Synopsis of Movie
Rankin-Bass, the company that brought you TV’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and other perennial holiday favorites, took their stop-motion “Animagic” process to the big screen for 1967’s Mad Monster Party. Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass hired Mad Magazine creator Harvey Kurtzman to help write a script blending classic monster movie horror with some of that magazine’s silliness. With frequent Mad illustrator Jack Davis designing the characters, it was a Mad monster party, indeed.
As the film opens, Baron Boris Von Frankenstein has developed a formula capable of destroying all matter. His life’s work complete, the Baron announces his retirement and invites the monsters of the world to join him in a farewell dinner. Among the monstrous luminaries attending are Frankenstein’s Monster, the Monster’s Mate, Dracula, The Werewolf, The Mummy, The Invisible Man and a Peter Lorre-inspired character named Yetch. Also on hand is the Baron’s nerdy nephew, Felix Flankin, whom the Baron announces as his successor.
Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with the assembled creatures, and the bad guys conspire to eliminate Felix. Luckily, the hapless hero finds a friend in the Baron’s vampy assistant Francesca, and the two team up with the Baron to fight off the mad monsters with smarts, strategy and singing.
Mad Monster Party was one of the final films for monster movie legend Boris Karloff, who lent his distinctive voice to Baron von Frankenstein. Phyllis Diller provided the vocals for the Monster’s Mate, adding a few of the sharp-tongued zingers for which the comedienne was famous. Karloff and Diller each sang a tune on the movie’s soundtrack, but the real musical star of the show was a skeleton rock band called Little Tibia and the Phibbeans ("Do the mummyyyy...").
Despite the talents involved, the film fared poorly in its initial release, but repeated showings on Saturday “Creature Feature” television matinees around the country have made Mad Monster Party an underground favorite. Its continuing influence can also be seen in a later stop-motion Halloween flick, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Movie Release History1967 - Mad Monster Party
Movie Sub Categoriesanimated
Movie StudioRankin-Bass, Videocraft
CastBaron Boris von Frankenstein Boris Karloff
The Monster's Mate Phyllis Diller
Felix Flankin Allan Swift
Yetch Allan Swift
Dracula Allan Swift
Invisible Man Allan Swift
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Allan Swift
Francesca Gale Garnett