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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

Plot Keywords:

monster | writer | vampire | ghost | skeleton | See more »

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

It has been alleged that the monster masks were made by Milton Subotsky's milkman. The story came about because the masks were commissioned at short notice from Vic Door, who at the time was freelancing and also worked at a milk processing plant. He was not a milkman. 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 Tales from the Crypt (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stripper
Performed by Night
Sung by Stevie Lange (credited as Stevie Lang)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Highly underrated final movie from Amicus!
7 August 2009 | by (Manchester, England, UK) – See all my reviews

THE MONSTER CLUB is the final movie from the excellent British movie production company, Amicus.

Although the movie is an anthology, opinion is divided as to whether or not it forms part of the Amicus anthology canon.

I see THE MONSTER CLUB as a separate movie from the remainder of the Amicus anthologies. However, it is a highly entertaining final movie from Amicus. I'm truly puzzled as to why the movie was not successful financially.

The single greatest idea behind THE MONSTER CLUB is the combination of three elements - traditional British horror Amicus is famous for, the darkest of dark humour and a collection of fine examples of 1980s disco music.

There are only three stories in this compendium, rather than the usual four or five seen in Amicus movies. However the stories, along with the linking story, are so entertaining that this is easily overlooked.

The linking story sees Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes, a character based on a real horror story author of the same name, who is attacked in the street by a sinister character named Eramus. When he wakes up after a vampire bite, the author discovers Eramus is a vampire. Ermaus promises to repay him by inviting him to a disco known as The Monster Club, where he assures him there will be plenty of material for a new book of horror stories. Vincent Price and John Carradine are on top form in their roles as Eramus and Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes respectively.

The Monster Club is full of famous horror creations of various types including vampires, werewolves and ghouls. Disco music blends well with the setting, with almost all songs having a horror theme to them. The costumes are unbelievably cheesy but this is easily overlooked by the uplifting feeling of the disco atmosphere. As an added bonus, the movie brings something unique here - a monster genealogical chart.

The first story sees Barbara Kellerman and Simon Ward as a pair of opportunists looking to take some rich person for all he or she is worth. Eventually Kellerman's character comes into contact with an eccentric man who lives in a large Gothic house. Without revealing spoilers, I can say that he turns out to be a shadmock, a hybrid of various creatures including vampires, werewolves and ghouls. James Laurenson gives a supreme performance as the shadmock, a kindly and gentle creature, who is simply uncomfortable with being outside his house. Predictably, the tale becomes a tragic love story that is so emotionally moving I was actually in tears when the ending came.

The second story takes a different course to the first with more dark humour. Richard Johnson has a great time playing the vampire father of a young boy, Lintom. He goes out at night hunting for blood, whilst telling his son that he is "working". Britt Ekland plays Lintom's mother but she has very little to do here. Lintom finds himself being bullied at school because he is quiet and shy. He is rescued from torment by a priest, played by Donald Pleasance in another of his superb performances. I will give away no further details. But I'll say that this story was highly enjoyable due to its tongue-in-cheek approach not only to vampire clichés but to clichés of another genre as well. Look out for Anthony Valentine and Neil McCarthy having fun as a pair of vampire hunters dressed up as undertakers who carry violin cases!

The final story is easily the darkest and best of the three. Stuart Whitman is cast perfectly as an impatient movie director looking for a remote location to make an atmospheric horror movie. His impatience with his crew leads him to seek out the location himself. We get to see some of the beautiful English countryside as he drives down a country lane hoping to find a remote village at the end. What he finds in reality is a very strange foggy place with only an old crumbling inn, a church and a graveyard. There is more to this atmospheric location than meets the eye. I will spoil no more of this story as this is one you'll want to see for yourself without warnings. But I will say a few things about the characters. The innkeeper is a very sinister character, played perfectly by the always great Patrick Magee. Lesley Dunlop deserves credit for her superb performance early in her career as the innkeeper's daughter, a hybrid of a human and a ghoul.

Roy Ward Baker directs Amicus's final movie perfectly. He demonstrates a clear understanding of the various subject matters - Gothic horror, dark humour and 1980s disco entertainment, directing each element accordingly. As a result, he guarantees the three blend well enough to produce a highly entertaining piece of entertainment worthy of a final movie for such a great horror production company.

Douglas Gamley, an Amicus veteran, produces some excellent background music to the movie including an excellent score. His choice of music in the first story blends perfectly with the Gothic setting and the tragic love story theme.

As was the case with previous Amicus movies, this one makes excellent use of classical music. These blend perfectly with the settings.

Kudos to the music bands - The Viewers, Night and The Pretty Things - whose catchy tunes make this movie worth watching by virtue of their presence alone. Special kudos as well to 1980s singer, B.A. Robertson, whose song - Sucker For Your Love - performed after the first story is easily the best of his career.

Overall, THE MONSTER CLUB is a highly entertaining final movie from Amicus and a must-see for all fans of movies made by this great movie production company. I especially recommend it for fans of Vincent Price and John Carradine who have a superb time in this late stage of their careers.


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