Sunday, October 25, 2015

Young Fears 25: The Monster Squad

Each October I like to run a series of Halloween-themed posts on this blog. All this month, I'll be telling anecdotes about things which frightened me while growing up.

Sometimes you enjoy a film so much that it becomes a companion to you across the years. Regardless of whether you revisit it once a year or once a decade, you're always pleased to return to it. I can recall how the summer The Monster Squad film came out it was a major topic of conversation among my peers, especially at church camp. This was a fun and cool movie to see with many bursts of dialogue which are easily remembered (probably because they were naughty words). But the summer passed on and by Christmas it had become a film you had fond memories of but wouldn't really watch again (and I haven't).

But one moment lives on in my memory - the werewolf transformation scene. I've already written about my nascent experience watching the Wolf Man and this film's werewolf was an obvious homage to Chaney Jr.'s - he was a tortured soul who wanted to be rid of his curse. His transformation scenes were presented as him becoming gradually more animal-like, which is again like the Wolf Man. But something had happened to werewolves in the 80s - their transformations had become even scarier I wasn't aware of this as my parents were not about to let me see the likes of the Howling (come to think of it, I only saw the Howling for the first time earlier this year). What really caught me about this transformation and what was different about it compared to the Wolf Man was, quite simply, froth. The man's literal frothing at the mouth as he transformed spooked me out more than the furry costume. It's still strange to think that Monster Squad was the sort of thing considered kid-appropriate in my youth, but froth aside, it me no harm.

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