Overlook 2018: Wolfman's Got Nards
I can vividly remember pre-ordering only two movies in my life; Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace on VHS and The Monster Squad on DVD in 2007. It was a movie that I grew up with, first seeing it on HBO when I was very young. My mother taped it and that VHS was watched on a fairly regular loop. When it was announced that André Gower would be making a documentary on The Monster Squad phenomenon it immediately went on my radar as something to see. The kind of documentary that will appeal to both newcomers and longtime fans alike, Gower’s Wolfman's Got Nards is a fun trip down memory lane.
Unlike most retrospective documentaries with a small cast, Gower was able to unite a large portion of the creative team and actors behind the cult classic as well as fans both inside and out of the film industry. Of special note is the inclusion of most of practical effects legend Stan Winston's team who worked on all the awesome monster costumes and makeup. It was great to see Tom Woodruff reminiscing about designing and wearing the Gillman suit before he was a big name on the scene. As stated in the doc, Winston had a gracious attitude and was very supportive of his young team. The artists here remember their mentor fondly and clearly realize that without his influence they wouldn't be the titans of practical effects that they're known as today.
Without a doubt the highlight of the entire doc are the interviews with director Fred Dekker and screenwriter Shane Black. Black comes across as very thankful for the experience of coming up with this story that's connected to generations of fans indulging in his usual affable candor. Dekker however has numerous reservations. Although he recalls the shoot as being a big undertaking and being proud of the film (he considers it his best work), he's visibly upset at the initial reaction to the picture and that it took so long to catch on. Dekker likens it to a barely attended “piano concerto from twenty years ago” then being told that “that concert was one of the best things I've ever seen.” It's a relatable story for anyone that doesn't feel recognized in their time but in the end Dekker is happy with how the entire Monster Squad phenomenon has turned out.
If you're like me and grew up with Sean, Rudy, Horace, Phoebe, and the rest of the Squad, then you'll find a lot to love about Wolfman's Got Nards. It's a quick but engrossing documentary that's got a little something for everyone. Smart to include not just fan-service but some heartbreaking stories it's a doc that, much like The Monster Squad itself, you'll want to show to all of your friends.