Mad Monster Party was made by Rankin/Bass production a.k.a the people who made Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, as well as several other holiday stop-motion movies. Mad Monster Party came out in 1967 and was the fourth film they made.
Now I’m not going to review the whole movie but the basic plot goes like this; Baron Boris Von Frankenstein is planning to retire and invites a slew of monsters (famous movie monsters) to his island to name his successor. There are lots of corny jokes and songs. It’s a cult classic and there is even a Monster convention held in North Carolina that is called “Mad Monster Party” click here for info.
Now as you have probably guessed one of the monsters present at the Mad Monster Party is none other that our darling of Paris, Quasimodo or as he is known in this film as The Hunchback. So how does this film represent him? Ummmm he’s there….? Quasimodo does a few things like rings the bells (classic trait), carries the mummy’s tomb around, dances, sleeps and participants in the mob at the end. However with a few exceptions most of the monsters in this movie don’t do much more than that. He provides more of a monster-atmosphere than an impact on the plot.
So I’m not holding it against the film for using Quasimodo in this fashion besides in the scope of monsters, Quasimodo isn’t a monster he a deformed hero. Although I would fault the movie that Quasimodo didn’t actually speak any words of dialogue. Not sure if this reference to the Silent Chaney version or that he is deaf. My guess would be a nod to the silent version as deaf people can speak and Quasimodo lost his hearing at the age of 14* so he knows how to speak.
So Quasimodo is a non-entity of a character but how does he look? He looks like Quasimodo should look. He has a clear hunch, his smaller eye looks like it really does impair his vision, snub nose, etc. He looks recognizable as Quasimodo unlike his portrayal Hotel Transylvania. He also moves the way you would except Quaismodo to move which is no small feat considering this is a stop-motion puppet. The only thing is why does Quasimodo have pink hair? Did they think we would confuse him for Francesca the hot red hair?
Because I don’t think the audience would have. I really can’t think of why they went with pink over red but I guess that was the filmmakers’ grand vision.
All in all, Mad Monster Party is a fun little romp and I’m glad Quasimodo does get a credited role but still I find it vexing that he’s lump with Monsters, traditional or not it’s affront to his character but at least for the film running length you can forget that.
* (book 4 chapter 3 Immanis Pecoris Custos, Imanior Ipse )Follow thehunchblog