Alright, so yesterday’s supposed team-up of Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, the awesomely titled Scream & Scream Again, may have fallen flat for not making even the remotest amount of sense. However, It’s All Connected must keep going and I wouldn’t let a minor bump in the road slow me down! No, I decided to persevere and even try for another epic old horror guy team up: The Monster Club! Would I join this club?
Heck yeah! Why wouldn’t you want to hang out at an early 80s London (I assume) venue filled with monsters and featuring bands like The Pretty Things and Night? But wait, how did we get there? Well, Vincent Price’s vampire Eramus bites renowned horror author R. Chetwynd-Hayes (John Carradine) and then invites him back to the club as a kind of thanks. There, Eramus explains how all the different monsters can inter-mingle and then passes along a trio of stories to the author as a kind of make-good for the exsanguination.
Honestly? I would have preferred that the entire movie take place in the Monster Club even with all of the less-than-stellar monster masks so I could hang out more with these two stone-cold legends. I know the original novel by R. Chetwynd-Hayes (!!!) is an anthology (which you can buy from Valancourt right now), but it’s hard to top the campy club setting with two of the best around just hanging out and talking. I could watch hours of that.
But, that’s not what we have here. In the first tale of this Ray Ward Baker flick, a shadmock — the combination of a werewolf, ghoul and vampire who has a whistle that can combust folks — falls in love with his assistant. She’s only really there so she can steal stuff for her jerk boyfriend, though. This one’s actually pretty cool and has a neat, but expected ending.
We then pop back to the club where a vampire movie producer comes in to show a film version of his childhood wherein slayer Donald Pleasance winds up trying to take his vampire dad from him and his mom, played by Britt Ekland. This one almost tries to be serious at times, but is far more effective as the fun, silly middle segment.
After yet another musical performance, we see a film producer traveling to a way out-there down that looks like it would be perfect to shoot his next movie in. That is until he realizes its filled with ghouls (which I think are basically zombies). Of the bunch, this is the weirdest, especially when the little girl in town — technically a human-ghoul hybrid called a humgoo — tells the producer that everything they use and eat in town comes from boxes…which are coffins!
Before the film concludes, Price makes a very convincing case for letting humans into the Monster Club because of how terrible we are. Give it a listen and tell me if you think he’s wrong. I’m admittedly not the biggest anthology fan in the world, but I dug this one enough, though I could have easily spent the entire time in the framing sequence and been totally happy. Earlier this year, I ordered the aforementioned Valancourt reprint of the book, but I’m going to put a little distance between me and the film before reading it!
Up next I’m going to tackle my all-time favorite horror old guy movie!