Mad Monster Party
Jules Bass’ 1967 stop-motion cult classic Mad Monster Party is a ghoulish treat, and an inspiration for Tim Burton’s own darkly comic animations. Boris Karloff voices the creaky Baron von Frankenstein, assembling a macabre collective of creatures, including Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy and the Creature From the Black Lagoon, to inform them that he will be retiring as head of the Worldwide Organisation of Monsters, and appointing his bumbling nephew Felix as successor. Furious at the prospect of a nerdish human leading their organisation, the monsters plot to do away with Felix, with extremely entertaining results. With its rather camp monsters, Bacharach-esque soundtrack and husky voiced ladies, this is a delicious chunk of 1960s spoof horror. The exquisite handmade sets and characters, and sweetly goofy sense of humour (despite dodgy racial stereotypes), make this a fantastic period piece, and a prime example of why great animation doesn’t need slick computer technology to make it so.