Mad Monster Party - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mad Monster Party Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
I liked this movie because of the cast and the cool puppets, but I didn't like this movie because it tries too hard to be funny and the songs are annoying. Overall, it's okay, but I was expecting more from the title and actors.
Super Reviewer
April 10, 2010
I'm not a big fan of the Rankin/Bass specials, but I do appreciate all of the hard work that went into them. It's nice to see them tackle something other than Christmas for a change, but the overall product just isn't as much fun as I'd hoped it would be.
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2009
Pretty cool stop motion, with some of the songs.
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2008
Halloween fun from the team that brought you the good version of Rudolph.
October 10, 2014
45 years before Genndy Tartakovsky released his graveyard smash, "Hotel Transylvania," Rankin-Bass pioneered the monsters-meeting-in-one-locale-for-comic-fun genre. This groovy, musical, B-film assembled all the major monster antagonists popularized by the old Universal horrors of the 30s-50s. Their comic interplay is still fresh and original. (Dracula: "Francesca, you have always been my type. O-negative, isn't it?") The obvious inspiration for Tartakovsky, "Mad Monster Party" contains Rankin-Bass's signature gummy-armed puppetry, but the increased ridiculous humor, witty dialogue, and pop cultural gags makes this a departure for Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass' normal conservative holly-jolly Yuletide television specials.

Mad Monster Party has a very interesting voice cast; even though the list of monsters and ghouls was quite expansive, there are only four actors providing principle vocalizations. Boris Karloff loans the croons to his stop-motion alter ego, Professor Frankenstein, inventor and master of all monsters. Phyllis Diller plays, basically, a green version of herself, named The Monster's Mate. Gale Garnett voices Francesca, professor Frankenstein's masterpiece creation; I really wonder what kind of dirty thoughts were going through the old man's head during Francesca's creation, as she is the 1960s equivalent of Jessica Rabbit: red hair, Bond Girl face, and very, very prominent boobs. (Again, another huge departure for Rankin-Bass's team.) But the grand prize in voice-work goes to Allen Swift who must have lost his voice by the end of the recording session; Swift provides the speaking roles and noises to not only the nerdy main protagonist Felix Flankin, (putting on his best Jimmy Stewart imitation,) but every other character in the film including Yetch, Dracula, Werewolf, and even mafia Chef Machievelli!

The songs are catchy and bursting with the decade's free-spirit, particularly the love ballad "Never Was A Love like Mine" sung by Gale Garnett. Also notable is the hilarious "Mummy" rock song performed by four British skeletons in mod haircuts and guitars (hmmmmm...I wonder who they could have been in another life?) "Mad Monster Party" has been a Halloween classic for my family for years and I find it shameful that casual moviegoers haven't embraced it like other ghoul-themed spooktaculars like "Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas."

The only major drawback I had with this film was that several scenes seemed to be pointless "filler" in order to extend the movie's length time from mere television special to full-length feature; Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass' incredible track record of successful, 45-minute holiday specials include, (but is not limited to,) "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," "Jack Frost," "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus," and "Santa Claus is Comin' To Town." A scene trim here or there would have served this film well, particularly in early sequences; (did we really need to see every single monster coming on board the ship, or learn about all the monsters' sleeping habits in the castle?) But these fillers were not as horrendous as the studio's later bore "Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July," which took a 45-minute short and stretched it like taffy into a full-length movie. Overall, this film is a winner, a nice departure for the stop-motion studio, and I hope it will be rediscovered by future generations.
December 6, 2013
For someone who's usually a fan of camp and the offbeat this one didn't do it for me. It's like the Rankin-Bass empire decided that after all of the syrupy holiday kitsch they just had to scratch some sort of self indulgent itch to rebel and create this possibly drug induced creation in need of some serious time editing. It would be painful to watch except that it's too uninteresting to pay attention to for any significant length of time. I wasn't one of those who grew up with it, maybe that's the problem? My daughter doesn't like it either after about 10 minutes so to each his own.
August 18, 2013
I just would like to say that the art style was beautifully done. The clay animation is superb and attention to detail was made extremely well. The creatures look very well done with their little twists to move away from the Universal Monster look, but they still hold true to their creature look. The movie definitely has some atmosphere and the scenery is beautiful. However the art style alone is not enough to save this film. At times this movie just drags on and I found myself getting very bored with it. The tone seemed to be very low and would drastically jump from time to time such as the dinner scene when a lot of things were happening at once. Then it all just stopped and I was caught up in all the excitement. But overall it just wasn't enough to keep me entertained. I mean with a name like Mad Monster Party, you would expect to have a little more flare and wonderment. The whole plot is about a mad scientist who is trying to retire by inviting his nephew to take over the family business, expect he is a klutz and is accidental prone. This is just a weird movie but its got that cult feel to it. I have always wondered why not many Halloween specials existed, so seeing this was a treat, but if you would like to see this be warned its very slow but still a pretty decent Halloween movie.
½ November 17, 2012

Missed this Rankin & Bass production as a kid, I'm sure it would have had more of an impact, back then.
½ October 20, 2012
Rankin and Bass's only feature-length, theatrically released stop-motion film was this wacky and surprisingly edgy send-up of classic Hollywood horror (specifically the Universal canon), with typically delicious design and animation, a script full of alternately hilarious and hilariously groan-inducing puns and gags (it feels like a direct descendent of the Marx brothers in all the best ways), a couple of pretty awful songs, and, of course, Karloff's exquisite voice. Great, ghoulish Halloweeney fun.
July 25, 2008
I was hoping for much more than this delivered. Lots to like, though. Just a little too much to not like.
½ November 17, 2010
He has an unlisted tomb

Doctor Frankenstein is a monster builder that has decided to retire and pass his business on to his nephew. He nephew is an aspiring pharmacist that opts to visit his uncle prior to making his decision. Dracula and Dr. Frankenstein's evil assistants wish to kill the nephew and take over the business instead. Can the nephew overcome Dracula and his minions to earn what is rightfully his?

