Sunday, March 25, 2012

Silver Screen Sunday {Mad Monster Party?}

As you have probably guessed by now, Silver Screen Sunday has become a 'whenever I feel like it' feature for the time being. When my recent, er, obsession with Monster High dolls made me start thinking about other monster things that I love, I remembered I wanted to do a post on Mad Monster Party and never got around to it. So here it is!

For those of you who haven't seen it, Mad Monster Party is a 1967 Rankin/Bass animated feature; the basic plot is that Dr Frankenstein (voiced by Boris Karloff) is ready to give up the monster business and calls a convention of monsters, including Dracula, The Mummy, The Werewolf, et al, to elect his successor. 

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I will admit that this is the only Rankin/Bass stop-motion film or special that I've seen but I have a feeling airing them on TV isn't as big a thing here in Australia as in the United States? Regardless, this movie is fab and appeals to me on many levels - I love monsters, I love kitsch and I love stop-motion animation. (Just a note: I think the ratio is slightly off on these screenshots but I didn't realise until after I'd saved them all.)

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One of my absolute favourite things about this film is the character Francesca - I mean, she's got great style, amazing hair and is pretty darn sassy!

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One of the sleekest flips I've ever seen

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And check out the facial expressions - the animation in this is seriously impressive. Sure, the motion may be a little stilted at times but I think it adds to the charm. Plus all of the figures are so well crafted and have very individual personalities. 

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I think this is one of my favourite onscreen Draculas, though I seem to say that about most Draculas. Hmmm. Check out the tune Our Time to Shine on YouTube.

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Her green chiffon dress looks amazing with her bright red hair.

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This is my favourite of Francesca's outfits....The pink ribbon tied around her pith helmet really does take the cake!

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But it's not just Francesca's style that I like - I've always been attracted to the casual merchant sailor look as you can see on the fella on the right. (The more I look at him, the more he's starting to resemble Mike Nesmith! I think it's just the beanie...his jaw is more square than Mike's.)

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And The Monster's Mate, second from right, (voiced by Phyllis Diller) has an interesting go-go granny chic look. I dig it! And you can see more screenshots from the film over here at Flickr.

The theme song sung by Ethel Ennis over clips from the film - I wanted to put this song by 'Little Tibia and the Fibias' but embedding was disabled! The theme is great, too, but in a different way - it's not the kind of song I was expecting for a film about monsters but it's quite lovely.

So, who else loves this film or monster films in general? What are some of your favourite monster films?

Andi B. Goode


  1. I have to admit to not being a huge monster film fan… I'm too much of a scardey cat! But I do love the Naomi Watts version of King Kong. The fashions are wonderful and apart from making me cry… I love it! :)

    Mad Monster Party looks like so much fun! I love Francesca's hair and her gold cheongsam is pretty fab too.

  2. Teresa - I am as well but the old monster movies aren't all that scary, I find. I haven't seen the remake because I loved the 1933 version so much! And it uses the same kind of stop motion animation that Mad Monster Party does.

    Ah, yes! I completely forgot to mention the cheongsam - I was going to read up about them in terms of cultural appropriation, etc. so I could link something here but forgot.

  3. I LOVE Rankin and Bass, don't I have never watched this, actually, I vaguely remember watching it on tv as a child.

    Thanks for the post Andi, it's the push I needed to buy it! x

  4. i've never even heard of this one! i'm going to have to find a copy!

  5. Oh my god. This show scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kid! I couldn't remember the name of it so thank you for your post! I would love to see it again as an adult. :)

  6. I love the original version of King Kong so much I have it on VHS tape! I also love the old Godzilla movies and all those B-Movies as well. My new hobby is trying to collect them all on VHS.

  7. Rae - I hope you find it/enjoy it!
    Vintage Vixen - oh dear! Well, it's pretty cutesy/tame so hopefully it doesn't scare you anymore ;)
    thecraftymsdevil - oh, that's a really neat hobby! I like the original King Kong too :) the animation is so charming!

  8. Peta - yay! I hope you enjoy it. I only just saw your comment because it was in my spam comments!!

  9. Adorable! I love those old claymation movies. This looks pretty funny.


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