Tuesday, March 7, 2023

MAD MONSTER PARTY (1967) Blu-Ray Restoration

In 1967, Arthur Rankin, Jr., and Jules Bass, the same men responsible for the stop-motion animated holiday special, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, produced a Halloween classic, Mad Monster Party. While it was not as well-received when it was first televised, the special has since become a cult classic among fans of vintage horror movies. Boris Karloff, Phyllis Diller, Ethel Ennis and Gale Garnett voiced the major characters from Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mumme, the Wolf Man, etc. It tells the story of a mad scientist who achieves the secret of total destruction as he summons all the monsters to his island home to show it off while planning to retire as the head of the “Worldwide Organization of Monsters.”

I just received word this week that Mad Monster Party is headed to a Blu-ray set this May from Umbrella Entertainment, complete with new special features from Justin Beahm’s Reverend Entertainment, with a variety of collectibles included. The film is finally presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio as well as the television format of 1.33:1 presentation which we have all been watching for decades. Special features include new commentary and introductions with Rankin/Bass historian Rick Goldschmidt, as well as a very special Easter egg you will have to find in the menus. Also present are a newly assembled collection of classic Rankin/Bass trailers, historical featurettes, sing-alongs, image gallery, and more. 


Sealing the monstrous deal are a reproduction of the Dell comic book (with additional material from Rick), enamel pins, and poster. Matt Pott produced the wonderful Mad Monster Party art for the package. And best of all, the Blu-ray is all region! With the exception of The Year without a Santa Claus, all of the Rankin/Bass Christmas (and Easter) Blu-Rays need a redo like this because restoration efforts have not bee impressive. I am not sure if there is going to be a DVD version of this special edition, and it does not appear to be one, but if you are a fan of Mad Monster Party, this is something to cheer for.


You can pre-order here: https://shop.umbrellaent.com.au