Boris Karloff as the voice of Baron Boris Von Frankenstein. It’s Karloff week here at the blog. You know him and there will be more about his career as the week goes on. This movie was done late in his life.
Phyllis Diller as the Monster’s mate. Diller seemed to show up all over the place in the 60’s and 70’s delivering jokes often making fun of her self.
Gale Garnett as Francesca the Doctor’s assistant who is switches from being against Felix to liking him.
Allen Swift as Felix the nerdy nephew and all the other monsters in the movie. Swift had a long career as a voice actor including work in Tom and Jerry, Howdy Dowdy and others.
Baron Frankenstein is retiring from being King of the monsters and sends invitations to all the monsters and his nerdy nephew Felix (who sounds like Jimmy Stewart) to come to his castle for the announcements of who the new King will be. The monsters invited include Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the werewolf, the hunchback of Notre Dame, the mummy, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the Invisible man. There is also a zombie butler named Yetch (Swift does a Peter Lorre voice for him) and other zombie servants plus there is mention of a monster named It who may show up later. Felix seems clueless about all that’s going on in the monster world when he arrives at the castle. His uncle decides Felix will be the new king of the monsters. This doesn’t sit well with the other monsters particularly Dracula who wants to off Felix and take the title for himself. Drac tries to get Jessica to help him but eventually she somehow falls for Felix and his nerdiness, I was going to say charm but there doesn’t really seem to be any. Plus Felix seems very uncool when compared to a bunch of monsters. The mate of Frankenstein’s monster tells stale jokes and acts like a …monster. The monsters all have a big fight at one point at a party right after a music group made of skeletons play some songs. Eventually the monsters go after Felix and Jessica, but Felix unwittingly deflects their attacks. Then It shows up and..
#1-He’s a King Kong copy
#2-He is ticked off that he wasn’t invited to the King of monsters invitation.
#3-He grabs the monsters, but then falls for Francesca and grabs her.
The Baron wants to rescue Francesca and organizes his zombie servants to get in planes and attack it. He also tells Felix to get a boat and get off the island. The Baron ends up blowing up himself and all of the bad monsters as only Francesca and Felix survive. Francesca admits to Felix that she is actually a robot created by the Baron and Felix’s last line makes us think he is a robot as well. Roll those credits.
The negatives-Unlike Rankin and Bass TV specials this Rankin and Bass creation was a theatrical movie. Nothing wrong with that except this does get slow at times. Phyllis Diller gets on my nerves after a while with her forced corniness. I liked all the monsters well enough except the creature (no Black Lagoon mentioned) doesn’t look like much like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
The positives-Anything called monster party with classic style monsters is already sounding good. All the monsters keep the movie going despite the thin plot and so-so pace. It’s also good hearing Karloff voice a mad scientist again. The castle and backgrounds are cool too.
I never saw this until like ten years nor did I even know that it existed until then. Unlike Rudolph and other Rankin and Bass creations this was never shown around my area that I know of. Now I watch it every year in October.
There you go. More items for Karloff week will be coming soon.