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The Monster Club (1981)

 -  Comedy | Horror  -  27 May 1981 (USA)
5.9
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A writer of horror stories is invited to a "monster club" by a mysterious old gentleman. There, three gruesome stories are told to him; between each story some musicians play their songs. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Pickering - Chief of the B-Squad
...
R.Chetwynd-Hayes - Writer
...
Sam - Movie Director
...
Busotsky's Father
...
Angela
...
Busotsky's Mother
...
George - Angela's Boyfriend
...
Mooney
Patrick Magee ...
Innkeeper - Luna's Father
Anthony Steel ...
Lintom Busotsky - Film Producer
Fran Fullenwider ...
Buxom Beauty
Roger Sloman ...
Club Secretary - Werewolf
James Laurenson ...
Raven - the Shadmock
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Psychiatrist
Edit

Storyline

A writer of horror stories is invited to a "monster club" by a mysterious old gentleman. There, three gruesome stories are told to him; between each story some musicians play their songs. In the end, it's recognized he's the greatest monster of all ... Written by Homme A. Piest <piest@pobox.leidenuniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monster Club  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Lee was approached to play the role of R. Chetwynd-Hayes, ultimately played by John Carradine. See more »

Crazy Credits

On the soundtrack listing, the track "Ghouls Galore" the performer, keyboardist Alan Hawkshaw, is credited as "John Hackshaw". See more »

Connections

Follows Torture Garden (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Transylvanian Terrors
Performed by John Georgiadis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Amicus' Best, But Still Has Something To Offer...
3 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Amicus enjoyed success in the late 60s and early 70s with their now-classic anthology series of movies. Starting with "Doctor Terror's House of Horror" the formula was simple: a group of people at a gathering tell each other stories (or recount their nightmares) as a way to pass the time.

The set-up was a success for Amicus: it allowed them to employ big names (as they weren't needed for a feature-length shoot) and if the viewer didn't like the tale, fear not, as another would be along in a few minutes...

In "The Monster Club" we follow R. Chetwynd-Hayes (an on-screen analogue of the writer Robert Chetwynd-Hayes) who after an encounter with Erasmus (Vincent Price playing... Vincent Price) is invited to learn more about the history of that we call "the monster" and so enters The Monster Club, where Erasmus explains monster genealogy and illustrates his points with three short tales...

"The Monster Club" is the last of Amicus' anthologies - and indeed productions. Never quite as visceral as Hammer's T&A technicolor excesses, Amicus always relied more on suggestion and kept a tighter reign on their bloodletting. But by 1980, things had changed and Amicus' suspenseful, ironic twists didn't sit well with an audience looking for a more effects-driven stabfest...

"The Monster Club" looks cheap. It's an unfortunate choice the producers made to not show a little more restraint with the *ahem* "creature effects" in the club. Essentially, it looks like a bad Halloween party where nobody spent more than a pound on their mask.

Added to that is the soundtrack. Presumably intended to appeal to "the kids" the decision was made to include musical performances at the club between tales. Whilst they're catchy in their own awful 1980s manner (and "The Stripper" provides a hilarious sequence I won't spoil) they do feel like padding.

On to the tales themselves. The first is a tale of dark love and the "Shadmock," one of RCH's many unusual creations. The story works well and has a quite ghastly ending. So far, so good.

Next up is a tale played for laughs (with a nice in-joke about updating a story to modern times for the movie adaptation, as it saves on the budget, something Amicus were known for.) Not bad, but let's move on.

And finally, the most memorable tale, featuring a lost village where not is all as it seems... And this is where "The Monster Club" shines. Had every story been able to reach the levels of this, "The Monster Club" could have been Amicus' crowning glory.

Unfortunately, though, the movie's pacing suffers due to the slackness of Tale 2. We all know the twist but have to spend another 10 minutes waiting for the movie to reveal it, then get on with it. Which is a shame, as it's a bit of a waste for all involved, really.

The biggest problem with "The Monster Club" though - as stated above - is it looks cheap, looking like a TV anthology show, which is ironic, as many people often mistake the final segment as being an episode of Hammer House of Horror.

But look beyond the cheap rubber masks and campy performances and you'll find a fun - but not always scary - movie here. Maybe not the best of Amicus' output, but it still has charm and a few twists, which is more than can be said for many other movies...


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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