Eric (Ben Savage) keeps trying to tell his parents that he sees monsters under his bed at night. He’s terrified! His parents tell him monsters aren’t real, so Eric dares his older brother Brian to sleep in his bedroom and meet the monsters for himself. Brian is always getting into trouble, whether he means to or not, and he can’t say no to a challenge. With a trail of Doritos and a rigged bed frame, Brian sets out to catch the monsters under the bed.
Vestron Video Collector’s Series released LITLTE MONSTERS on Blu-ray on September 15, 2020. This is the LITTLE MONSTERS from 1989, not to be mistaken for the charming 2019 film of the same name. This fantasy horror movie is deserving of a spot on the Vestron Video Collector’s Series list among other classics like Chopping Mall, Wishmaster, and Waxwork.
So who are these monsters under the bed? They’re…probably not what you expected. These monsters aren’t little, they’re the size of adult men. Most look a lot like adult humans too, except that they’re robin’s egg blue and have spiky horns.
Maurice is Brian’s monster – clad in denim and leather, Maurice is a whirlwind of chaos. He explains that if Brian joins him in the parallel monster universe under the bed, all of his wildest dreams can come true.
LITTLE MONSTERS follows Brian and Maurice as they smash toys, make messes, scream, dance, flail around. It’s a gleeful celebration of play and troublemaking and excess, and no one is having more fun than Maurice, played by Howie Mandel. He’s always 200% over the top; Maurice can barely stop moving or talking. This is a polarizing movie and I’d understand if you find Maurice to be grating. He’s too instantly friendly and charming and caring, he’s so obviously supposed to be the whacky best friend. I’ll admit though, the exuberance won me over.
There are a few memorable child performances – Fred Savage is leading actor material, his real-life brother Ben Savage makes a natural fit for their on-screen relationship. Daniel Stern’s performance as a grouchy dad, especially in the opening scenes of the film, is so much fun to watch. Margaret Whitton, Rick Ducommun, Frank Whaley, Devin Ratray, and Amber Barretto are also featured in LITTLE MONSTERS.
Director Richard Greenburg was known for his special effects work on movies like Flash Gordon and Predator, and the special effects in LITTLE MONSTERS are no exception. It’s a concoction of gloopy creatures that make this movie fun, like a monster whose squishy brain is protruding from the back of its skull, or the way Maurice’s skin boils into huge welts when hit by sunlight.
Speaking of that boiling welts scene, it’s worth mentioning that LITTLE MONSTERS has a PG rating. The tone is all over the place, and some scenes take rather dark turns. Very young viewers might be scared by things like the dark cavern under Brian’s bed, or by the monster who pops his eyeballs straight out of his head. Although the movie is from 1989, it’s quick-paced enough to entertain older kids and adults. Pop this movie on for a truly strange blast from the past.
LITTLE MONSTERS is available now on Blu-ray as part of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series.