Rankin/Bass

Wicked Wednesday: Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters (1972)

60s and 70s kitsch horror really gets something really right. Decades later, most of it is still watchable. From The Munsters to Scooby-Doo – all of these shows have a lasting style, an flair that makes it still attractive.

Mad Monster Party? left a lasting impression on me when I watched it three (!) years ago. The music, the puppets, the design. It was all a treat for the eyes. So I was intrigued to learn that a TV movie prequel of sorts existed called Mad, Mad, Mad Monsters. Another Rankin/Bass holiday production, but done in a traditional animated style unlike the stop motion of Party. It’s also lacking a great soundtrack which greatly counts against it!

Baron Henry von Frankenstein makes a bride for his monster, which of course means its time to plan the wedding. Only Frankenstein’s assistant, Igor, becomes jealous. But poor Igor is dragged along during every step of the planning stage.

Soon guests start arriving at the hotel for the wedding. The Invisible Family, Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy – the gang is all here. The wedding guests begin mixing with the ‘regular’ hotel guests for the laughs of the audience. Meanwhile, Igor is still trying his best to stop the wedding. Though all his best efforts continue to be thwarted.

At dinner one night, the future bride is finally unveiled. She immediately causes all the men in the party to fight over her. As the men fight, Frankenstein asks Igor to watch over the bride and keep her safe before the wedding.

Nothing goes quite so smoothly for Igor as he tries to get the bride to safety. While trying to cross a lava pit, the two are attacked by a pterodactyl (because of course). But she’s eventually taken by a large yeti-like creature called Manzoola.

The wedding party and guests all set out to save the bride-to-be. And she is swiftly saved without an ounce of drama (unless you count a very cross wife of a yeti thing). After all the drama, the wedding is allowed to continue with the usual amount of pre-wedding jitters and hiccups.

While not the most Halloween of storylines, this is actually a pretty cute monster flick for the little ones. The character design is great, and nothing gets too terrifying. Though cute, it is very padded. There are very long sequences of repetitive silliness (that never-ending postal delivery scene – ugh). It hinders the movie from being perfect, but it’s still enjoyable retro fair. Great background for while you’re putting up Halloween decorations. Though I’d be disappointed if you haven’t already done so.

More than anything, though, this little TV movie reminded me I’m due a Mad Monster Party? rewatch.