What if the Little Rascals met the Universal Studios monsters?
That's what director and co-screenwriter Fred Dekker thought as he began work on what would become the cult-classic The Monster Squad. Dekker drew inspiration from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, which he felt was the perfect mix of horror and comedy. The movie was also a reminder of his childhood days spent in front of the television watching science fiction.
Dekker said, "The Monster Squad is my tribute to my own sense of being somewhat of an outcast and being so invested in these magical worlds that I saw in black and white on the TV."
Go behind the scenes of the monster mash below!
1. Liam Neeson was almost Dracula.
Neeson’s audition impressed the team, but they ultimately went with Duncan Regehr. “He kind of blends elements of Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, and Frank Langella. He’s got a little bit of everything,” Dekker said of Regehr’s performance. During the production, Regehr stayed in character and costume, which spooked the young actors. “I saw him coming one way, and I went the other,” Ashley Bank remembered.
2. Universal turned it down.
Since the movie was a tribute to classic film monsters, the team approached Universal Studios with the project. Unfortunately, they were turned down. The challenge then became making the monsters look recognizable without infringing on Universal's copyright (and then getting dragged into court for it). With small changes, they were able to remain true to the monsters, while also making them different. For example, with Frankenstein, they avoided using green makeup. Also, rather than using bolts on the side of his neck, they used electrodes on the side of his forehead.
3. Andre Gower wanted to play Rudy.
In fact, he was even offered the role! However, he had already accepted his role in The Monster Squad. “I was actually disappointed. As we all know, Rudy is the cool kid,” Gower said. “But I think it all worked out. We have a pretty good cast.”
4. Another creature feature has a nod to Monster Squad.
Dekker came up for the idea for The Monster Squad before another film of his, Night of the Creeps, was released. Similar to Squad, Creeps borrowed elements from B-pictures in creating its monster universe. Creeps also includes a shout-out to Monster Squad in a bathroom scene. Written on the wall is “Go Monster Squad!”