The Monster Club (1981) – Roy Ward Baker

Boy is this one a doozy, coming on the coat tails of The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, the next werewolf title up for review in DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies is a rather lackluster affair. An anthology film whose only werewolf is the secretary of the club, the Monster club in the title.

Despite a pretty solid cast, including Vincent Price, Britt Ekland, Donald Pleasance, John Carradine, there wasn’t a lot to save this film. Price plays a vampire (the only time he ever played one in his entire film career) named Eramus who after feeding on R. Chetwynd-Hayes (Carradine) – and the actual author of the stories that are the centerpiece of the film.

There are a series of stories, all of them kind of goofy, and none of them bloody or gory, and the make-up is questionable at best.

In fact when Eramus takes Hayes to the club, all of the monsters that we see are basically in rubber masks. It’s a bit of a bummer.

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There are tales that take on ghouls (variations thereof according to Eramus), and vampires with families. It’s… well, it’s just silly.

Price is obviously there just for the paycheck, and is probably the only person truly enjoying himself in this film, even when it breaks into musical numbers (one between each story – and none of them are any good). And with a weird twist, the end of the film features Eramus making an impassioned statement about why humans should be allowed in the club, because they are truly monstrous in their actions.

It didn’t help that the poster for the film was ridiculous, and honestly the film looked like it would be more at home in the mid-70s, and its crazy that this film came out in 1981, when horror films were seeing a real resurgence and, for the most part, looking a lot better.

In the end this one is really disappointing, considering some of the cast, but that’s okay, because there are some really enjoyable werewolf films coming up to finish the chapter, and I’m looking forward to them.

But like I said with The Boy Who Cried Werewolf… they can’t all be winners. Consequently, however, that just makes one appreciate the good ones when I do watch them. And there is some really good stuff coming up.

But hey, don’t take my word for it, pick up a copy of DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies book and find something macabre to watch tonight.

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