"You ugly rat."
"Thank you for those kind words. I hope I can live up to them."

Jules Bass, director of The Last Unicorn, Jack Frost, The Hobbit, and The Year Without Santa, delivers Mad Monster Party? The storyline, plot, and premise of this picture are interesting and well delivered. The settings, characters, and storyline keep the audience's imagination flowing for those who are fans of horror pictures and old school classics. The voices are well selected and include Boris Karloff, Phyllis Diller, Gale Garnett, and Allen Swift.

"You're not incredibly handsome or even charming."

This movie aired on the Hallmark channel last Halloween and I couldn't believe I had never heard of a claymation movie that stared Boris Karloff; after watching this movie, I am even more shocked that I had never seen this picture. This movie is on par with the holiday Christmas classics such as The Grinch that Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman. I am shocked this film does not air on one of the major networks every Halloween season. I do strongly recommend seeing this gem.

"What am I not paying you for?"

Grade: A-
½ September 30, 2010
This movie was so great especially with Boris Karloff in the cast, I love Rankin/Bass Productions films, but this is one of my favorites.
½ December 1, 2009
A stop-motion animation spoof of horror films done by the same people as did the [i]Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer[/i] TV special thats shown every year. A young nerdy (very Jewish?) America receives an invitation to his uncle's castle. His uncle is Dr Frankenstein (played by Karloff who most famously played the Frankenstein's monster) who has also invited a number of other classic Universal monsters to an affair to announce his retirement and name an heir. Some great humor that you be hard-pressed to find in a production aimed at children, specifically the tongue-in-cheek misogynist lines and actions. Also, the ending was great!
November 1, 2009
This movie would be traditional at my home. Every year since I was a kid (smile) The soundtrack is marvelous with songs by Ethel Ennis. A must see every Halloween.
½ October 15, 2009
Of all of the holidays out there, Halloween is my favorite. I guess since I do this 31 Days of Halloween thing each October that should be pretty obvious. I'm a huge fan of the Rankin and Bass stop motion Christmas classics like Santa Claus is Comin' to Town and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but I imagined I would be a bigger fan of their monster inspired feature Mad Monster Party. I've given this film numerous viewings, from when I was younger up until a few days ago. And each time I watch it I just can't seem to enjoy this one as much as I do their Christmas flicks.

I like that Mad Monster Party takes a lot of influences from the classic Universal Monster movies. The designs on each of the characters are pretty neat, and among this studio's best. I especially liked the Rolling Stones-like skeleton band that plays during the party that Baron Boris von Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) holds to name his heir. And it was great to see so many familiar monsters (Dracula, Invisible Man, Wolfman, Jekyll & Hyde, The Mummy and Frankenstein's monster) in a film together.

I guess the thing that helps out the Christmas films Rankin and Bass have done is that both the characters and the stories create a sense of familiarity. But with Mad Monster Party the story never clicks with me. The majority of the film feels like a series of random set-ups or gags that don't have much to do with the overall plot of the film. And main character Felix Flankin (Allen Swift) doesn't become an interesting character. He just feels like a lazy rip off of James Stewart.

Another character I didn't care much for was Frankenstein's monster's mate, voiced by Phyllis Diller. Now, I like Phyllis Diller a lot. But I found her to be an irritating addition to this film. And that laugh that she does throughout the film really got on my nerves. Plus, while I like a lot of the songs in the film, "You're Different" was one of the lesser songs of the bunch.

There are some qualities to Mad Monster Party that I do like, but there aren't enough to win me over. I know that this is a cult favorite, and I can see why that is so. I can sit through this film pretty easily, but it's not a film that I'd go out of my way to do so. I wish this film registered better with me, since it has a lot of elements that make it perfect for Halloween viewings.
April 28, 2009
January 8, 2009
I discovered this one a couple years ago. I hadn't seen it as a kid, but I wish I had! It became and instant favorite!
September 20, 2008
Perhaps not surprising: this isn't as good as I thought it was when I was FOUR. Or whenever I last saw it... in any case, it's sometimes fun but more often plodding and painfully corny.
May 17, 2008
Everybody remembers the Rankin-Bass claymation Christmas shows from the 60s. Well this is the Halloween one. Boris Karloff, Phyllis Diller, and a bunch of people who sound like famous actors but actually aren't provide the voices for this silly but fun monsterfest.
½ October 28, 2007
Top notch production from Rankin & Bass, but it lacks something in the pace of the storytelling. The songs could have been a little more dynamic as well but the score is very fitting. Still, entertaining and very funny at times. Seeing all the classic monsters brought to life in stop motion is fun and the voice of Boris Karloff is an added bonus. It's great to have a Rankin & Bass special as a staple for Halloween, since they are so famous for their Christmas specials. Be sure to check out the sequel, "Mad Mad Mad Monster", which is hand drawn animation like "Frosty The Snowman".
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