Noonan has made a career playing creeps and killers (most terrifyingly in Manhunter), but his creature in The Monster Squad is a sympathetic monster who turns out to be totally kid-friendly. In fact, he’s the pivotal character in this cult favorite from the ’80s, about a group of children out to stop a band of classic Universal monsters (Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and the Gill Man from Creature From the Black Lagoon) from taking over the world. The monsters revive poor Noonan as part of their evil plan, but when he discovers that the children accept him for who he is, without fear or mistrust (let alone pitchforks and torches), he switches sides.
Amid all the kiddie comedy, Noonan’s Frankenstein monster is a figure of real tragedy, perhaps because Method actor Noonan insisted on staying in character all the time, even when cameras weren’t rolling. Fittingly, he gets a bittersweet farewell that emphasizes his bond with the five-year-old girl who befriended him.
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