6.1/10
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58 user 11 critic

Little Monsters (1989)

A boy discovers an incredible and gruesome world of monsters under his bed.

Director:

Richard Greenberg (as Richard Alan Greenberg)
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Popularity
4,474 ( 202)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Savage ... Brian Stevenson
Howie Mandel ... Maurice
Daniel Stern ... Glen Stevenson
Margaret Whitton ... Holly Stevenson
Rick Ducommun ... Snik
Frank Whaley ... Boy
Ben Savage ... Eric
William Murray Weiss William Murray Weiss ... Todd
Devin Ratray ... Ronnie Coleman
Amber Barretto Amber Barretto ... Kiersten
J. Michael Hunter J. Michael Hunter ... Mr. Finn
Tom Hull Tom Hull ... Principal
Magbee Magbee ... Bus Driver
Lisa Cain ... Holly's Friend
Tony Bonsignore Tony Bonsignore ... Beach Bum
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Storyline

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 <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some friends can be REAL MONSTERS. And some monsters can be REAL FRIENDS.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Monsters See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

ESP20 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$253,834, 27 August 1989

Gross USA:

$793,775

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$793,775
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally set to be distributed by Vestron Pictures and a trailer was even created by Vestron that was advertised on some of their VHS releases, but due to Vestron's financial difficulties at the time, the film was sold to United Artists, although Vestron did retain some foreign rights to the film. See more »

Goofs

When glen is flipping through the channels without the remote he puts on a Celtics game and then phillies games where harry kalas announcers mike schmidt's name then when glen opens the window and asks brian and eric if they seen the remote because he wants to watch the sox and celtics games however inter league play did not begin until 1997 so their is no way the redsox could be playing the phillies. See more »

Quotes

Brian Stevenson: Dad! A MONS... ter.
Glen Stevenson: What are you doing Brian? What the hell is going on? Look at this mess.
[Lifts his foot]
Glen Stevenson: What the hell am I stepping in? Doritos? Jesus...!
Brian Stevenson: I'll clean it up.
Glen Stevenson: You're damn right you will! Now get back in that bed Mr!
Brian Stevenson: Wait, Dad there was a *monster* here. You've *gotta* believe me!
Glen Stevenson: Brian, it's a pile of clothes! You're wrestling a pile of clothes!
[Brian smiles softly]
Glen Stevenson: What's so funny?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first 45 seconds of the end credits are made up of a visual recap of the film, that only consists of 3 pictures! See more »

Alternate Versions

In the DVD and theatrical cut, when Brian is first in the monster's world, he runs into a creature that has long legs and says, "Trick or treat, smell my feet." For some reason, in most television airings, this is changed "Anyone who is a friend of Maruice's is mine." See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Pinheads: Weekend Without Bernie (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

REASON TO CHANGE
Written by Mike Piccirillo
Performed by The Michael Logan Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A childhood favorite of mine, "Little Monsters" doesn't hold up upon repeated viewings due to a loose plot and cruel nature...
1 May 2012 | by MaximumMadnessSee all my reviews

The 1989 Fred Savage and Howie Mandel vehicle, "Little Monsters", is a children's/kid's film. While it was a childhood favorite of mine, I recently had a chance to re-watch it, and I have to say, it just doesn't hold up. It suffers from a loose plotting and a disturbingly cruel nature, and I'm shocked my parents actually let me watch it.

Savage stars as Brian Stevenson, a young boy who has just moved to a new neighborhood, and is feeling sad because he lost all of his friends. When strange pranks appear, set up all over his house during the night, he is blamed by his parents for setting them up, even though he denies it. In addition, his younger brother claims to have seen a monster that comes out from under his bed at night. Soon, Brian encounters the monster- Maurice (Mandel), a playful and nutty humanoid with bright blue skin, who introduces him to the world of monsters underneath his bed- a massive land with all sorts of creatures who do nothing but play pranks, scare kids and play video games.

However, over time, Brian realizes that the pranks and fun have consequences, and he and Maurice are forced to help his brother Eric, whom is subsequently kidnapped by "Boy", the evil leader of the monsters.

To give credit where it is due, the film has a strong atmosphere. Although it's meant to be fun, the introduction to the film and the third act are meant to be creepy and unsettling for the audiences, and I will say, this film is oozing with atmosphere and the general creeps. It is well paced and well-shot, and it is very eerie for children. Particularly some of the earlier jumps and some of the monsters.

In addition, the script (by future "Pirates of the Caribbean" scribes Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio) is quite imaginative, although it has been long-rumored that many scenes were cut and re-written, and that the final product differs greatly from the first draft.

Finally, the music is incredible. It's very haunting and has an air of sorrow, mixed with hints of joy. It gives a good tone and emulates the up's and down's of the story magnificently.

However, there are two huge, looming problems with the film.

First, despite the imagination, the film isn't well-written. Characters are established well, but are not necessarily likable. And the plot is just a mess. In fact, the "plot" doesn't really exist until the last half-hour. Up until then, it's more of a series of skits and pranks. The villain ("Boy") and his motivations are not made clear, and the climax, without spoiling anything, is a non-sensical, sloppy mess. It brings the film down a few points, and takes away from the scenes that do indeed work.

Secondly, this is a very dark, cruel film. Many scenes involve pranks played by the monsters, which become increasingly dark and morally questionable. Scenes involving tricking young children into drinking urine, scaring infants, tampering with food, destroying property, etc. break past the border of bad taste. And there is a great deal of violence in the film, including characters being kidnapped, burned, beaten up, and even a creepy scene where a monster is decapitated and has its head replaced with a pumpkin. It's very dark, and it's inappropriate for children under 12, I'd say. (Which is the target market, as kids who are any older are probably not going to like it) And the bigger problem is that there are no real consequences for the cruelty and violence, making the theme of responsibility very hollow and hypocritical.

This film is a mess. It deserves about a 3 out of 10, but my nostalgia for it, and the sleepless nights of creeps it gave me has elevated it to about a 5 out of 10. I'd say it's decent for older children, but parents should plan on watching it with their kids, and making sure the theme of responsibility was clear to them.


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