APRIL 30, 2014

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THE MONSTER CLUB (1981)

It’s hard for me to be completely unbiased when reviewing THE MONSTER CLUB as I loved this horror anthology film as a child and watched it over and over again. The third story scared the crap out of me and gave me nightmares for many years. 


Based on the book of the same name written by R. Chetwynd-Hayes, the movie has fun with this by making Haynes (John Carradine) the main character of the wrap-around story. He is bitten by a vampire named Erasmus (Vincent Price), who only takes a quick sip for nourishment. When he realizes that his victim is one of his favorite authors, he quickly apologizes and to make up for it, takes him to an exclusive club for monsters. 


At the club, the horror author will hear some extraordinary tales that he’s free to use for future books. The first of these features a human-vampire hybrid called a “Shadmock” with a most unusual whistle. He falls in love with a woman who is solely motivated by greed and she discovers that you reap what you sow. 


The second story has a more comical approach to a modern vampire family and the third follows a horror Director (Stuart Whitman) who finds the perfect isolated location to film only to discover there’s a reason why it’s off the beaten path. 


The stories themselves are quite effective and have some legitimate scares. They are also well shot and realized. My only complaint is the Monster Club itself. Populated by a horde or monsters that are no more than off-the-rack rubber masks, it comes off as rather cheesy. On top of that, there are full songs played by hard rock bands between each story that are goofy and somewhat tiresome. But if you get into the fun of it all, can be kind of charming. 


As far as horror anthologies goes THE MONSTER CLUB is one of the better ones and certainly worth a visit.