Mad Monster Party [Blu-ray]
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Unlike their other Christmas and Easter productions, this one-and-only Halloween flick from the Rankin/Bass team is not overly saccharin or maudlin. Not only did MAD MAGAZINE's Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis have their hands in the writing and the visual artistry, but the master of macabre himself, Boris Karloff, voiced the animated puppet version of himself as Baron Frankenstein! So you know that, like all Rankin/Bass works, it's a wholesome family movie, but you can also be sure that there is lots of funeral-parlor and gallows humor--and even a few scary moments.
If you enjoy claymation-type animation, you'll enjoy watching this film. If you laugh at the comedy of flicks like ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, you'll guffaw endlessly during this movie. And if you love to watch and collect the old classic monster movies, the DVD version of MAD MONSTER PARTY? is a must-own.
Like other reviewers, MMP was a staple of my early TV viewing years. KTTV in Los Angeles used to show this program every year, around Columbus Day (I think), and it quickly became a holiday tradition. Then, and now, I don't think MMP ever got the respect it richly deserved. It dropped from the airwaves sometime in the late 60's.
This newly re-mastered DVD has captured the film in all it's colorful richness. The sound is what you'd expect, (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), but on my home theater it still looked and sounded great. And there were a few more surprises.
For example, I was surprised to find that the film is 95 minutes long - I guess it's a product of looking back through 30+ years, but I hadn't realized that this was intended to be a full featured theatrical release, competing with Disney's total dominance of the youth and family film market in the early 60's. I'd just assumed that this was a made-for-TV production, ala "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
For reasons not fully explained, when the film was released it was restricted to matinee showings and never had the wide audience distribution and success it could have achieved. Consequently, it didn't realize its' full potential and was soon in television distribution.
The history of MMP's ups and downs is documented in an accompanying, richly illustrated, 24 page booklet, "Mad Monster Party: The Complete History of the Classic Rankin/Bass Theatrical Release." This is a real gem with interviews, behind the scene photos, and production art.Read more ›
When Dr. Baron Von Frankenstein decides to retire from his long career as the head of the "Worldwide Organization of Monsters", he invites all of his creations - Frankenstein, The Mummy, Count Dracula, The Invisible Man, The Werewolf and many others - for one final bash to announce that his successor will be his long-lost nephew, a nerdy boy named Felix Flankin. This does not sit well with the monsters, who each covet the position, and so poor Felix is in big trouble!! Boris Karlof adds his eerie sound as the Baron, Phyllis Diller is an ingenious choice as the Monster's Mate, and Gale Garnett takes the cake as the most memorable character, Francesca, a curvy, buxom, husky-voiced sexy red-head with a mind just as sinister as the ghastliest of the monsters.
The DVD is nothing short of stunning, with a beautiful, crystal-clear digitally restored picture and lots of extras including trailers, stills, original artwork, cool animated menus and a 24-page booklet included inside the DVD. A special thanks to ANCHOR BAY who have also promised to release 2 other Rankin/Bass features "WACKY WORLD OF MOTHER GOOSE" & "THE DAYDREAMER" later this year.
There is no live action, all stop-motion animation as Dr. Frankenstein (voiced by Boris Karloff - even animated to look exactly like Boris Karloff) is hosting a retirement party to announce his successor after discovering the secret formula capable of destroying all matter. The Horror Genre ghoulies are all invited as Monster and the Bride (delightfully voiced by Phyllis Diller), the Doctor's very lovely and very buxomy assistant Francesca, Count Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Creature From the Black Lagoon, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the Peter Lorre-like servant Yetch all arrive to attend the party. Among other memorable characters included are the Skeleton Band variation of the Beatles, the Zombie Bellhops, Chef Mafia Machiavelli, and the little singing critters. Brief appearances from the Fly, the Blob, and Aurora of Little Shop of Horrors also are at hand, as well as King Kong (strangely referred to as "IT"). Enter Felix Flanken, Boris' nerdy nephew and a Drugstore Pharmacist, who loves soda pop, has allergies, wears fancy suites, and talks like James Stewart. It's going to get very ugly with the Monsters discover Felix is the Successor-to-Be.
I must say, it's been a long wait for this DVD, and after a recent viewing on AMC several years ago, this delightful Horror Comedy is now back and better than ever.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my all time favorites!! Brings back childhood memories, I was glad I found this.Published 2 months ago by T. Tarasova
My favorite Claymation classic!!!Amazon,you suck for taking it off Prime!!!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
We were fortunate in being able to watch this movie via Amazon Prime before it was removed. Perhaps it will be returned. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Charles van Buren
Loved watching this with my son. Took me back to my childhood when I watched it with my brother and sister.Published 5 months ago by C. Florez