Wolfman’s Got Nards is a documentary that explores the production and following of The Monster Squad.
What draws this documentary apartment from other documentaries about 1980s movies is that director Andrew Gower was an actor in The Monster Squad. The director played Sean in the 1987 classic. While the film is considered to be a cult classic, I must confess that I never heard of the film going into the Cinepocalypse announcement. Gower’s documentary is my first exposure to The Monster Squad as surprising as it may seem.
Pitched by co-writer Shane Black as Little Rascals meets the Universal Monsters, the film has come a long way. Black co-wrote the script with Fred Dekker. Dekker would go onto direct the film. The monsters were headlined by Dracula (Duncan Regehr), The Mummy (Michael MacKay), The Gill-man (Tom Woodruff Jr.), and The Wolf Man (Carl Thibault).
Upon the film’s release, it was considered a box office flop. Critics were not a fan of the film either. This just proves to show how much reviews can make or break a film, let alone determine the number of screens that films appear on. What changed over the last three decades was that people would eventually discover the film when it aired on HBO or home video. It flopped so badly that those involved were surprised when a special Alamo Drafthouse screening was spearheaded by Eric Vespe in 2006. Here’s how popular the film was: it sold out faster than any film had ever sold out at the Alamo Drafthouse! A second screening was added. The screening led to a resurgence of the film. A DVD release wouldn’t come around until fans led the charge in a campaign. A two-disc 20th anniversary edition wwas subsequently released on July 24, 2007.
A 30th anniversary screening was held at the Prince Charles Cinema where the UK was still strict about those under 15 not being allowed in. One lucky fan under 15 was, at the very least, allowed in for the Q&A. Come on, UK, get it together!
There’s an interesting discussion in the film as to what makes something a cult classic. There’s no real right or wrong answer here. Everybody has their own opinion, let alone a definition. This includes filmmakers, critics, cast, crew, fans, etc.
One cast member didn’t get to see the cult following develop. Brent Chalem, who played Horace, tragically passed away as a result of a medical mishap. Fans and friends alike pay tribute to his life. It’s sad to think that he never got to see the film become as big as it has through the years.
It’s not a surprise to see Adam F. Goldberg in the film. With his sitcom, The Goldbergs, set in the 1980s, it’s no surprise that there are opportunities aplenty to take advantage of the pop culture. “Nards” frequently pops up during the series–cue the appropriate montage in the documentary. Goldberg isn’t the only fan to show up. Seth Green is one of the first to pop up in the film.
When all is said and done, Wolfman’s Got Nards is a well-made documentary that does right by The Monster Squad.
DIRECTOR: Andrew Gower
Wolfman’s Got Nards screened as an official selection of the 2018 Cinepocalypse Genre Film Festival. The film held its world premiere at the 2018 Chattanooga Film Festival.