Director: Richard Alan Greenberg
Cast: Fred Savage, Howie Mandel, Daniel Stern
Release Date: September 15, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
New to the Vestron Collector’s Series, Little Monsters is the story of Brian (Fred Savage), a sixth-grader who’s recently moved to a new town and made friends with Maurice (Howie Mandel) — the monster who lives under Brian’s bed! Maurice introduces Brian to the world of monsters, where junk food rules, adults aren’t allowed, and the fun and games never end. But when Brian’s brother is kidnapped, it’s time for Brian to get serious and fight the monsters on their turf in this zany cult favorite.
Please Note: Lionsgate Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
The generally family friendly cult favorite ‘Little Monsters’ tells the tale of a boy named Brian (Savage) who uncovers an entire underground world of monsters below his brother’s bed and soon finds himself living it up with his new buddy, a monster named Maurice (Mandel). But he soon begins to realize that if he isn’t careful, he may find himself stuck in the underground world of monsters forever. The film made its theatrical debut in the summer of 1989 (just about the time that Fred Savage’s career and popularity began skyrocketing) and while many elements within may not hold up as nicely as we would hope, it certainly still remains a fun little film (especially courtesy of the nostalgia that comes with the film for individuals such as me who grew up then) with plenty of heart, humor and even a touch of horror which all combine into a fairly clever and enjoyable family film that many fellow fans will probably be excited to add to their collection on Blu-ray.
‘Little Monsters’ finally makes its debut on Blu-ray as the nineteenth entry in the Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray lineup from Lionsgate, and it definitely makes a wonderful addition to the collection and one that folks such as myself who grew up in the 1980’s and were quite fond of this one should be thrilled to see finally arriving on disc in high definition. Directed by Richard Alan Greenberg and serving as his only feature length directorial effort (excluding one documentary) it also features a great cast that includes Fred Savage and his real-life brother Ben Savage, along with Howie Mandel, Daniel Stern and more who all do quite a bit to help this one work as smoothly as it does. Even if some aspects haven’t survived the test of time as well as we might have hoped, the film still serves up plenty of goofy fun and nostalgia that definitely make revisiting it a joy altogether. Longtime fans of the film should also be thrilled to finally see it arrive on Blu-ray after all of these years and the Vestron Collector’s Series release doesn’t disappoint thanks to solid high definition video and audio presentations along with a nice helping of bonus content both new and old; not to mention the extremely reasonable price of the release which is a pleasant surprise in itself.
Overall, the new Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of the 1989 family cult favorite ‘Little Monsters’ arrives home digitally restored for the first time on Blu-ray, sporting great high definition video and audio presentations, along with a nice handful of bonus content including some brand new extras created just for this release. Combined with the pleasantly surprising low price of the release, fans who haven’t picked up a copy yet may want to consider doing so. Even while it may be somewhat dated in a few areas, ‘Little Monsters’ still manages to provide enough unique fun, dark style and humor that many newcomers are likely to still find a lot about it to appreciate. I would definitely encourage anyone who might have been interested in the film but never got around to giving it a shot to try and check it out at some point whenever it’s convenient but you may want to rent it before purchasing a copy just to be safe.
The Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of ‘Little Monsters’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of the film with a 1.80:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great altogether and delivers a richly detailed and sharp presentation with plenty of grain and other welcome artifacts representative of its film source still present and accounted for. It holds up nicely even during the various darkly lit sequences, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible along the way. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic high definition video presentation that should please fans of this cult classic who have been anxiously awaiting its arrival on Blu-ray.
The Blu-ray release features a 2.0 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless stereo presentation delivers nicely on all fronts and provides a clean, crisp and sharp audio presentation throughout. It smoothly balances the various audio elements without any conflictions, allowing the music, dialogue and various effects to all sound clean, clear and fully audible every step of the way, never allowing any simultaneously occurring audio elements to conflict with one another. Overall, this is a great 2.0 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that is almost surely the best the film has ever sounded; it should easily satisfy the film’s fans.
The Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of ‘Little Monsters’ features a nice helping of bonus content that fans should enjoy, including various brand new extras created specifically for this release, in addition to some archival supplements. The release includes an ‘Audio Commentary with Jarret Gahan, Editor-in-Chief of CultofMonster.com’, in addition to ‘Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with Composer David Newman’. We’re also treated to some brand new Interviews with members of the cast and crew and Archival Featurettes, along with more including: ‘Call Him Maurice – An Interview with Actor Howie Mandel’ (running approximately 19 minutes in length), ‘Beneath the Bed – An Interview with Producer Andrew Licht’ (running approximately 14 minutes), ‘Monsters Big and Small – An Interview with Special Make-up Effects Creator Robert Short’ (approximately 15 minutes), along with ‘Vintage Interviews with the Cast and Crew’ (approximately 29 minutes), ‘Behind-the-Scenes Footage’ (12 minutes), and ‘Making Maurice – Vintage Footage of Howie Mandel’s Make-up Transformation’ (16 minutes). A ‘Still Gallery’, plus a ‘Vintage EPK and VHS Promo’ (approximately 9 minutes) and the ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (90 seconds) for the film are also included.