Remembering my first experience with The Monster Squad…


By Shawn Robare

Twenty five years ago today The Monster Squad was released in theaters.  August 14th, 1987.  I was ten years-old, and though I didn’t see it on the 14th, I was at the theater bright and early for the first showing on a Saturday the following week, the 22nd.  The main reason I remember this is because there were two flicks I was desperately looking forward to seeing that summer, Monster Squad and Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie.  I don’t remember the exact conversation I had with my parents that led to waiting the week until they were both out, but I remember them convincing me that I could see both on the same day and I’d have just enough allowance that second weekend if I waited.

monster squad 1

I was never good with money as a kid. In fact my allowance was usually spent well in advance of actually receiving it, either by asking the parents for an advance, or by borrowing it from my more conservative friends with promises to pay it back plus free baseball cards or action figures as interest.  So waiting a whole extra week with my parents holding onto my allowance was sort of a form of torture.  That Saturday, after being dropped off at the theater with my friend Bryan, the plan was to buy our tickets to see The Monster Squad and then kill some time in a nearby used book/comic store until the flick started.  We bought our tickets and proceeded on into the shop, my hands clamped around my remaining $4 (the GPK ticket money) in my pocket.  All seemed to be going well until I stumbled upon some unopened rack-packs of series 2 and 3 Garbage Pail Kids.  I had just enough money for 4 of these packs, and series 2 cards were getting pretty scarce by this time in ’87.  What a predicament!  I couldn’t help myself and I ended up buying the stickers figuring that I’d just have to sit and wait in the lobby while my friend caught the second half of our planned double feature.

As the credits started to roll on The Monster Squad, Bryan and I had a pow wow to try and figure out what I should do.  I can’t remember which one of us came up with the idea, but the new plan was for both of us to go back out into the lobby and pretend like our parents were supposed to be waiting to pick us up.  We’d walked around the lobby, looking appropriately concerned for our “missing” parents, for a bit before asking to see a manager.  We basically related our made up sob-story about how we we’d been waiting forever and that our parents were late in picking us up and that we didn’t know what to do.  The manager, obviously not wanting to deal with us, took down our names and told us to just go in and watch another movie.  Jackpot.  We’d managed to get into both flicks, and I was three rack packs of Garbage Pail Kids richer for my diabolical deception skills (the 4th pack went to Bryan for taking part in the ruse.)  I wasn’t generally a bad kid, but greed surely got the best of me that day.

The only other thing that I remember from that day was having an argument in the car ride home about the Sean and Horace werewolf confrontation scene.  Bryan insisted Sean kept saying “Kick him in the Balls!”, while I was firmly in the “Nards” camp…

monster squad 2

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    TheBreakfaster – Yeah, GPK is a pretty terrible flick. I love it because I have a ton of nostalgia for it, but yeah, it’s pretty bad. Monster Squad on the other hand, I could watch that once a week for the rest of my life…

  • The Breakfaster

    I was born in 1980, so I was like 6 or 7 when GPK came out. I wanted to see it bad when I discovered it. I think it was on HBO by that time. I didn’t actually manage to see it until I was 20 something! Mom wasn’t into it at all. But geez, I hate that movie. I probably would have liked it at 7 though. Monster Squad is where it’s at!

  • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

    Phibes72 – Oh man! Take some pictures! I wish I could make it up there for that. One of these days..

  • Phibes72

    Hey….did you see that HorrorHound weekend in Indianapolis (Sept 7-9) is having a Monster Squad reunion? I’m going…..gonna be a blast.