Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Diller Memories...MAD MONSTER PARTY?

A classic post from October 2008 in memory of Ms. Diller.One of my alltime favorite Halloween treats when I was a kid was when local channel 9 WOR in New York would broadcast MAD MONSTER PARTY? (the question mark is part of the title-who knew?) on their 4:00 MOVIE.This wonderful Rankin/Bass "Animagic" feature was released theatrically in 1969-but really found its legs when it was syndicated to local stations in the 1970s. It's cast boasts a who's who of movie monsters - Count Dracula! The Wolf Man! The Mummy! The Invisible Man! Frankenstein's Monster! Dr. Jekyll! Mr. Hyde! The Creature (from the Black Lagoon)! The Hunchback of Notre Dame! It! (aka King Kong) and Phyllis Diller! The only one missing was John McCain.Boris Karloff voices Baron Von Frankenstein - who assembles these characters (The Worldwide Organization of Monsters) to announce his retirement - and introduce his nerdy nephew Felix and shapely new creation Francesca to the group. Even as a gay kid, I knew Francesca was HOT! I wonder if Francesca was the visual inspiration for MAD MEN's Joan Holloway? Hmmm...With character designs by the great Mad Magazine cartoonist Jack Davis, and some of the best stop-motion imagery ever, MAD MONSTER PARTY? is an absolute must-see for animation lovers. While the story may now be a bit slow-moving, and not as clever as I remember it from my childhood - I'd rather sit through this than the more recent "monster mash" called VAN HELSING any day of the year.MAD MONSTER PARTY also features some great musical numbers...and come on, you gotta love Phyllis Diller - here a pic of me and my husband John with Ms. Diller at her lovely Brentwood home in 2008. She's was 90+ and still a hoot!
For more info about Rankin/Bass visit Rick Goldschmidt's enchanting blog.


Anonymous said...

I loved this movie. I watched it on WOR too. I grew up on Long Island, where were you watching it?

Davelandweb said...

Thanks for jogging my memory; I need to pull out my DVD of this classic flick and watch it for the holiday season. I always remember thinking it was so cool they way that Francesca actually looked like she was crying! Nothing like an animated stop-motion classic!

TSpats said...

Love the pix of you two and Phyllis. Fantastic!!!

toycoon said...

I just watched Mad Monster Party, tonight!
I love to hear Shirley Bassie's version of the title song and the Mummy's Theme, "Mad Mummy Dance". Amazing!
Does anyone know if there was an LP of the soundtrack?

Caroline Bender said...

is there a Viewmaster version of this? must have.