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.

Wolfman's Got Nards
  • Overall Score
3.5

Summary

A history and examination of the making of and cult following garnered by The Monster Squad, the 1987 film directed by Fred Dekker and co-written by Shane Black and how that film is still affecting fans to this day.

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Michel and Oliver Gondry Present Six Daring Short Films in ‘Las Vegas Love Stories’

Michel Gondry is one of the most visually stunning directors working...

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Revisiting ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ on Blu-ray

blu It’s not always easy to figure out why a film...

Superman Celebrates 40th Anniversary with release of Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital 11/6

From Warner Bros – BURBANK, CA, September 25, 2018 – Warner...

Event News Event Reviews
The 9th Annual Brew HA HA Craft Beer Photo Gallery

Photos by FanboyNation Craft Beer Expert, Dave Warner. Related

Long Beach Comic Con Photo Gallery

Related

viz media
Have no Fear, for Viz Media is Here! – SDCC 2018

I grew up reading more manga than I did American comics....

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
8.0/10
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Ghostbusters World
Strap On Your Jumpsuits and Proton Packs – Ghostbusters World First Look

Ghostbusters World First Look at SDCC2018 – When someone asks you if...

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
Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

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...

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
Nooligan Talks About His New DC Collectibles Batman Family Line

Visual Artist Nooligan uses the influences of his First Nation ancestry along...

DC Collectibles Brings Batman Dark Nights: Metal to Life

Straight from the pages of the bestselling DARK NIGHTS: METAL comics series comes...

pix
Make Better PIX this Year with PIX Smart Animative Backpack

Start the school year off by making better life PIX, like picking up...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Bellator Hawaii to be Exlusively Aired on DAZN

From Bellator MMA – LOS ANGELES – The Neal S. Blaisdell Arena...

USA Boxing’s 1st West Coast Alumni Association Comes to Hollywood

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (September 11, 2018) – The stars will be...

Trifecta/UFC Kick-off Golden Ticket Giveaway for Sold Out UFC 229 Khabib vs. McGregor Epic VIP Experience

Running from today, September 11th through September 16th, the first 250 orders...

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...?
Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter and the cat conjuring pt: 5… no, 4!

Oh this cat conjuring thing is getting out of hand!

Fantoy Comics Presents Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring Pt3

Pt 3 of the epic non-canonical Harry Potter and the Cat...

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring pt 2

Pt 2 in the epic non-canonical adventure of Harry Potter and...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Coastal Commoners Ep 3 The Dirty World of Politics

Editor’s Note: The views reflected in Coastal Commoners are those of...

Coastal Commoners Ep 2 Who’s Better Chris Jericho or Ric Flair and The Black Superman ‘Controversy’

This week Gary and R.C. respectfully disagree on who the better...

Coastal Commoners Ep 1 Rosh Hashanah and the Assyrian/Jewish Connection

Editor’s Note: The views of Mr. Morgenstein and Mr. Samo do...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Deadpool 2 Vinyl Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Deadpool 2 Score Soundtrack on...

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...

%d bloggers like this: