Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Monster Club

"The Monster Club" (1980, Roy Ward Baker, Amicus Productions) is a British horror anthology based on short stories written by R. Chetwynd-Hayes.

The author, Chetwynd-Hayes (John Carradine) bumps into a strange fellow, Eramus the starving vampire (Vincent Price) who asks him if he could feed off of him in return for some monster stories.

Eramus takes Chetwynd-Hayes to a local club known as 'The Monster Club' which is pretty much a cabaret bar for the supernatural.

The film jumps from the vampire and the author enjoying the evening in the club, the acts going on in the club and also the stories acted out as Eramus tells them. The stories focus on three different supernatural creatures.

The Shadmock

This story is a story with a lesson. Very similar in style to some of Stephen King's 'Creepshow' shorts.

A young woman, Angela (Barbara Kellerman), decides to take a job with a rich, reclusive man (who's not a man, but infact a Shadmock - a supernatural hybrid creature with a terrible whistle which can kill!) called Raven (James Laurenson). She is to work with him in his secluded mansion, categorising his antiques.

Raven is odd, awkward and odd-looking. Angela is at first repulsed by him, but eventually becomes friends with him. She finds, however, that some of his stuff is really very valuable, and she and her boyfriend decide to take advantage of Raven's kind personality and rob him.

Unfortunately, Raven takes Angela's 'kindnesses' the wrong way and proposes to her. Shocked, she declines and rushes her attempt to rob him. Catching her in the act, Raven uses his terrible superpower on her! Seeing the results of the creature's whistle, Angela's boyfriend runs for it, but loses his mind.

And the moral of the story? Don't be a dick.

The Vampires

Eramus decides to tell Chetwynd-Hayes of his own kind, but not his own story. This isn't an Anne Rice novel, after all!

A young bullied boy (Warren Saire) and his parents live quiet lives. The boy's father (Richard Johnson) works nights and his mother (Britt Ekland) constantly reassures her son that he is destined for greatness and that he is to be aware of men in suits carrying cases.

The boy discovers that his father is in fact a vampire! Unfortunately, a bunch of vampire hunters also become aware of this...

A nice little tale with a good ending.

The Ghouls / The Humegoo

A movie director looking for a spot to film his next works discovers an uncharted little town. Unfortunately, the town is home to only Luna (a seemingly innocent girl who is in fact a Humegoo, or human-ghoul hybrid) and a bunch of man-eating ghouls.

Can he fend off the hordes of man-eaters and save Luna? Well, he can try.

Eramus then goes on to detail how many different ways humans have concocted to kill one another, formally announcing the horror writer to be an honourary member of the 'Monster Club'.

Some very late 70s and early 80s music acts, some terrible monster masks and an entertaining strip tease (right down to her bare bones!) make this movie a small cult hit. But it's mainly notable for the presence of both Price and Carradine; horror legends!

Cheesey, British, horror anthology fun.

Carradine and Price discuss monster geneology and breeding
[Picture: Amicus Productions]