THE MONSTER CLUB (1981)
Directed by Roy Ward Baker
Available from Amazon
Successful horror author Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes is passing a book store displaying his novels when he is approached by Eramus, a gentleman in need of help. Offering anything that he might need, Ronald is bitten by Eramus, who turns out to be a vampire. After his delightful snack, Eramus informs the shocked Ronald that he has not bitten him deeply, thus he will not turn into a vampire. As a thank you, Eramus promises Ronald a wealth of material for his books, of which he is a fan of, and takes him to the Monster Club – a private members night club for monsters. At the Monster Club, Eramus reveals the complex heirarchy of Monsterdom and the various species of interbreeding and their attributes, whilst illustrating them with three frightful tales of his own.
Fans of horror will be in their element with the light-hearted, fun-filled horror comedy, THE MONSTER CLUB. Starring an always captivating Vincent Price as vampire Eramus and John Carradine as author Ronald, the film is split into three short tales of monsters with a pop song performed inbetween each segment at the Monster Club. Each of the short tales highlight a particular species of monster: vampire, Shadmock, Ghouls and Hum-Ghoul. These tales are often humorous, with slapstick moments and comedic dialogue, amongst the horror elements, whilst a couple are rather more chilling than one of the others. All three are mild horror though that will raise a smile from all genre fans, and with the energetic performances from the bands inbetween, you can have a right old boogie too!
THE MONSTER CLUB is not how I expected it to be. Going into the movie, I didn’t realise it was an anthology film so this aspect surprised me but in a good way. The tales, whether humorous or not, are quite entertaining and it’s easy to empathise with the characters in the segments, especially Raven the Shadmock in the first tale. These tales feature some famous faces too in the form of Britt Ekland as a vampire’s wife, Donald Pleasence as a vampire hunter, Barabara Kellerman, Simon Ward, Anthony Valentine and Lesley Dunlop as the Hum-Ghoul Luna, who you may know as Brenda from Emmerdale. Each of the performances are fantastic and play to the camp style which the movie is aiming for. This is an enjoyable movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is all about having fun. Vincent Price looks as though he’s having a ball, as do the other monsters in the club and who wouldn’t with those catchy musical numbers by The Pretty Things, B.A. Robertson, Night, The Viewers and UB40.
A neat slice of tongue-in-cheek British horror comedy, THE MONSTER CLUB is a must-watch, especially in its delicious high definition transfer from Network Distributing, which offers the original theatrical trailer and stills gallery as extras. You’d be mad to miss it! Monsters Rule, O.K.!