Director – Richard Greenberg (The Process, Tales from the Crypt)
Starring – Fred Savage (The Wizard, Deadpool 2), Howie Mandel (Bobby’s World, Gremlins), Daniel Stern (Home Alone, City Slickers)
Release Date – 1989
Rating – 3.5/
Blu Release – 4/5
I was born in the mid-80s and raised in the 90s. My youth revolved around the video store and Sega Genesis when I was younger. I was often renting movies and games for the weekend and rarely ventured outside during these two days off from school. Over those few years I watched so many amazing movies that stuck with me.
One of those movies was the 1989 children’s comedy Little Monsters. I rented this one so many times as a kid and eventually bought the DVD around the Halloween season one year. It has been a few years since I saw the movie but when Vestron announced the release of the film on blu I knew I would use this as an opportunity to check it out again. Thank you Vestron for sending this one over for review.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Brian (Savage) who traded room with his little brother Eric (Ben Savage) because he believes a monster is living under his bed. He sets out to prove a point but soon realizes that Eric was right and there is a monster under the bed. On the second night he makes a trap and traps the monster, Maurice (Mandel), from returning under the bed. Impressed by Brian’s ingenuity, he takes him to the underworld where the monsters live. The two becomes friends but soon another danger reveals itself before Brian. **Spoiler Alert**
I remembered loving Little Monsters when I was younger but when I tossed this one in I found myself becoming extremely bored with it. It’s still an entertaining film but it just didn’t age well with me. I still had fun revisiting it but I don’t see myself tossing it in again anytime soon.
The acting in this one is great. Both Savage brothers are amazing in their roles. Fred can be hit or miss with me in his films but I always enjoyed his performance here. However, the real star is Howie Mandel. The character of Maurice is highly entertaining and I’m still amazed after all these years that Mandel is the man behind the makeup. He does such a fantastic job and I often forget that was him.
The story for this one is absolutely amazing and I’m shocked it didn’t spawn an animated series like so many other movies of the time. With that being said, as an adult, the film does become rather boring at times. The underworld with stairs to other rooms with different monsters just really enthralls me. It’s such an amazing story. Sadly, the dialogue between the youths in the film does make the movie feel a little boring.
Finally, this is not a bloody flick. However, the make-up effects are fantastic and somewhat iconic by this point. Everyone knows what Maurice and several other monsters look like. Overall, Little Monsters is a huge part of the childhoods of many of us but does the film really hold up? I say yes but only to an extent and the blu from Vestron look great. The transfer looks great but it’s not something that I was super impressed with. I’ve seen other much older films with better transfers. Millennials will really appreciate this release more than others.
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
“Making Maurice” – Vintage Footage of Howie Mandel’s Makeup Transformation
Vintage EPK & VHS Promo