Monster Squad Anniversary Tour (Event Report)

Wolfman does indeed have nards, his name absolutely is Horace, and Rudy is still cool 30 years later.

As part of the 20th anniversary of the Alamo Drafthouse, three of the kids from Fred Dekker’s classic Monster Squad have been on tour to different Alamo cities for screenings of the film, Q&A, and autograph sessions to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie’s release.

The Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson, TX was stop 14 of 17, and despite increasing exhaustion, stars Andre Gower (Sean), Ryan Lambert (Rudy), and Ashley Bank (Phoebe) were in fine form.

After a wild Rudy-cosplay entrance complete with BMX bike and leather jacket, Alamo Creative Director James Wallace inducted the audience into the Squad and then introduced the trio of actors.  A short introduction by the Squad members and the announcement that we’d be watching a rare 35mm copy of the film, and the show began.

Andre Gower, Ryan Lambert, and Ashley Bank greet the crowd.

The 35mm print did indeed show its age, with a lot of dirt/damage and some focus and audio trouble, but nothing could drag this sold out crowd out of the magic of the flick.  Despite some very dated fashion, music, and language (lots of F-bombs…and I don’t mean fuck) the picture hasn’t lost a bit of its charm.  As much of the Q&A afterwards mentioned, this was the Universal “Dark Universe” before they tried it.  With the amazing Stan Winston team behind the creature effects and a high quality cast of adults and kids, Monster Squad continues to be a fantastic, fun film.

Following the movie, the cast returned to the theater only to be greeted by a bit of a prank by Wallace: he’d found some…compromising photos of Lambert and Gower while looking for images to use to promote the screening.  Teen Beat, Teen Bop, Tiger Beat…these two had their time as teen heartthrobs, and it was a time of terrible hair and worse fashion choices.  Lambert’s reaction was the most direct: “What the FUCK is THIS?!?”  Gower was decidedly more embarrassed, however, due to a couple of shots from a promo for “Circus of the Stars” which involved a rather revealing juggler’s top and low-riding acid washed jeans.  “Now I’m going to have to explain this…and…well, shit.”  Lambert couldn’t stop laughing, and Bank said it was the best thing she’d seen on the entire tour.

The Monster Squad revisit their teen heartthrob days.

Once the mayhem and Gower’s humiliation died down, the cast settled in for a Q&A about the film.  Wallace and the crowd had some great questions about the film and their parts in it.  The crowd’s favorite answer came when they were asked if there were parts of the film that weren’t included in the final cut that they missed.  Gower told the story of an actor who had tried out for Dracula, but they wanted to go with someone older and more experienced.  He was to be included in the scenes when the kids first go to the house on Shadowbrook to find the amulet, pretending to be a Van Helsing relative, but actually a vampire.  A chase would ensue running into all of the monsters before finally winning the amulet.  Apparently this was cut when the shooting ran long, even though the actor was there and ready to shoot.

The actor?  Liam Neeson, fresh from Krull, (“the ultimate fidget-spinner movie” per Lambert) looking to break through in the States.  Too bad we never saw him in anything else, it sounds like he had promise.

Gower also revealed that the very-visible camera crew planted around the theater was for a documentary he’s producing about the Monster Squad fandom and journey from flop to legend.  Look for more on this project coming soon on Dread Central!

Alamo Creative Director James Wallace leads the Monster Squad Anniversary Tour Q&A

Everyone in the theater was handed a commemorative one-sheet signed by all three actors on their way out, but could line up in the lobby to meet them, get a photo, or have a personal item signed.

The Squad meet the fans.

As is always the case with the Alamo, the event was fantastic, packed with true fans of the film, and a great time was had by all.  If you’re in NYC or VA, you have one last shot at seeing the last three days on this tour, so check your local Alamo for details!

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Mr. Dark

A man of mystery. An enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a low-carb whole grain tortilla. A guy who writes about spooky stuff.

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