Monster Squad

Behind The Scenes Photos Of 1987’s The Monster Squad!

I believe we have more than demonstrated our love of The Monster Squad here on The Retroist. From numerous posts featuring artwork by the likes of Traivs Falligant to epic apparel by Fright-Rags. Naturally there was also the 70th Retroist Podcast episode – all about The Monster Squad of course!
Retroist Monster Squad Podcast

However we haven’t had a lot of opportunities to share vintage behinds the scenes photos from the movie. Furthermore photos supplied by none other than the Stan Winston School of Character Arts.

Monster Squad

All Images courtesy of the Stan Winston School of Character Arts

It turns out that right after the Stan Winston Studio finished the effects work on 1986’s Aliens. The team finished up on Amazing Stories and then took on the job for The Monster Squad. A project that as you can understand caused quite a bit of excitement for the artists. A chance to play with the designs of the classic Universal Monsters. Having said that though, it seems that also initially caused some gritted teeth. As Shane Mahan explains on the Stan Winston school blog:

“The challenge was to suggest those classic creatures, without really copying them,” explained Shane Mahan, “because we didn’t have permission or the license to use those specific images. So we could do a ‘Gillman’, for example, but it couldn’t look too much like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It was frustrating for us at first, because, of course, we wanted to do the original designs! But we couldn’t. We could only suggest those designs. So the Frankenstein monster looks a bit like the Karloff creature; but instead of bolts in the neck, he has bolts in the forehead. There was a certain percentage of changes we had to make to get away from any legal copyright infringement.”

Of all of the wonderful monster designs and I truly believe each and every one of them is great. The Gillman is still my favorite, hands down.

In August of this year it will mark the 30th anniversary of Monster Squad. I have no doubt that something must be in the works to celebrate this film. Having said that it would be hard to top the 20th Anniversary Blu-Ray.

Who knows though? Perhaps we might be lucky enough to get a comprehensive coffee table book? One in which even more of these great on the set photos might be shared. If I learn anything about such a special tome – I’ll be sure to share it with you all. Follow the link to the Stan Winston School up top – for additional photos and information from behind the scenes.

Did you enjoy the behind the scenes look at The Monster Squad? Don’t forget that well put together trailer!

[Via] Mr. Psycho 313

25 Years Ago: Amazing Stories – “Go to the Head of the Class”

Back in August 2010, the Retroist did a podcast on Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories. To complement that podcast I would like to highlight my personal favorite episode of Amazing Stories and what should be required Halloween viewing, “Go to the Head of the Class.”

Not to be confused with Head of the Class starring Howard Hesseman, which also debuted in 1986 also, “Go to the Head of the Class” reunited director Robert Zemeckis and Christopher Lloyd. After claiming the top of the box office in 1985 with Back to the Future, the director and actor teamed up to bring a double-sized episode that was all horror. In fact it had enough horror to have a “parental discretion advised” warning, which was rare for a network TV series at the time.

The story involves two high school students who seek revenge on their strict, mean teacher who set out to cast a hiccup spell on him. However, the spell goes awry and his head falls off causing him to become the “Headless Teacher.”

It stars Christopher Lloyd as the strict teacher and Mary Stuart Masterson as one of the students, two actors associated without the 1980s. The episode has a great balance of horror and fun along with incredible headless effects. The images of Lloyd running down the street with no head still creep me out. I think could easily have been an episode of Tales from the Crypt, another Zemeckis production.

The touch of Zemeckis is easily spotted. Watch for the slow panning at the beginning that is very reminiscent of the same camera technique in Back to the Future.

Can someone help me out? I can’t wrap my brain around when this aired. Since it is so horror-specific I’ve always remembered it airing in October. However, in researching the airdate, everything I found says this episode aired Nov. 21, 1986. But the promo video I linked to says it’s a Halloween episode. Was the promo for a repeat of it the following year? That really wouldn’t make sense because Amazing Stories was cancelled after May 1987. I can’t remember if “Go to the Head of the Class” got a special Halloween repeat the following year even though the show was cancelled. Can anyone provide insight on this discrepancy?

I also want to point out the greatest phone ever. Here is a shortened version of the episode credits with the skeleton phone. I’m sure it was just a prop made for the episode but it would be great if a company made this as a replica.

25 years later it still holds up.