Starring: Fred Savage, Daniel Stern, Margaret Whitton, Howie Mandel
Written By: Terry Rossio, Ted Elliot
Directed By: Richard Alan Greenberg
Studio: Lions Gate/Vestron Video
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No one ever believes kids when they say that there’s a monster under their bed or in their closet. But what happens when the monsters are real? They become your best friend!
“Little Monsters” stars Fred Savage, Daniel Stern, Margaret Whitton and Howie Mandel (as Maurice the monster) and is one of those classic 80s children’s introductions to horror comedy. Brian (Fred Savage) is a sixth-grader whose family recently moved to a new town and is having trouble making new friends. To make things worse, his little brother won’t leave him alone about a monster under his bed. With some science and pure ingenuity, Brian sets out to prove his brother wrong by trapping the “monster”. Much to Brian’s surprise, he discovers that monsters are indeed real and encounters a blue punker monster named Maurice. Accidentally exposing him to sunlight which is harmful to monsters, Brian saves Maurice from eminent death and the two become friends. Maurice introduces Brian to the world of monsters and its somewhat complicated hierarchy. The two step on the wrong toes and things go awry as Brian’s brother is kidnapped leaving the pair to recruit some reluctant friends and former enemies in order to save Brian’s brother. Zany hilarity ensues.
As a child of the 80s I remember watching “Little Monsters” on multiple occasions and I always enjoyed the live-action/cartoon feel of the movie and its light horror comedy elements. Monster world was kind of dark and scary to a little kid but Maurice always lightened the mood. Watching the movie now, I view it somewhat as a kids version of “Beetlejuice” but with 80s dark humor charm. The special effects in the movie are somewhat dated but the monster costumes and practical effects still hold up today. Howie Mandel was surely influenced by “Beetlejuice” which was released the year before. He hammed up the character and made Maurice one bit annoying, hyper and demented but still charming.
While the plot of the movie didn’t win any awards, it was still fun and entertaining as Brian slowly went from problem child with an overactive imagination, to hero of the day…gaining friends along the way. 22 years later, I the movie is still fun to watch and a great beacon of my childhood.
Lions Gate did a wonderful job of remastering the film in HD for the first time with this release. Unfortunately, there is no 4K release yet but hopefully that will be in the works for Ultra-Defheads. You do get a digital copy of the film for your digital library which is an added bonus.
“Little Monsters” never did get the proper release but thankfully it received cult status over the years thus meriting the long-overdue Blu-ray/digital release via the Vestron Video Collector’s Series. The movie is an underrated gem of the 80s and would fit right in in an 80s movie marathon alongside films such as “The Goonies”, “Monster Squad” and “The NeverEnding Story”. So grab some popcorn, a handful of Reese’s Pieces and your favorite flavor of Slice and escape into monster land!
Blu-Ray Special Features:
• *NEW* Audio Commentary with Jarret Gahan, Editor-in-Chief of CultofMonster.com
• *NEW* Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with Composer David Newman
• *NEW* “Call Him Maurice” – An Interview with Actor Howie Mandel
• *NEW* “Beneath the Bed” – An Interview with Producer Andrew Licht
• *NEW* “Monsters Big & Small” – An Interview with Special Makeup Effects Creator Robert Short
• *NEW* Vintage Interviews with Actors Fred Savage, Ben Savage, Special Makeup Effects Creator Robert Short, and Director Richard Alan Greenberg
• Behind-the-Scenes Footage
• “Making Maurice” – Vintage Footage of Howie Mandel’s Makeup Transformation
• Vintage EPK & VHS Promo
• Theatrical Trailer
• Still Gallery
English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
English SDH, English and Spanish Subtitles
Blu-ray Feature: 1080p High Definition 16×9 1.78:1
Bottom Line: A wonderful 80s monster/fantasy/horror/comedy film about being a kid and befriending monsters. Let’s face it…we all dreamed of doing it and “Little Monsters” showed us what it would be like.
Running Time: 101 Mins