Do you remember the post I did in December on Rankin & Bass and their amazing animagic that was behind sooo many great holiday specials like Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and Nestor the Long Eared Donkey?
Well, one holiday wasn’t enough for these guys–they needed to create something “unique” for Halloween.
Oh, and they did…
With the genius help of Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller, Mad Monster Party is a complete hoot! It is a send up of horror films and at the time “spooky” was very chic–think The Munsters and The Addams Family! A lot of famous monster movies were also being played on TV and gaining a new group of fans.
The plot revolves around Dr. Frankenstein (voiced by Boris Karloff) who is making plans for his retirement and convenes a meeting of all monsters to announce his replacement, his adorkable nephew, Felix. As word spreads that the doctor is going to choose his young nephew for the position, the visiting creatures plot a coup d’état that would leave Dr. Frankenstein retired … permanently. Oh, and a bunch of skeletons in mod hair cuts sing a great song called The Mummy.
The monster characters are simply wonderful! Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man (wearing a dressing gown and fez, much to my delight!)
Everyone is a little bit in love with the shady Francesca, Baron Frankenstein’s assistant–she’s so pretty–how could you not?
But I must admit it’s Felix’s Locust Lock Jaw accent that gets me a bit weak in the knees. He’s like a young Thurston Howell the 3rd!
And then there is Phyllis. PHYLLIS!!
And Yetch, Baron Frankenstein’s lackey looks a heck of a lot like Peter Lorre…
Mad Magazine creator Harvey Kurtzman helped write the script and Mad Magazine artist Jack Davis designed many of the characters. Davis was a natural for the job, being famous both for his humor work and his monster stories in the pages of EC Comics. Although this was *supposed* to be a children’s film, Mad Monster Party does feature some rather dark humor and a few mildly risqué jokes–like a meowing cat at the beginning of the fight between Natasha and Phyllis Diller character–and both happen to lose their dresses right before the fight. Hmm….
And did you know that you can view it yourself for free if you have Netflix?!?
I’ll leave you with this genius trailer that will have you streaming the video tonight! Enjoy!
Have you see Mad Monster Party?