HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  Monster Club, The A Rival To The Hellfire Club?
Year: 1980
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Vincent Price, John Carradine, Anthony Steel, Roger Sloman, Barbara Kellerman, Simon Ward, James Laurenson, Donald Pleasence, Richard Johnson, Britt Ekland, Stuart Whitman, Lesley Dunlop, Patrick Magee, Geoffrey Bayldon, Anthony Valentine, Neil McCarthy
Genre: Horror, Comedy, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: The horror writer R. Chetwynd-Hayes (John Carradine) is walking along a London street in the middle of the night when he is accosted by a mysterious man who staggers towards him claiming to be famished. When he gets near enough, he sinks his teeth into the writer's neck, drains him of some of his blood, then feels refreshed enough to introduce himself as Eramus (Vincent Price), a vampire. Grateful for the red stuff he has taken, he offers to take Chetwynd-Hayes to a nightclub he knows, a place where all the monsters go, and he won't take no for an answer, so off they go to enjoy the evening's entertainment...

The Monster Club was really the last hurrah of the British horror anthology movie that had been promoted so heavily by the king of the genre, Milton Subotsky, the man who had brought Amicus so much success in the sixties and seventies. Here he took the producer's role, with stories adapted from the works of the real R. Chetwynd-Hayes, an incredibly prolific British chiller author, after enjoying a hit with an earlier film of his stories, From Beyond the Grave. It was a nice touch to put the writer into the action, but the reaction to the film was not a good one at the time, and since it has been regarded as a bit naff by those who catch it on TV.

Not least because of the musical performances which provide interludes between the three tales, which at one point rendered the movie hopelessly dated, but now, for some fans, render it pleasingly redolent of the era, although blatantly an effort to make this more fashionable to a 1980 audience, something it missed by miles. Yet now, seeing the likes of B.A. Robertson caked in white makeup and singing about being a sucker for your love makes many recall his appearances on Swap Shop when they were little, and they begin to warm to its ramshackle charms. Also appearing is Night, who perform a tribute song to a stripper, complete with a woman taking it all off - down to the skeleton!

So it's worth sticking with this to see the finale where Price and Carradine strut their funky stuff on the dancefloor to a Police-styled title tune from The Pretty Things, which achieves a level of camp that only occasionally surfaces, and then usually in the bits of business between the stories. This is because the actual plots of those stories have a curiously melancholy air, as the first one illustrates most obviously. It tells of a Shadmock (Eramus helpfully explains what that is, but essentially you have to watch out for its whistle) who is being set up for a robbery by a scheming couple, but he falls in love with the female half when she goes to work for him at his mansion, with predictably tragic results.

There's a sympathy with the outsider to all three tales, as with the second, where a boy being bullied at school takes comfort from his stable home life, thanks to his father (Richard Johnson) being a vampire. Things start to look bleaker when clergyman Donald Pleasence starts hanging around with a view to staking the bloodsucker, but it is resolved with an improbably jokey ending. Lastly, film director Stuart Whitman is location scouting for his latest horror movie when he ends up at a village full of ghouls, and only finds an ally in one of the half-human inhabitants (Lesley Dunlop); this is the most downbeat of the lot, but has an inescapable nightmare quality to it that isn't half bad. In fact, at this distance The Monster Club is quite pleasing, building up to a cheesy "Ah, but who is the real monster?" punchline. You can tell it was hopelessly out of step with what else was around in the genre in 1980, but now that is to its benefit.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2980 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roy Ward Baker  (1916 - 2010)

Reliable British director who worked his way up from teaboy to assistant to Alfred Hitchcock to overseeing his own hit projects from the 1940s to the 1970s. Making his debut with The October Man, he continued with Morning Departure, Don't Bother To Knock, Inferno, The One That Got Away and what is considered by many to be the best Titanic film, A Night To Remember.

After the failure of The Singer Not the Song in the sixties he turned to television, including episodes of The Avengers, The Saint and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), then to Hammer, where he directed many of the later favourites associated with the studio: Quatermass and the Pit, The Anniversary, The Vampire Lovers, Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. He also made Asylum, Vault of Horror and The Monster Club for Hammer's rivals, then returned for the remainder of his career to TV with episodes of Minder and Fairly Secret Army, among others.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: