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BEYOND FEST: MONSTER SQUAD with THE MELTDOWN’S Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani

Beyond Fest, the second annual horror festival presented this year by Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey network, continued in Los Angeles this past Friday night with a screening and director Q&A of The Monster Squad hosted by The Meltdown‘s Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani. Director Fred Dekker was on hand to field questions from a very enthusiastic audience as were stars Andre Gower and Ashley Bank who played brother and sister duo Sean and Phoebe.

Before I continue, I feel the need to come clean and say that Friday was, in fact, my first time seeing the movie, however, I wasn’t alone as about a third of the audience that packed the Egyptian Theater had also never seen the 80s cult classic which was a delight for the director and his two leads.

Dekker still has a fond and somewhat protective nature about the film describing it as “what if The Little Rascals met the monsters.” When Jonah Ray asked why the aquatic creature who looks an awful lot like Universal’s Creature from the Black Lagoon was credited as “Gillman,” Dekker told the crowd, “This whole movie we were kind of tiptoeing around Universal copyrights… But here’s the key, guys: nobody cared. We went to Universal with this script! We said, ‘We want to bring back the Universal Monsters!’ and they said, ‘What Universal Monsters? We don’t know what that is. That intellectual property is meaningless to us.’ That’s what they said in 1987.” Dekker also spoke out about the Universal Monster Avengers-style team up that has been so heavily talked about over the last few months, saying, “They’re starting right now to try to rip-off The Avengers! Let’s make a Dracula movie, let’s make a Frankenstein movie, let’s make a Creature movie and have them all team up! Yeah, like we did in 1987!” That comment was met with thunderous applause as I’m sure you could imagine.

Dekker also told the audience about his idea for a follow up saying, “The only idea I ever thought about for a sequel to this movie was that Eugene’s dad, who gets up in the middle of the night and says, ‘There’s no monster in the closet,’ I wanted him to be a Navy pilot or an air force pilot, like, flying F-12’s or whatever there were back in those days and the movie was going to be The Monster Squad vs. Godzilla. That was the only idea I ever had for a sequel.”

Dekker also revealed some never-before-heard information about one creature design in particular. When moderator Kumail Nanjiani remarked, “The design of the wolfman’s face was pretty specific and awesome and I haven’t see a wolfman like that before or since,” Dekker replied, “I’ve never said this in a screening before but the wolfman’s face was actually supposed to look like Stan Winston. If you ever look at a picture of Stan Winston and put the wolfman next to it, you’ll see Stan Winston.”

Dekker also clarified that the alleged Monster Squad remake in the works at Platinum Dunes is, in fact, “dead.”

Beyond Fest, presented by El Rey network, concludes Saturday, October 4 featuring a sneak preview of Blumhouse Productions feature film The Town That Dreaded Sundown.

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  1. It’s wonderful to see the Nerdist crew touching on every part of the geek culture…