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An Ode to Our Fright Masters – Fred Dekker

Written by Frank Acosta, April 21, 2016, at 6:26 a.m.

Every single day, of every single month, of every single year, is someone’s birthday. And the celebrity world is no exception. But instead of focusing on every Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s golden day of birth, why not look to the people who craft the films these actors/actresses have to be thankful for a job?

And if we want to be even more specific, horror directors because, after all. who doesn’t love a good fright? (And yes, I am aware most A-list celebrities wouldn’t be caught dead in films of this manner, although many did start their careers this way. And yes, I am aware the date of their birthdays do not coincide with the date of this published article but suspend belief for a minute here and go with it) So without further ado…here is our Ode to Our Fright Master:

Fred Dekker, April 9th, 1959

Fred Dekker writer/director

Not a lot of people might know who this man is, let alone what this man looks like. But to those who grew up in the 80s and 90s will recognize his films. First up we have the 1986 cult classic, Night of the Creeps.

Fred Dekker night-of-the-creeps-poster

Written and directed by Dekker, it’s a nicely cheesy crafted invasion flick that blends in aliens of course, zombies, and the slasher theme. It deals with serious issues tormenting adolescent teens; fraternity pledge week, attempting to romance that hot girl Cynthia, who is dating the jerk who is the head of the betas, “The Bradster,” proms, police questioning, slugs that enter your body orally and turn you into a walking mess, a little cute zombified dog that is the cause of an entire bus accident resulting in most of the beta’s turning into zombies, and of course, humiliation.

This flick is cliched to the bone, corny, questionable, and above all fun as hell.

Fred Dekker Night of the Creeps flamethrower

Next up we have the deliciously bad House and the not-so-deliciously bad House II: The Second Story.

Fred Dekker house-1986                     Fred Dekker HOUSE-2

It seems as if authors and writers always go to haunted houses for inspiration. Whether they know they’re haunted or not is irrelevant because, in the end, they are so consumed by the hauntings, their newest bestseller will never reach the shelves.

House is such a story with an author attempting to write out of his norm in a house where his favorite aunt just committed suicide (spoiler alert for a film that’s over 20 years old). Between a divorce at hand and nightmares, monsters, and an ugly child he must babysit (seriously, he’s just ugly; nothing demonic about him or anything, just ugly), you better believe you’ll never read his newest novel. Keep an eye out for an awesome performance by George Wendt (Norm from Cheers) as his neighbor.

Fred Dekker skeleton-Ben-house-1986Now, while the sequel was not written nor directed by Dekker, he provided a story for it. The writer then took that story and made it to whatever the hell it is now with a zombified “cowboy grandpa.” Portals through every door that are stretched across space and time, saving Mexican virgins, Cliff from Cheers as an electrician and a part time adventurer, and time traveling to the Old West.  I… I don’t even know.

Any who, he has also written a handful of Tales from the Crypt episodes and even wrote and directed Robocop 3.

Fred Dekker Tales from the Crypt        Fred Dekker robocop 3

But the mother of all monster mash up movies is one he wrote and directed in 1987. One movie that gave birth to classic lines. One movie that is sheer perfection (at least to this writer). One movie that no one has been able to replicate.

Fred Dekker the-monster-squad

Dear Lord… The Monster Squad. A group of high school teenagers with a horror movie club must take action when Dracula, The Wolf man, The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, and The Creature from the Suburban Lake all infiltrate their little hometown in an attempt to destroy the world. If you haven’t seen this movie, I envy you. For you have not relished in the glory of what this movie offers. Of course you must watch it without perspective so you can channel your inner childlike embodiment and enjoy it to its fullest capacity

Fred Dekker monster squad cool kids

Look at how cool these kids were! Every boy wanted to be Rudy, every girl wanted to be…to be…I suppose either be Patrick’s older sister or Shaun’s younger sister who befriends Frankenstein’s monster! How cool is that? Who didn’t want to save the world in the center of town hall in front of a Burger King before midnight?! Why would you not want to create your own montage of acquiring the right weapons during school hours? And above all, who would not want to fight monsters!?

Fred Dekker monster-squad-monsters

Fred Dekker is writing the newest addition to the Predator series out March 18th, 2018, and it’s being directed by Shane Black, who teamed up for Monster Squad. So expect great things.

So we thank you, Fred Dekker, for some of the best cheesy horror films of our memory. Happy BE-lated birthday, sir, because without you we would have never know that, “Wolf man’s got ‘nards!”

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