Friends, on the weekend of August 14th of 1987, my Father and myself made sure that we caught the matinee screening of a brand new film boasting the teaming up of classic monsters and a group of kids who opposed them. Being raised as a Monster Kid, to say I was blown away by Fred Dekker and the Stan Winston Studios’ ode to classic Universal Monsters is the definition of an understatement. From the opening tongue in cheek title crawl to our first glimpse of the regal and imposing Duncan Regehr as Count Dracula and the assault upon his castle – I was hooked. And while the casting of the Squad themselves – these fellow Monster Kids – is perfect and delivers the heart of Dekker and Shane Black’s screenplay… it is the exceptional work of Stan Winston Studios on Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, the Wolfman, Dracula, and of course the Gillman that made me a lifelong fan of The Monster Squad!
In August of 2019 the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, posted on their blog an article about the work the Stan Winston Studio did for The Monster Squad. I highly suggest you take a few moments and check it out for yourself, if you too are a fan of this most excellent 1987 film. Because as the article , which I believe was written by Balazs Foldesi with excerpts from 2006’s The Winston Effect: The Art & History of of Stan Winston Studio by Jody Duncan points out – the Stan Winston Studio during 1985 to 1987 were busy working on the likes of Amazing Stories, Aliens, Pumpkinhead, and Predator. So not only was the studio creating some truly memorable creature designs and effects – helping to spawn franchises with three of the projects – they had to come up with monsters that captured the essence of the Universal Monsters… and not get sued.
The article is a treasure trove of information for all of us fans of The Monster Squad – providing character sketches from the late and great Stan Winston to behind the scenes photographs of the make-up and special effects artists at work. In addition they have a wonderful video from the 2013 Monsterpalooza – where Dekker as well as crew members and actors share their memories of the film. Having said that I thought you might enjoy this shorter and vintage behind the scenes video for The Monster Squad – showing off the talents of not only Winston but Tom Woodruff Jr. (Death Becomes Her, Starship Troopers), Shane Mahan (Iron Man, The Mandalorian), Michael McKay (Se7en), John Rosengrant (Galaxy Quest, Jurassic World), Matt Rose (Hellboy, Bright), and Steve Wang (Deepstar Six, Reign of Fire).