Squad Up: Fred Dekker’s The Monster Squad still slaying after 30 years


Fred Dekker’s ‘The Monster Squad’ turns 30 today, and we’re getting out the silver bullets and stakes to celebrate. Attention, we’re calling all monsters.

After 30 years , we’re all still “The Monster Squad!”


Today marks a milestone in the history of horror. Exactly 30 years ago today, fright fans were experiencing greatness as The Monster Squad came rushing to theaters. With direction by Fred Dekker, the now cult classic is unlike any film in the annals of terror — that’s why we’re celebration the film.


Fred Dekker’s ‘The Monster Squad’ — Courtesy of Tristar Pictures

More from Horror Movies

In the late ’80s, horror is in the last innings of its heyday. With slashers the drink of choice, Universal Monsters are the past’s pudding. With Jason Voorhees is a hero, Michael Myers a king and Freddy an icon, the decade is preoccupied with the new scare on the block. But little did anyone know, history is about to repeat itself. And soon, Dracula and the gang will have their day.

Destroying the theater scene in the summer of 1987, The Monster Squad is a true cult favorite. Mixing the Universal Monster craze with writer/director Fred Dekker’s unique sensibilities, the genre bending film is still as good as ever. But what makes the film iconic is its approach, ranking the film in the elite of “ahead-of-its-time” pictures.

If you haven’t seen the film, which…really?, allow me to attempt a synopsis. After forming the ultimate band of misfits, a few unfortunate kids face their biggest challenge. With monster slaying their cree, the gang must wage the ultimate war between man and beast. With Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and The Wolfman among the foes at their door, the group must figure out how to stop the slaying. Do they succeed? You’ll have to watch the film…


One of the selling points of The Monster Squad is its playfully tone. Involving youths fighting some of the most vile creatures the screen’s ever seen, the film knows how to have a good time. With evidence such as “good” Frankie, the picture is able to do many things at one– but, most of all, be fun in the process.


What I love most about the ’87 classic is its take-no-prisoners attitude. While most would try and make a film specifically for kids, Dekker creates a nark narrative busting with frights involving children. Infusing some of the best montages in horror history, the film is a blast without pandering to a possible audience.


It’s been 30 years since Fred Dekker’s cult classic began shatter genre tropes. And as the film ages, its importance gains traction. As each year passes, the underrated classic gains more fans — the squad is expanding.

While it’s sad Dekker didn’t have the career he should’ve, his contributions keep giving. With three decades behind The Monster Squad, we’re still here to echo Rudy’s words: ‘We’re in the damn club aren’t well.” Here’s to another 30 years of true ’80s royalty.

Next: Hockey History: Celebrating 'Friday the 13th Part III'

Love ‘The Monster Squad’? Helping bring in the three decade milestone? Let the other monster know what you think in the comment section below.