Fred Savage makes friends with a horned blue-skinned monster from under his bed, played by Howie Mandel. Mandel takes Savage around his monster world playing monster baseball and ruining people’s lives and doing gross stuff. People who make entertainment for kids must think kids love anything repulsive. It’s like a children’s television executive saw a kid pick his nose once and said, “Eureka! Kids are disgusting and love disgusting things! All of em! To the exclusion of all other things! These urchins are barely more dignified than a mangy orphan dog riding the rails with his owner, Nick Jr. the Hobo.”
The first time Fred Savage meets Howie Mandel’s monster (could have phrased that better), he watches him burn nearly to death in the sunlight like a vampire hunter watching his nemesis fry after years of hunting and battle. Damn, kid- you just met this monster, you don’t know if he’s good or bad. Check out Fred Savage’s dead-eyed implacable expression as he watches the monster beg for mercy. If that kid doesn’t grow up to be a Christian-Bale-in-American–Psycho style investment banker businessman, then he’s going to make some Geek Squad dudes real unhappy as a Best Buy manager.
Oh yeah, and the fat school bully drinks monster pee thinking it’s apple juice. Then Fred Savage wakes that kid up to take him to the underworld at the end of the movie to help fight monsters. When they get down there, he’s like, “oh by the way, if we don’t make it back to the surface by sunrise, we turn into monsters.” That’s right, school bully. A passing acquaintance at your school is not only involved in a battle against monsters in which his very humanity is at stake, but he’s willing to gamble with yours as well for the sake of having someone hold an extra flashlight. Fred Savage’s character in Little Monsters is one of the most ruthless and calculating figures in the history of gross kid cinema.
The final boss monster is dressed up like a British schoolboy except he’s a grown man with makeup on and his brain is sticking out of the back of his head and his hands are all corpse-like. I want to know this dude’s back-story. He shows up for five minutes then he gets (spoiler alert, I guess) murdered by Fred Savage and his friends. Savage is right. Ain’t they got a police force down in monster town? They need to hide their monster kids, hide their monster wife and hide their monster husband cause Fred Savage is killing every monster up in here.
Also, when Howie Mandel is helping Fred Savage escape at the end of the movie before the sun comes up he stands there and gives a twenty minute speech on friendship. Friendship can kiss my ass, he needs to get the hell out of monster town. There’s no time for hugs and gifts of jackets! I kind of get the impression Howie Mandel was stalling so he could keep Fred Savage talking until the monster police showed up to bring him to justice for his crimes.
I do appreciate that the final scene of the movie involved a wino asleep on the beach and a Talking Heads song, which is how every movie should end all the time. Except for movies that are already about winos, like Leaving Las Vegas. Or the Andy Capp movie, if they ever make one. And a Lockhorns movie. Wait, are they winos? I think they just hate each other. Well, they can be winos for the movie. Like the Bukowski-penned movie Barfly. Loretta Lockhorn saying, “if another man came along with a fifth of whiskey, I’d go with him” to Leroy Lockhorn. Damn, that’s grim.