A child meets the monster that lives under his bed. He even becomes one of his best friends. Soon the child discovers a whole new world of fun and games under his bed where pulling pranks on kids and other monsters is the main attraction. Written by
Steve Richer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ben Savage also played a monster in the "Monster Ball" just before the pumpkin head comes to the plate. See more »
Brian takes a Polaroid picture by holding the camera in front of himself while in the classroom with Kiersten. Later in the movie, the photo is on Kiersten's nightstand but he is posing with his arms folded. See more »
Surprisingly creepy film from the Golden Age of kiddie flicks
After moving house and witnessing his parents' marriage crumbling in front of him, Brian (Fred Savage) investigates his brothers claims that monsters keep coming from under his bed and scaring him at night. After swapping rooms, Brian is visited by a big blue monster, and the next night Brian manages to trap him in his room using his engineering skills. The monster turns out to be hyperactive troublemaker Maurice (Howie Mandel) who befriends Brian, and shows him the wonders of the monster world under his bed, where every night, the monsters reek havoc in the homes of young children. But the mysterious monster Boy (Frank Whaley) wants Brian for himself and keep him under the bed until the sun comes up, and thus turning him into a monster.
Apart from the first four Rocky films, Little Monsters was hands down the main film I watched religiously as a child, my face no further than two feet from the TV screen. I remember finding it strangely eerie amongst all the fun, and being genuinely disturbed by some scenes. Boy's henchman Snik, a giant, hunchbacked monster with large bottom teeth, really frightened me, and the scene where he breaks one of Maurice's horns always shocked me. Re-visiting the film, roughly around fifteen years later, I can see that I was right to feel unnerved.
Yes, the film is certainly childish and playful, but has a surprising line of darkness flowing through it from beginning to end. From early on, where Brian finds an overturned TV in the darkness of his closet that is showing the climax of The Fly, to the finale that sees Boy's face burned off to reveal a hideous face underneath, the film often steps out of the childhood safety area. It's certainly refreshing to see, and this sort of atmosphere can only be found in the Golden Age of kiddie flicks, the 80's, where films like The Dark Crystal and The Goonies showed creepy creatures and foul-mouthed kids that the target audience could really enjoy and relate to.
Not to say that Little Monsters quite matches up to the two films just mentioned - it has some annoying child characters and Maurice does become slightly tiresome - but it is certainly an imaginative, funny and exciting little film. It's sad to see another of the key child stars of the era, Fred Savage, come out of the decade and dissolve into the woodwork, similar to the likes of Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. Although his maniacal behaviour does occasionally become exhausting, Howie Mandel's performance is certainly energetic, and you can't help but love him when he drinks a bully's apple juice, only to refill it with p**s. Hardly a classic, but certainly a film I will absolutely cherish from my youth, and will enjoy revisiting once every decade or so.
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