Cinepocalypse 2018 Review: ‘Wolfman’s Got Nards’

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

Wolfman's Got Nards

The harsh reality of the movie business is that films often live or die on their opening weekends. Whether a film is seen as a success or failure depends mightily on those box office receipts from Friday to Sunday. However, some smash hit movies do tons of business and fade from the collective memory while some notable flops slowly build a reputation as dedicated fans maintain the legacy of an overlooked masterwork. When The Monster Squad first debuted in 1987, it wasn’t a hit. Director Fred Dekker’s ode to classic monster movies bombed in its initial theatrical run but over the decades amassed a dedicated cult following. Andre Gower, one of the young stars from the film, examines the robust of legacy of The Monster Squad as a documentarian with Wolfman’s Got Nards, a film that just had its Midwest premiere at Cinepocalypse 2018. The good people at Cinepocalypse provided me with a screener for the documentary that gets its titles from one of The Monster Squad’s most famous lines.

Credit where it’s due, Andre Gower doesn’t just look at The Monster Squad as this cult movie phenomenon because he was in one of the starring roles. Gower is genuinely interested in examining every aspect of the film and its fandom as a means to explore how a commercial flop finds a second life as a cult classic.

Gower starts off interviewing director and co-writer Fred Dekker as well as co-writer Shane Black. Each provide their backstory for the genesis of their original screenplay, and how these two unknown creators found themselves hurled into a monster movie production. Wolfman’s Got Nards explores the genesis of the production, with Dekker and Black offering candid assessments of their youthful endeavors of creating a film. Gower also talks to the team that created the creature effects for the film, and how Universal Studios preventing the use of their classic Famous Monsters presented a unique challenge for the team of artists.

Interviews with the cast and crew are punctuated with behind the scenes footage from the Warner Bros. backlot where the film was shot. But it’s not just the players and creators of The Monster Squad who are interviewed. Gower takes the time to discuss the film and its impact with critics such as I09’s Germain Lussier, filmmakers like Mayhem’s Joe Lynch, and monster obsessed fans that attended revival screenings of the film worldwide. From the creature design to the film’s naturalistic dialogue, Wolfman’s Got Nards is very adept at getting to the root of what people connected to about The Monster Squad.

Andre Gower is also willing to examine why the film flopped. It had the unfortunate timing to come out two weeks after The Lost Boys. Adding to the problems, the film came out before Lethal Weapon, which made Shane Black one of Hollywood’s biggest screenwriters and possible selling point. The Monster Squad was not a critical darling at the time, and the PG-13 rating made the film seem intended for more mature audiences. The film opened and was D.O.A.

But how does a flop become a cult classic. Wolfman’s Got Nards follows the path of The Monster Squad’s box office failure and how it found a second life thanks to the combination of the rise of home video and the rise of HBO. The prices to purchase VHS tapes was prohibitive, so kids repeatedly rented the monster movie. The Monster Squad also benefited from repeat showing on HBO, kids tuning in to watch the film over and over. And though the film was out of print and disappeared for nearly two decades, its dedicated followers kept the legacy of the film alive until its DVD release.

And yet, despite the film’s cult status, there’s a hint of sadness to Wolfman’s Got Nards. Fred Dekker doesn’t hide the fact that film’s box office failure had a negative impact on his career before it ever really took off. The director considers the film his best work, but must lament that its success is far too late to do much to boost his career. (Sadly, Fred Dekker hasn’t directed a film since 1994’s Robocop 3, though he is a co-writer on Shane Black’s upcoming film The Predator). The other tragic element to Wolfman’s Got Nards is the untimely passing of Brent Chalem, who played Horace and tragically passed away at 22 years old.

The film concludes with Gower and his co-stars, including Ashley Bank who played young Pheobe, touring the country at revival screenings of The Monster Squad. That’s the big takeaway from Wolfman’s Got Nards – that immediate success is just fleeting and it’s the enduring impact that we leave on others that truly matters. Wolfman’s Got Nards is a celebration of cult classic, its genesis and its fans. It won’t change how people see the monster mash but it’s a love letter for all those who have ever sat down and watch that plucky group of kids take down an unholy gang of monsters.

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
ronnie coleman
Become a King with a Free Gym Pass – Ronnie Coleman: The King Review

A long, long time ago before IG fitness models were a thing,...

netflix anime
New Anime Series for Netflix Starting this Fall

Netflix announced two new anime series during the Netflix Anime panel at...

zombie land saga
From the Creators of Yuri on Ice, Zombie Land Saga

TLDR Cygames announced an all new anime, Zombie Land Saga, at...

Event News Event Reviews
Blizzard SDCC 2018
Blizzard SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment Brings Massive Lineup to SDCC

Blizzard in SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment brings Overwatch, StarCraft, and...

Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018
Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018 – Nuclear Blast Teams Up with JSR and Stern Pinball

Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018 – Nuclear Blast Teams Up with JSR...

Anime expo 2018
Anime Expo 2018 Brings the Heat to Los Angeles

Last year, I picked on Anime Expo not being worth the...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene
Mondo Games Unleashes Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene Board Game

MONDO GAMES unleashes Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene board game for 25th Anniversary...

Great Coffee Break
Escape Work By Playing The Great Coffee Break

You can escape work, in more ways than one, by playing The...

Marvel Contest of Champions Battlerealm Review
Marvel Contest of Champions Battlerealm Review

Upper Deck’s Marvel Contest of Champions Battlerealm Review – Travel the...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

black torch
Black Torch – New Supernatural, Action Manga from Viz Media

VIZ Media releases a new, supernatural story with the release of...

Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams
Sam Kieth Makes Long-Awaited Return to The Outback in Batman / The Maxx: Arkham Dreams

SAN DIEGO, CA and BURBANK, CA (June 21, 2018) – Batman...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
heaven's feel
Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] THE MOVIE I. presage flower Blu-ray Release

TLDR Aniplex of America announced that box office hit, Fate/stay night ...

Few Even Come Close – EVEN H2 Headphones Review

Even headphones are like having prescription glasses, but for your ears...

Black Widow Ozobot Skin
Learn the Code, then Break It With The Ozobot Black Widow Skin

Hands down the most fun anyone can have learning to code...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
NJPW G1 Special from San Francisco Results

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) the King of Sports returns to...

Jeanie Buss & MGM TV Tags AXS TV to Broadcast WOW-Women of Wrestling Events

Jeanie Buss and MGM Television Tags AXS TV to Broadcast WOW-Women...

Kevin Belington Faces Martin Nguyen for the ONE FC Interim Bantamweight Title

From ONE FC – 07 June 2018 – Manila, Philippines: The...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Harlan Ellison: A tribute (of sorts)

For the longest time in my life I was afraid of...

Iron Fist Racist
Is Marvel Iron Fist Racist? Part 2- Yeah…

After the casting controversy, two shows, and a guest appearance in Marvel...

Cultural Junkdrawer – Season’s end: The Flash season 4


Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

%d bloggers like this: