Back then, in rural British Columbia, we only got two television channels, so it was inconceivable that none of my friends -- NONE OF THEM -- had seen it.
Looking back, maybe there was a big hockey game on the other channel, I don't know. Nevertheless, for years I doubted that I had actually seen it. I convinced myself that I'd dreamed it or something.
Then I started hearing about it on the internet. It was real! I hadn't dreamed it! Then yesterday I found a VHS copy in my local thrift store. I picked it up and last night I forced my family to watch it.
Well, it was entertaining, but not without its problems. It's very dated and certainly NOT politically correct. The film was produced in 1967 by Saul Rankin and Jules Bass, the same guys who made Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. It was co-written by Harvey Kurtzman who wrote for MAD Magazine.
The film features Baron Boris Von Frankenstein, voiced by Boris Karloff, gathering all the monsters at his castle to retire and pass on his secrets. The other monsters, Dracula, The Mummy, the werewolf, the creature, etc, realize that he is going to give his secrets to his nephew, Felix. Each wants the secret for himself and chaos ensues.
The film has some good performances and some bad ones. The animation is really clunky and Phyllis Diller plays, Phyllis Diller, which can get old pretty quick.
Some of the musical numbers are good and some are terrible -- I mean really bad! And the attitudes are very dated. The female lead, Francesca, wants the secret for herself and hates Felix until, in a moment of hysteria, Felix slaps her around. Then she falls in love with him! Wow! Not cool!
Should you see it? Yes, particularly if you are old enough to have potentially seen it as a kid. It's loaded with nostalgia. If you are younger it probably will mean little to you without the cultural context. This is stop motion animation -- NOT CGI.
Anyway, now that I have finally seen the thing after waiting for 36 years, I can cross THE MAD MONSTER PARTY off my bucket list. Yay!
UPDATE: If you really want to see it, you can download it from the itunes store (U.S. only, though) but at $9.99 you'd better be really sure you want to watch it!
I've been here and there. I've drawn a lot of pictures. I've written a bit, too. I'm not good at this self-promotion thing. Look, you want to know about me? just visit these websites. Okay?