Monster Squad, about a squad of monster-busting kids, was not a hit upon its release in 1987. So Andre Gower, one of the stars of the film, was surprised to discover it had a substantial following outside of what he calls the Monster Squad bubble. And the continued fan fascination with the film fuels his new documentary Wolfman’s Got Nards.
The actor-director says he first noticed a resurgence of Monster Squad love around 2006 or 2007, near the 20th anniversary of the film.
“The spark of the concept was this face-to-face interaction with these fans going to screenings or appearances or conventions, and hearing these personal stories of what this movie meant to these people,” Gower says. “And at the beginning, we thought, ‘Oh, this is interesting. This is very neat. And this was cool. And there’s only a handful of these people that are really dedicated like this, and boy, some of these people that really impacted them.'”
But like a monster, it didn’t stop.
“What you find out is that it’s not a small group,” he says. “It’s a very large group and now they’re connected.”
He continues: “The stories didn’t stop. And they got deeper and more personal. … I thought their stories were a story.”
Gower, who is now 47, had a busy career as a childhood actor, bouncing from The Young and the Restless to TJ Hooker to Monster Squad to Mr. President to The Hogan Family. Today he hosts The Squadcast with Ryan and Andre Podcast with his Monster Squad co-star Ryan Lambert.
Though the movie didn’t succeed at the box office, many kids who saw it in the late ’80s or early ’90s didn’t know that. It was just a cool movie that someone recommended at school, or passed along on a VHS tape.
“This is the word-of-mouth movie, this is a kid in the schoolground, in the neighborhood, the backyard-type of word-of-mouth thing,” he says.
He still encounters fans who relate to him deeply — or at least the childhood version of him. He does his best not to let them down.
In the convention scene, he says, there are certain stars who “kind of make the prophecy come true — don’t meet your heroes,” he says.
“I just try to interact with people and connect and honor what they appreciate, and appreciate what they honor,” he adds. “And yes, it can be a little weird, a little unnerving, if someone’s really into something that you did [as a child]… but you can’t take that away from them. … You’ve got to kind of appreciate it, respect and utilize it, to make that interaction as cool as possible.”
Wolfman’s Got Nards, directed by Andre Gower, is now available on VOD.