Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
clash of fashions
on 11 September 2014
Firstly, the plus points of the Monster Club. The uk blu ray is a delightful bright picture, with more than ample mono sound. Vibrant generally, and suitably widescreen considering the less than pleasant previous dvd release. This title looms from the very ebb of the seventies, lurching into the eighties, which might well explain to all who weren't there, why there is so much on brightly lit display of the older and new styles, classic horror thespians & garish modern clobber, clashing together on every level.
Taking as the jumping off point the works of R. Chetwynd Hayes, the concept of the 3 story film in the modern milieu sounds a promising one. To some extent it certainly is, parading the grotesqueries before us at a fair lick of pace. The original author has written some fine eerie yet humourous flavoured macabre pieces that touch slightly on E.C. comics or brush up against Charles Birkin. But Chetwynd-Hayes is his own eccentric flavour, check out Cradle Demon, or The Partaker, or even My Mother Married a Vampire to get a taste of his style. In this Amicus-esque flick we get two old stalwart classic horror names providing the wrap-around story. The three stories are varying from tragic to pathos, to predictable twist ending, like the e.c. comics of yore and similar. Donald Pleasance does a fine quick turn as a very english head of a clerical death-squad in a tale that delights even now with a twist on the usual vampiric standards.
However, one flaw to this later attempt to relaunch the ageing anthology format, is the musical interludes. If only they interluded a bit more to the point of being edited to a skeletal silhouette, like the fun stripper sequence. The music is jarring, tacky and dare i say it, lacking in memorable visual or lyrical cues. It all seems to be mashed in from another movie, which regrettably Subotsky & Co. had a fondness for the musical 'cultural' happenings, as evidenced by their other output. Some folk might see it with nostalgic eyes firmly on the whole, as part of the reckless modernism. Some might just put it on the same cruddy level with the masked club members, who hail in the eighties with a rancid lack of taste...
Excellent moments, creepy concepts, eerie touches and flourishes. Doesn't sit on the same gravestone as earlier portmanteau films, but at the very least nostalgic assistance provided, it looks and sounds great to any wishing to paddle in the old brook before it dried up completely.