Andre Gower’s “Wolfman’s Got Nards” is a fantastic, long overdue look at the making of, and legacy of “The Monster Squad,” one of the best horror movies of the eighties and one of my favorite films of all time. Anyone who knows me, knows I love “Monster Squad,” just love it. So “Wolfman’s Got Nards” was ninety minutes of pure bliss celebrating this unique horror comedy. “Wolfman’s Got Nards” is not only a testament to the importance of the video age, but how “The Monster Squad” turned in to a classic underdog tale.
“The Monster Squad,” which was initially a critical and box office flop, found new life on video and managed to become a juggernaut of a cult classic, amassing a legion of fans from all over the world. “The Monster Squad” was originally pitched by Fred Dekker to Shane Black as The Little Rascals battle the Universal Monsters, and they teamed up to create what they were sure would become a hit. If anything, they at least expected some form of success in a decade where audiences were hungry for horror. Through failure came inevitable rewards, as the film slowly gained a humongous cult following, especially among self proclaimed misfits. Director Andre Gower, star of the original movie, ventures out to explore the making of the 1987 film, also discussing how much the movie has caught on with fans, and how much it means to them.
Gower and co-star Ryan Lambert are always on-screen, as they spend most of their time absolutely shocked at how much “Monster Squad” has been embraced since its initial release. Gower is very good about covering all avenues from the conception of the movie, the fact that the special effects artists had to alter the creatures to avoid copyright infringement from Universal, the disastrous premiere of the movie, and how it gained new life on VHS and cable television. Fred Dekker appears in the documentary conveying blunt honesty about how much the film meant to him and how crushing it was to see it so poorly received and initially suffering from bad timing and a piss poor ad campaign. “Wolfman’s Got Nards” is a celebration of Fred Dekker’s film but Gower covers all areas of the film’s legacy from hardcore fans, to giving viewers rare footage of Dekker directing.
“Wolfman’s Got Nards” is a wonderful tribute to the 1987 cult classic, but it also reveals itself to be a loving tribute to the late Brent Chalem, co-star of the film who suffered a tragic death at a young age. Gower devotes a whole chapter of the documentary to Chalem, giving us a better idea of who he was, and how his surviving family and friends bemoan that he couldn’t live long enough to experience the film’s immense popularity. The sad death of co-star Brent Chalem still greatly affects his co-stars, including Lambert who breaks down during a Q&A in one moment. “Wolfman’s Got Nards” is an evident work of love every fan and cult film buff should seek, and it’s easily one of the best movie documentaries ever made.
The Cinepocalypse Film Festival Runs from June 21st – June 28th