Monster Club, The (1981)

Monster Club, The (1981)

“There’s nothing sadder than the tender-hearted grief of a monster.”

After drawing blood from the neck of his favorite horror story writer (John Carradine), a vampire (Vincent Price) takes Carradine to a disco club for monsters, where he explains various types of monster-hybrids by telling the following three tales: a “shadmock” (James Laurenson) hires a beautiful woman (Barbara Kellerman) as his secretary, and is heartbroken when she allows her abusive boyfriend (Simon Ward) to bully her into theft; the son (Warren Saire) of a vampire (Richard Johnson) and human (Britt Ekland) is shadowed by a local constable (Donald Pleasence) hoping to drive a stake into Johnson’s heart; and a filmmaker (Stuart Whitman) scouting locations for his next horror movie stumbles into a village of ghouls, including a sympathetic “humegoo” (Lesley Dunlop) who tries to help him escape.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Britt Ekland Films
  • Donald Pleasence Films
  • Episodic Films
  • Horror Films
  • John Carradine Films
  • Roy Ward Baker Films
  • Vampires
  • Vincent Price Films
  • Writers

This affectionate homage to Hammer Studios’ episodic horror films such as Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965) is decidedly hit-and-miss, but beloved by those who remember it with nostalgia from their early 1980s childhoods and appreciate seeing cinematic icons Price and Carradine together on screen. The first and third stories told by Price are reasonably spooky, with director Roy Ward Baker managing to evoke some empathy for their monster-protagonists. Unfortunately, all scenes showing musical interludes at the “Monster Club” are pretty atrocious, as are the costumes of the club’s attendees.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • John Carradine and Vincent Price
  • Good use of comic/cartoon passages
  • Some spooky, atmospherically filmed sequences

Must See?
No, though Hammer Films fans may have some nostalgia for it — and I think Price fans will also be curious to check it out once. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.


3 thoughts on “Monster Club, The (1981)

  1. Agreed; not must-see; though, yes, Hammer Films fans may benefit from having a look-see. As per my 10/3/14 post in ‘Revival House of Camp & Cult’ (fb):

    ‘The Monster Club’ (1980): This is a film I’ve long known about but have only now seen – and the blu-ray of it is quite satisfying visually. What I hadn’t imagined is that the film (at least in the 3 stories that make up this omnibus flick) has an impressive-enough production design (I had long thought it would be something quite low-budget-looking). Vincent Price is our sort-of narrator as he is relating tales to John Carradine. Alas, though it’s fun to see these two, they are simply very pleasant in expanded cameos (tho Vincent has a dandy speech at the end). The spook tales themselves have fun performances by Donald Pleasence, Richard Johnson – as a delightful vampire – Britt Ekland, Stuart Whitman, Patrick Magee as a ghoul (!), among others. Nicely directed by Roy Ward Baker (‘The Vampire Lovers’, ‘The Anniversary’, ‘A Night to Remember’, ‘Don’t Bother to Knock’).

    There is a terrific DVD extra which is an hour-long interview with Price about almost all of his entire career – what an illustrious career he had! – good stuff to hear about.

  2. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Goofy but enjoyable horror portmanteau. Not must see.

  3. Incidentally, it’s not an homage to Hammer at all but Amicus and frankly isn’t a homage but a continuation of their series of portmanteau horrors by one of the Amicus head honchos: Milton Subotsky who produced this.

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