Mad Monster Party [Special Edition]


aec.lgt28192dvd 9/8/09 New
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The only theatrical feature from Rankin/Bass -- the outfit behind countless animated holiday TV specials including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman -- this quaint and colorful production pays amusing homage to nearly every movie monster in Universal's catalog, even to the extent of recruiting Boris Karloff to supply the voice of Baron Von Frankenstein. The story begins as the aged Baron invites all members of the Worldwide Organization of Monsters to attend the unveiling of his ultimate creation, a potion capable of destroying all matter. Before the assembled guests -- including Count Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Invisible Man, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon -- Frankenstein announces his retirement as the group's leader and the selection of his successor: his bookish, allergy-ridden nephew Felix. Chaos ensues, as nearly every creep and creature on the list begins conspiring against each other in a bid for the coveted office, including the Baron's outrageously voluptuous assistant Francesca (whose very presence stretches the film's "G" rating). The "Animagic" technique of stop-motion puppets is a refreshing medium for the larger-than-life monsters, and the parade of horror movie put-ons should delight viewers of all ages. Though the original negative was believed lost to neglect after the film's poor box-office performance, a pristine print has resurfaced, much to the delight of devoted fans who first discovered this gem via Halloween TV airings. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi


Review Text Although it barely registered a blip at the box office, Mad Monster Party? has developed a bit of a cult status, especially among fans of monster movies and animated films. (Tim Burton, for one, has cited it as an influence on his work.) Technically primitive by modern standards, the stop-motion "animagic" still has a peculiar and indefinable charm; while it is never really believable, it creates a reality of its own, so that even when a viewer laughs at the cruder moments, he still is drawn in by it. Of course, how willing a viewer is to go along with the process determines how much he enjoys Monster Party. It also helps to have a fondness for the bizarrely silly, as well as jokes that cause groans (many most likely contributed by co-scenarist Harvey Kurtzman, co-creator of Mad Magazine.). Fans of strong scripts (and especially of strong, well-motivated plots) should look elsewhere, as should fans of well-integrated musical numbers. The score is schlock, but it's tremendously enjoyable schlock, and very much of its period; the title song (quite well sung by Ethel Ennis) has to be heard to be believed (although the varying sound quality makes hearing much of the film difficult). Despite all its flaws, Monster Party is oddly appealing; much credit must go to its tiny but well-used vocal cast, as well as to the sense of fun that pervades the film. This is one movie that is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
MPAA Rating
NR -- Not rated
1 hour, 35 minutes
  • Dolby Digital Stereo
  • USA & territories, Canada
Video Features
  • cc
  • "Mad Monster Party: Making of a Cult Classic" Featurette
  • "It's Sheer Animagic! Secrets of Stop-Motion Animation" Featurette
  • "Groovy Ghouls! The Music of Mad Monster Party" Featurette
  • 2 Sing-alongs
  • Trailer
Number of Discs

Customer Reviews