Mad Monster Party

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This was a guest review submitted by Seth Middleton. Thanks Seth! You can submit your own reviews to SquidFlicks here.

Hate to say it, after being such a fan of stop motion/model motion all my life, I’ve come across something that I just couldn’t finish. Maybe you’d consider that cheating and this review not worthy and should be thrown out but after viewing 1 hr. 15 minutes of this 90 minute film…I think its safe to say I’d seen enough.

It wasn’t that the production of the film was bad…this was from the same producing group as all those infamous holiday specials such as Rudolph, Santa Claus is coming to town, et al. I’ve grown up with those films and enjoy them dearly. Not only that, it was a well intentioned effort but this film just lost my interest and was just flat and just too long with lack of energy.

From the look of it, it would be a surefire win for myself. Given that not only am I big on stop motion animation, those specials, and a fan of monster movies…but this thing was just stale. We get the usual crop of monsters (frankenstein, wolf man, dracula, creature, invisible man, etc.) and lump them all together on an island for a big announcement from blood relative of Frankenstein.

He’s the chairman of the monster board and is set on retiring from his mad scientists days and his lifelong work is to be handed off to his nephew, a bumbling pharmacy soda jerk assistant. Of course this alarms a few of the board (the smart ones that want the title and throne) and try to thwart the hapless pipsqueak.

Now, that sounds like a perfectly fun setup indeed and should be a rollick. But sadly they decided to make this a feature effort and all it does is drag the pacing out to make your eyes wander around the room thinking about other things while it takes half the film for us to get to that point. There’s the atypical ghoulish one liners that are so witless, even for a kids film, that it would’ve been nice to see the Addams Family clan pop in, ring the characters by the neck and slap them around a bit.

They’ve clustered in way too many characters and their character moments are so rudimentary and without any inclusion into the story that they’ve become window dressing. The voicework is either one extreme or the other…way too over the top and near eye rolling, or so unfitting that it can be deemed awkward.

The look of the characters are okay for the most part and there’s some pretty well designed set pieces and camera techniques. But all in all, what kills this thing is an engaging story. If you parked a little kid in front of it, I’m sure at some point they’d begin to wander off and go make up a better story with their Halloween costume perched on a hanger in their closet.

It very rarely has a couple amusing moments but they’re so forgettable now that it left little to no impression. The music numbers in this is very clunky and far from catchy, not even a foottapping moment. In some circles, I’m sure this plays well with a cult following, but as far as I’m concerned, you’d be better off watching Nightmare Before Christmas or Coraline ten more times than this dreck. Maybe dreck is too harsh of word. I’ll replace it instead with misfire.

A misfire that resembles a firework that sparks and sizzles and seems like its going somewhere and just burns out fast. All that’s left is that feeling of expecting it to bang and all you get is a linger smoky haze and realize, “Yep, that’s all. What else do we got?” So that’s what I recommend. Reach for something else and don’t even light this one’s spark. It deserves a one star rating but it gets a half point for being stop motion. It’s not the worst thing I’ve seen, but it left little impression to make me want to revisit it.


1.5 out of 4 Reels

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