Everywhere you look these days, someone is writing about, talking about, or watching Stranger Things. Ever since it made its low-key debut on Netflix back in 2016, the YA horror series has been the darling of the television world, with more people excited to see the continuing adventures of Eleven, Mike and the gang, than even Game of Thrones. July 4th saw the release of season 3, and we’ve no doubt that most people reading this binged all 8 episodes in less than a day, and some of you might even have watched it multiple times. That’s all well and good, but what do you do when you’ve waited months and months for a new season and then it’s been and gone in a day? Where are you left to turn when you’ve explored Stranger Things upside down and inside out? Well, we think we might have come up with a show that just might fill the Demogorgon sized hole in your lives between seasons – The Monster Squad.
It’s entirely possible that many of you are scratching your heads right now at the very name, but The Monster Squad was Stranger Things before Stranger Things was even a thing. Released in 1987, it was a black horror comedy movie about a group of nerdy kids who are obsessed with classic Universal horror movies who unwittingly stumble upon a plot by Count Dracula and his fellow monsters (Frankenstein, Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Wolfman) to locate an ancient amulet which will allow them to rule the world.
The film featured a cast of kids, each playing up a typical 80s nerd trope, who all spend their time hanging out in their Louisiana clubhouse, reading comics, talking about Universal horror movies, and avoiding local bullies. These beloved characters could easily be the next Dustin, Mike, Will, and Lucas. There’s also a cop in the movie, a scary local German guy who knows too much, and the cool outsider type kid that joins the gang. That’s enough of a cast to build a series around for starters. With an order of 10 episodes for season 1, these could easily be fleshed out and given much deeper backstories than they ever were in The Monster Squad movie.
One criticism of The Monster Squad movie would be that the story seems to just come out of nowhere. There is some vague exposition about Van Helsing trapping the monsters in time 100 years earlier, but the writers – including Shane Black – never seemed too worried about going into any real detail, or explaining character motivations beyond they are evil and want to rule the world. That’s not a bad thing for a popcorn movie, but for a Monster Squad TV show, just like with the characters, there is plenty of room to expand this idea and to give more time to the actual story behind the story. Heck, the TV show doesn’t even need to be a remake of the movie if you don’t want it to be. The kids could still drool over the Universal Monsters, keeping that tie to the original idea, but find themselves battling much less cartoonish villains over the course of the series. It doesn’t need to be Scooby Doo, just as long as someone utters the immortal line: “Wolfman’s got nards”, then we really don’t care too much.
There are a few movies and old TV shows out there that could just as easily be reworked to present them as the next Stranger Things, but we’re pretty sure The Monster Squad is not only the best fit, it’s the one idea that nobody would see coming, which was kinda how Stranger Things happened in the first place. They say you can only catch lightning in a bottle once, and that’s fine but there is definitely a developing niche for YA horror and adventure shows that needs to be filled and adapting this iconic cult classic would be a hell of a way to start.
Would you like to see a Monster Squad TV show? Do you think it could be as good or as big as Stranger Things? What other old movies or TV shows would you like to see help fill the YA horror void when Stranger Things isn’t on? Let us know in the comments below.