, Duncan Regehr who plays Dracula and is probably the scariest monster in the squad.

Overall this is a breezy fun fast-paced documentary that gives you a history of a well-loved cult film and discusses the merits of cult films in general. Even though Fred Dekker refuses to acknowledge the terminology of a cult film, especially in regards to his own work, The Monster Squad definitely qualifies. The thing that Wolfman’s Got Nards is most successful at is making anyone who watches it want to watch The Monster Squad again (or for the first time) after seeing it.

Wolfman’s Got Nards directed by Andre Gower. Written by Andre Gower and Henry Darrow McComas. Starring Shane Black, Fred Dekker, Seth Green, Adam F. Goldberg, Heather Langenkamp, Adam Green, Chuck Russell, Joe Lynch, Andre Gower, Ryan Lambert, Graham Skipper, Ashley Bank, Tom Woodruff Jr. Steve Wang, Diva Zappa. Wolfman’s Got Nards screened at the 2018 Brooklyn Horror Film Fest.

7 Out of 10 Stars

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