Regarding gateway horror, Little Monsters ranks right up there with the best of them introducing a slice of horror to a young generation in some subtle, and some not so subtle ways. I mean, if you’re gonna tell me BOY didn’t scare the piss out of your apple juice as a kid, you just might be a sociopath.
In August of 1989, Little Monsters was unleashed in limited capacity to select theaters due to the film’s financial distributer Vestron filing for bankruptcy. I can only assume because of this, many kids like myself, caught their first viewing of Fred Savage and Howie Mandal fucking with Ronnie’s lunch via a stint of showings on the new Disney channel (totally me), or by a rental via their local video store. And oh man, did the studios really sell this movie to mom and pop video retailers across the US as we were up to our horns in promos for this national nostalgic treasure!
The biggest promotion to coincide with the film’s release on VHS, was obviously the “Dial M For Monsters” campaign; which had consumers flocking to their rotary phones and potential ass-whoopings’ in an attempt to win a grand vacation to Hawaii, among other prizes like a sweet Little Monsters glow-in-the-dark t-shirt and a pin-ball machine. The visual promo, seen below, is a two-minute long rap that was featured on the VHS to get pumped up about the contest, along with spreads in several Teen- targeted magazines like SuperTeen and Loudmouth to get the word out. Not sure who, or if anyone actually won these things, but damn it would be nice to know who owns that Black Knight pinball machine now!
At only $89.95 per cassette purchased for a VHS store, the retailer kit included with said contract was pretty sweet, and clever for bringing kids into the store looking to win this contest as the Little Monsters stand-dees and displays provided much needed clues for the game. Mom and Pop shops themselves had a shot at winning the sweepstakes with a picture puzzle delivered directly to them along with their purchase, and if they solved it, were eligible for the grand-prize themselves.
While it was, a radical promotional hype for the movie indeed, the best promos for this movie at the end of the day were all the prank ideas we got from the film as kids. That being said, I absolutely stuck peanut butter to our rotary phone, and saran wrapped the top of our toilet bowl just to see if it would actually work. That being said, my dad hated that movie and still does to this day because he ended up being the victim in both of those scenarios.
Anyway, enjoy this extended VHS retailer VHS promo, and at this time, you can get the Blu-Ray from Amazon for only $7.50 if you wanna relive the fantastical world of monsters under your bed and cat-food sandwiches!