Mad Monster Party (3 stars)

Mad Monster Party

(U) 94min

You can see how this 1967 stop-motion animated feature (allegedly being remade) has had an enduring influence on Tim Burton, from his most recent foray into old-school-style animation The Corpse Bride, all the way back to his early short Vincent. Based on a script co-written by Mad magazine legend Harvey Kurtzman, it’s a parody/homage to the gloriously creaky and nevertheless creepy Universal horror movies of the 1930s and 40s.

In it Baron Von Frankenstein (a puppet Boris Karloff voiced by the icon himself) holds a house, well castle party to announce his retirement as head of the Worldwide Organisation of Monsters to, variously, his Monster, Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Creature From the Black Lagoon, Mr Hyde, the Invisible Man and others. But when the Baron names his dorky human nephew Felix as his successor the creatures hatch a plot to dispose of the brat and rule the world. Many daft jokes, movie references and musical numbers follow. No extras.

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