Believe it or not, some people actually get excited when they hear that a movie or television show that they loved as a child is getting a multimillion dollar reboot. While it is often an impossible task to recapture the same spirit and charm of the source material that the reboot is based on, there are plenty of examples of how a huge budget and modern technology can actually enhance the original story. Examples being Planet of The Apes (not the Tim Burton one. Gawd no), True Grit, The Ring, Dredd. You can even add The Dark Knight and Star Trek to that list as they were, indeed, reboots. Acceptable/good reboots work only when: The original property is a dated movie that time forgot, the original wasn’t all that good to begin with, or if subsequent sequels ruined the franchise (ala the Joel Schumacher Batman series for example). Of course, the most important reason when/why reboots work is when good talent is involved and there is an active desire to respect the source material, honor the fans, and to work honestly and earnestly – that it isn’t made for the sole purpose of the cash grab, or that it shameless panders to fans with forced references and gags. It also helps when a reboot shares the same universe as the original, that they don’t just remake the movie entirely. Which is why films like Jurassic Park, Apollo Creed, and Star Wars do so damn well… because they carry on the legacy without completely ignoring/scraping what came before it.
So… all that said, how would you feel about a reboot/sequel to the 1980’s film The Monster Squad? No? Well, how about if Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black was involved? Yes, everyone hates him for what he did with Iron Man 3, but here’s a fun little fact, Black co-wrote the original Monster Squad. So, yeah, how about now?
The original Monster Squad hit theaters back in the 80’s, during a time that cheesy horror was king. MS dealt with a group of kids who were the last line of defense against an incursion of monsters. The mashup of Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and Frankenstein’s Monster was perfectly timed and advertised to kids that were much less faint of heart than they are now. No one would argue that the movie deserved any sort of awards but it found a cult following – what with fans forever chuckling at the fact that, yes, Wolfman has Gnards, or that Frankenstein really wasn’t quite a monster at all. Frankies *spoiler* death, by the way, is ranked up there with one of the saddest creature deaths of all time! But anyways… considering how much would have to be toned down for today’s diluted audiences, chances are the reboot would be nothing like the original and could not create the same memories for today’s youth. Or could it? Netflix Stranger Things is ridiculously popular right now and it features all the great alchemy that made an 80’s scifi/monster movies so indelible. Maybe now is actually the perfect time for a Monster Squad reboot/sequel.
Black co-wrote the original with Fred Dekker, and while the notion of a sequel has occasionally been kicked around by Hollywood, it’s never really picked up any momentum. Black wasn’t even aware of the film’s popularity until now.
“The cult surprised [me]” Black told IGN. “I didn’t even realise it had been successful. I loved it, I had fun working on it and it was one of the first things I’d ever written. And it wasn’t just that it wasn’t a hit – it was a huge failure. No one saw it. I don’t know how on earth it caught on years later.”
Black then revealed that he’d like to revisit the property for a remake, and when IGN suggested that belated sequel set in the present day might be a better approach, he said:
“When you say the kids are grown-up the first thing I go to is the movie, or the book really, It by Stephen King, which is about kids who fight monsters when they’re young, then as grown-ups they’re sort of beckoned and they have to return to their childhood hometown. And I think that’s kind of close to what you’re saying in a way. I don’t know how you would distance yourself from that.”
He continued “It would be interesting to have two movies – one The Monster Squad, and one The Monster Squad and they’re 30 years apart and so are the kids; the characters have aged.As long as people understood that’s what we’re doing, I think that could be fun. That’s a good idea!”
For now, Monster Squad, in either reboot or sequel form is just a zygote of an idea. The likelihood of it happening is right up there with a Goonies sequel. Besides, Black is tied up working on a follow-up to Predator, as well as and looking to adapt Doc Savage. Still, the iron is hot right now, what with the resurgence of 80’s culture thanks, again, to the new mega hit Stranger Things. A new Monster Squad, if done the way Black proposes, could be the right kind of sequel at the right time.