The Monster Club (1981) | Vincent Price has a very special invitation for you… on Blu-ray

The Monster Club Blu-ray UK

Three stories to shock you! Chill you! Thrill you! And make you laugh
From Amicus, the studio that dripped blood in the 1960s and 1970s with a slate of uniquely British horror fare, comes 1980’s The Monster Club – now in HD.

Taking its cues from Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes’s 1975 short story collection (which is excellent btw), this horror-comedy anthology found veteran actor Vincent Price (playing a vampire for the first and only time in his film career) and an ailing John Carradine (paying a fictionalised Chetwynd-Hayes) musing over three tales of terror while enjoying the dubious delights of a naff member’s club for supernatural creatures. But it bombed! Author Chetwynd-Hayes was struck dumb by how badly his source material was rewritten, while the great Roy Ward Baker (who’d been pulled out of retirement) directed without his usual flair. It was his final feature film, and also that of Amicus supremo, Milton Subotsky.

The Monster Club (1981)

With little to no fanfare in 1981, The Monster Club ended up on home video, where it took on a bit of a cult following. Looking at it again however the Shadmock and Humgoo stories are actually quite effective, but the club scenes (featuring the worst masks ever) and the comedic vampire story are still pants. Vincent’s great though – especially his impassioned soliloquy in the film’s climax for allowing humans into the club because they have proven time again to be the ultimate monsters.

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Network Distributing‘s UK Blu-ray restoration release comes from ITV Global and is a sparkly fresh delight (it also shows up just how bad those masks are). The special features includes the film with isolated music score – where you get to hear all of the songs featured (Barbara Kellerman and Simon Ward having breakfast while listening to a punk vampire song on the radio is hilarious), plus Douglas Gamley’s lyrical instrumental music and Alan Hawkshaw’s stirring synth score; two theatrical trailers (one textless); textless film elements, comprising the opening scene of the bookshop without sound, and the John Bolton/Dez Skinn colour promo poster (see below); promo, featuring the best bits on Blu-ray accompanied by The Viewers’ theme tune; and an image gallery, featuring UK and Spanish lobby cards, as well as lots of pictures you may not have seen before – all courtesy of Stephen Jones.

The Monster Club Promo John Bolton Dez Skinn

What is missing are the extras you get on the US Blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing (October 2013), which included George Reis’ detailed production history liner notes, and two interviews with Vincent Price conducted by film historian David Del Valle (I was looking forward to those). But considering I’ve only ever had the film on DVD in French before – it came with an issue of Mad Movies – I’m not complaining.

Check out Vincent’s friendly vamp Erasmus discussing the rules of monsterdom in this clip:

About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on August 23, 2014, in British Film, Hammer-Amicus-Tigon, Horror, Might See, Might-See, The Vincent Price Collection and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi friend. As a fan of the 1981 Monster Club movie like you, love everything about the film, to the point that I’ve gone from watching it over and over throughout the years to collecting actual memorabilia from the film. No mean feat. But it is achievable.

    Anyway, enough of boring me. Just to let you know that I own the very concept art sketched by John Bolton himself at his studio for the Monster Genealogy chart done for the 1981 film. I have 12x Monster pages measuring 17x14cm including 2x Monsters concepts that never made the final cut. Each were done in pencil & charcoal by Bolton while on set, then transferred to the larger format as featured on that larger poster in the scene where we see Vampire Erasmus (Vincent Price) chatting to R. Chetwynd-Hayes (John Carradine) about the Monster and their individual stories. All were obtained direct from John Bolton and subsequently signed by him.

    I have also in my possession. Six large pages on artist board from the 1983 Hammer Halls of Horror Magazine that featured John Bolton’s Monster Club art. In particular, a page is from the story, The Ghoul, where we see the Ghoul sitting aloft an open grave chewing on bone with the priest pointing aghast in the background, and a page that features the stripper taking off her skin. Oh, and I’m currently securing another two Hammer Halls of Horror art on board pages. Pretty cool, Just love them. 🙂

    And besides the original items that I own. Have also rare but attainable items too. An original 30x40in movie poster. An original 13x30in Australian Daybill Monster Genealogy Chart poster. A John Bolton personally owned ultra-scarce multi-signed Monster Club tray-case, Gaslight, Ghosts & Ghouls hardback book limited to only 26 copies worldwide that was gifted to me from John & Liliana Bolton themselves. A softback Monster Club book signed by John Bolton ( also gifted by both). A 2018 Monster Club comic produced & signed by Dez Skinn limited to 100 issues worldwide. And to better that, the original 1980 Monster Club promo magazine comic released at the Cannes Film Festival to promote the film to possible investors for the 1981 production.

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