April 19th, 2009

THE MONSTER CLUB (1980) **

The all star cast is the only thing worth a damn in this ho-hum horror anthology flick from producer Milton (The House That Dripped Blood) Subotsky.  John Carradine stars in the wraparound segments (***) as horror writer Ronald Chetwyn-Hayes who meets a vampire played by Vincent Price that invites him to the titular club so he can recite a trio of extremely weak stories. 

 

The Shadmock Story (**) is all about a lower tiered monster who falls in love with a con woman.  When she fleeces him of his wealth, he gets pissed and whistles, which causes all of her flesh to burn off.  This tale starts off fairly well and builds up steam accordingly but the final payoff is too abrupt to have much of an impact.

 

The Vampire Story (**) is a slightly comical tale about a wild-eyed vampire killer (Donald Pleasence) who is out to stake a well-to-do bloodsucker.  Although Pleasence hams it up nicely in this segment, The Vampire Story is predictable as they come and the final “funny” twist made me groan pretty loudly.  Still, Britt Ekland looked quite foxy as the vampire’s wife.

 

The Humegoo Story (*) is by far the worst of the lot and features Stuart (Ruby) Whitman as a horror movie director who gets trapped in a town of cannibals.  Unlike the previous story, this segment is deadly serious in tone and the effect is quite jarring.  Too bad it sucks nuts.

 

None of the stories in The Monster Club are very good but I did get a kick out of the scenes where Carradine and Price chew the scenery together.  There’s also some not bad post-punk music played in the Club in between the tales that are a lot better than the stories themselves.  The highlight though comes when a stripper dances in the Club and takes EVERYTHING off.  If The Monster Club had more fun moments like this one; it might’ve been a worthy heir to Subotsky’s Tales from the Crypt.  Mostly though, it’s just a pitiful waste of a great cast.