In 1987 The Monster Squad introduced a generation of young horror fans to the Universal Monsters. For those kids (yourself included I would assume, The Monster Squad was the greatest movie of all time, but it disappeared one day, never to return…
That is of course until it was (finally) released on DVD after strong demand from a vocal fanbase, and this monster-ific masterpiece was allowed to live again! The tragic, and touching saga of The Monster Squad is captured in the documentary Wolfman’s Got Nardswhich recently won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2018 Overlook Film Festival.
Wolfman’s Got Nards is directed by The Monster Squad star Andre Gower and features interviews with cast, crew, fans, and fellow filmmakers. Included among them are Joe Lynch (Mayhem), Adam F. Goldberg (The Goldbergs), Adam Green (Hatchet), Seth Green (Robot Chicken), and many more. Large portions of the doc were filmed at anniversary screenings of The Monster Squad with fans on camera to share their own experiences with the film, and how it has touched them personally. It also has a pretty hilarious montage of people reacting to Andre Gower’s original ‘Stephen King Rules’ t-shirt as though it were the shroud of Turin. And for some of us, it might as well be.
There are no shortage of “fan-docs” celebrating a sliver of pop culture and it’s impact on a generation of fans. They highlight short lived tv shows, movies, or bands that enjoyed a brief moment of success before fading into relative obscurity. Years later, they relive that magic after appreciation quietly grew into a cult-ural phenomenon once again. But that’s exactly what sets Wolfman’s Got Nardsapart from every other pop culture documentary. The cast and crew of Monster Squad were never able to taste that brief moment of success, assuming for decades that the movie flopped and was quickly forgotten.
“Wolfman’s Got Nards isn’t just a great title […] It’s a eulogy and a salute to someone who will forever be memorialized in the one of the greatest movies of all time.”
Fred Dekker himself considers The Monster Squad to be the best film he ever made, and goes so far as to say that “Director of The Monster Squad” will be written on his tomb. But until 2016, he shares, he had only been able to see the film as a failure, responsible for turning his career into an uphill battle. There’s no denying that the film was slowly given the recognition it deserves, but for some that recognition came just a little too late.
Tragically, actor Brent Chalem was never able to see TheMonster Squad,and his performance of Horace, celebrated in the community. Chalem passed in 1997 of pneumonia, almost a decade before anyone involved in the movie would begin to understand just how much the film meant to its fans. Wolfman’s Got Nards isn’t just a great title that calls back a memorable moment, it’s a tribute to the one person unable to feel that love and appreciation. It’s a eulogy and a salute to someone who will forever be memorialized in one of the greatest movies of all time.
Whether it’s been years since you last watched The Monster Squad or if you watch it every weekend, Wolfman’s Got Nards is a documentary tailor-made for you. It reminds you why you fell in love with the film, and why (despite some political incorrectness) it remains a classic today. There is also something so inspiring about film-making documentaries like Wolfman’s Got Nards. From on-set war stories to the trials and tribulations of special effects teams too excited to admit they were in over their heads, they stoke a fire inside you. If there is one thing we should all take away from Wolfman’s Got Nards, it’s that you should always just your ideas, and commit to them 100%. No one will ever be able to say that something you made had heart if you don’t put yours into it. And let’s be real, anything less is Bogus!
We caught Wolfman’s Got Nardsat the 2018 Overlook Film Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana. Stick around Nightmare on Film Street for even more festival coverage, and check out our Twitter and Instagram pages for highlights from the event. We’ll also be discussing Wolfman’s Got Nards on an upcoming episode of the Nightmare on Film Street podcast before talking through and comparing The Monster Squad (1987) and Hocus Pocus (1993) – Available wherever you get your podcasts May 10th, 2018. Until then, Stay Creepy 😉