Blood & Guts Rundown | 'Mad Monster Party?' Sure Ain't 'Rudolph'

I don't know why the title is a question either.

I don't know why the title is a question either.

Release Date: Mar. 8, 1967

Director: Jules Bass

Writers: Len Korobkin, Harvey Kurtzman, Forrest J. Ackerman

Premise: Baron Von Frankenstein decides to retire after creating a formula that can destroy matter.  He holds a party to announce to all his monster friends that he will be handing down all of his secrets to his dweeby nephew, Felix Flankin, which none of them are too happy about.

Trailer

Pick My Brain

My girlfriend and I both asked the same question when we learned that Rankin/Bass, the company behind many of the stop-motion Christmas specials, had made a film featuring the classic movie monsters: "Why isn't it shown every year on Halloween?"  Mad Monster Party? provides many answers to that question.  While Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Year Without A Santa Claus are timeless, Mad Monster Party? is extremely dated.  The jokes are mostly references to pop culture of the time or first-draft Addams Family lines about how weird all the monsters are.  The songs in the Christmas specials are catchy holiday staples that move the plot forward.  Here, the songs are completely divorced from the narrative, and a grab bag of sultry ballads, benign rock, and just plain awful.

Seriously, this Phyllis Diller song is horrible.

Seriously, this Phyllis Diller song is horrible.

The does have its charm though.  There's some pretty unsettling dark humor throughout it, though the edge is softened by how campy everything is.  The movie isn't terrible, but it doesn't hit many high points, so I'm just kind of left feeling like making fun of it is the best way to maximize your enjoyment of it.

Haunted By Our Past

The movie is definitely "of its time".  Pretty much every man in the movie wants to bone Fracesca, Frankenstein's Christina Hendricks-esque assistant, and none of them have a problem with forcing themselves on her.

Dracula is a fuck boi.

Dracula is a fuck boi.

Sometimes They Come Back... Again

The film's cast consists of only four people, but they all managed to have some horror connections.

Boris Karloff, who played Boris von Frankenstein, is most famous for playing the monster in the most famous version of Frankenstein.  He made 50 horror movies in his lifetime.  This would be his last role associated with his iconic character.

Phyllis Diller, who played the monster's mate, appeared on the horror anthology shows Tales From The Darkside and Night Gallery, as well as in the movies The Boneyard and Doctor Hackenstein.

Gale Garnett, who played Francesca, showed up on Friday The 13th: The Series and in the film The Children.

Allen Swift, who played every single other character in the film, provided voices for several episodes of Courage The Cowardly Dog.

FREDDY'S™ COMING!

Dell produced a comic book adaptation of the movie for September 1967.  As of this writing, two copies are listed on eBay, one for $138 and another for $300.

Comic.jpg

It Came From The IMDb Trivia Section!

  • Phyllis Diller referring to Frankenstein's monster as Fang was a hold over from her stand up, where she used that name to refer to her husband.
  • Frankenstein's first name is Boris in this movie, meaning he is neither the Frankenstein from the book (Victor) nor the one from Karloff's 1931 film (Henry).
  • The producers made up generic names for many of the monsters to get around paying copyright holders.

What The Hell Is That Supposed To Be?!!