Saturday, November 10, 2007

A good Regehr film

Lest anyone think that all of Duncan Regehr's movies are terrible, I want to recommend one very good one: The Monster Squad from 1987. It was just released to dvd for the first time this summer, as it's the 20th anniversary, and in the intervening years it has attained a cult status. I never saw or even heard of this movie when it came out; I think I was just in the wrong demographic, and I'd have figured it to be a kids' movie. WEll, strictly speaking it IS a kids' movie, as it revolves around a bunch of kids saving the world from monsters, but it's a lot of fun for adults too. It was made with a lot of care, with beautiful colour in the photography, and the special effects still stand up well even after all these years. The script is funny and witty, too, and the kids are quite believable (especially when it comes to some swearing and decidedly non-PC dialogue).

Regehr plays Dracula, and he's a very VERY good Dracula. Not at all silly or cheesy; yeah, the role's a bit campy, it has to be with such a history, and it's played strictly according to the book - long cape (red on the inside), high collar, smooth black hair - but he can still do it without being a caricature. This IS Dracula; if other people haven't realized until now how very serious long black capes and high collars are, well, that's their problem, not his!

The story is completely silly, but lots of fun - all the Universal Studios monsters have been summoned by Dracula to help him destroy this magic amulet which keeps the powers of evil at bay. Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy and the Gill Man (Creature from the Black Lagoon) all join forces on this project. The makeup and costumes are really great, and the monsters all look slightly different from their originals, but still clearly the same. Tom Noonan plays a very tender-hearted Frankenstein who ends up helping the kids. I won't tell you any more of the plot, because it will just sound so silly you won't want to watch it. But I really recommend it; and if you have kids, I'll bet they'd like it too. Emma watched it with me and laughed at all the right places, and she's never even seen the original monster movies it's paying tribute to. It doesn't matter, though; she KNOWS who they are just because they're such cultural icons.

Oh, and Wolfman's got nards.


Anonymous ellie m said...

Believe it or not, I really want to see this. There were some very good comments on it a while back on IMDB.

Regehr has a way of taking even his camp roles seriously (witness Blackpool in Wizards & Warriors) to the point where he sometimes seems to be in a different production than everyone else. He's always worth watching, therefore, even in bad movies.

2:46 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Oh, I think you'll enjoy it! Do let us know what you think when you finally do see it. And I quite agree, Regehr is in a class by himself when it comes to acting. Even in the execrable 'Killer Buzz', he was worth watching. There's just a moment when he looks up with those big serious eyes, and you think, "Oh, here is a person to be reckoned with!" It's not his fault the scriptwriters were so stupid. But Monster Squad was a movie where everyone else was putting as much into it as he was, and it shows.

8:19 pm  
Anonymous ellie m said...

I just with the poor guy could get some better roles. I mean, he's good-looking, an awesome actor and seems very professional. He really should be in much better films, and more of them ... Sigh!!

10:41 pm  

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