Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rare Shows: Monster Squad

Let's take a trip in the Way-Back Machine, shall we?  Back in late-September, I found a show on Netflix called 'Monster Squad.'  "That sounds like the '80's movie," I said, "But it's actually a cheesy, Batman-style show made in the '70's.  That would be fun to review during October!"  Unfortunately, the weird, alternate-reality timeline of Netflix got in the way of that.  While I still love the service, Disc 1 was labeled as Short Wait.  That was in late-September.  Despite it being at the top of my Queue the whole time, I got it in...January...from another location outside of my own State.  So yeah, Short Wait is really more of a suggestion then?  So, after all of this time, was it worth the wait?

Well, yes and no.  The show is stupid as hell.  For all of you who think that the jokes and stories in the '60's Batman show were silly, you have to see this.  This show is so tongue-in-cheek that it has poked out the side of its face and is now waving at us!  It was worth the wait for a few things, which I will mention in the review.  Let's get down to it...
Here's the summary: this guy in the sweater is a Criminology Student who works in a Wax Museum.  When he activated his 'Crime Computer' in the basement, the shock waves woke up Dracula, Frank N. Stein and Bruce B. Wolf.  No, really.
Ignoring that silly origin- which is explained and not ever shown-, our hero is super-smart and reads books that I'm amazed even exist.  He's also smart enough to stay at the Museum while they do all of the work.
In the first seven Episodes, the Batman comparisons get really clear when you see the themed villains.  They include (in picture order): Queen Bee, The Laugher, The Ringmaster, The Soothsayer, The Music Man and No Face.

They each have two henchmen, who always seem to have pun names based on the villain.  For example, Queen Bee's are Bumble Bee and Spelling Bee.  I shit you not.
The stories are pretty straight-forward.  The villain hatches a plan, the Squad investigates, the Squad gets captured and, occasionally, their Leader helps them from the base.  He is the McGuyver of the group, pulling Plot Devices out of his ass.

In The Soothsayer's tale, he uses a 30-year old Atom Bomb for his plan.  When Dracula has to disarm it, their leader pulls out a book called 'How to Defuse a 30-Year Old Atomic Bomb.'  Of course!
The key thing to understand is that this show is really, really silly.  The 'deathtraps' in the first seven Episodes include trapping Dracula in a room with a bear, trapping the Squad in a room full of loud noise and turning Bruce B. Wolf into a giant candle.
Ultimately, this show is not all that recommended.  If you're into the absolute silliest of silly comedies, you'll like this.  The show is really not subtle.  All of the jokes are extremely on-the-nose and oftentimes stupid.  They are just puns for puns sake.  I like an extent.  The idea behind the show is so vaguely-explained that it is hard to buy into it.  There's an expression called 'talking down to the audience' and this show is a great example of it.  It's...just so damn silly.  On the plus side, you can see one Genre Actor's early- and humble- beginnings...
Seriously, that's Sid Haig!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment