Monster Mash (Video Version) _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byBobby 'Boris' Pickett & The Crypt-Kickersand reaching number 3 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date13/09/1973Duration of dance - 3.25 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Louise, Ruth _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance (well, about half of it actually):
I've already featured the studio version last year, so for once I can skip the introduction to the artist and record and get straight to the 'routine'.
This week's offering is a real oddity. A special TOTP film (probably a Caravel film, shot by Tom Taylor, as pointed out by Ray Langstone) featuring all five girls in various - more or less - eerie costumes, dancing their way through Frankenstein's lab. Lots of spooky ingredients in this clip, such as a haunted castle, a shady vault, a number of various monsters - you name it! Nevertheless, the whole thing appears a bit ludicrous if not ridiculous.
Of course it's a shame that we can't watch the complete video that's been locked away for the moment. Well, maybe one day... But half of it is better than nothing.
I especially like the opening sequence (reminding me of "You Can Do Magic") yet those five bats dancing in the vaults aren't too bad either. Guess I always had a weakness for bats in suspenders! Due to the slightly farcical nature of the clip I find it hard to rate though. I know it is supposed to be just a bit of fun, and TOTP would never have shelled out enough money for a more ambitious project. But watching this film, I sometimes feel like viewing a mediocre home movie. Just the bats save it from being a complete turkey.
7 / 10
DotD: How could you possibly choose a Dancer of the Day here? I certainly can't.
I wasn't aware of this filmed version of the Monster Mash until relativity recently, it seems it has the potential to better the studio version in terms of atmosphere but at the sacrifice of fun? Sadly, I can neither provide a decent illustrative frame for this or feel I can fairly rate the routine from the extract nature of the online clip.
Darn, I rushed over here thinking that we were going to be treated to the first classic BB review in quite a while!
Oh well, this is indeed a tough assignment. How to mark the Crypt Kicker 5? Well I do like the costumes and the vintage horror feel of it all. Reminds me a bit of that spooky early Nosferatu movie. I know it looks a little amateurish to our eyes but then some of those early movies did too. However, there is little Pans dancing in this one and the Director's main instruction must surely have been "don't spend too much money." Overall I think 6.5/10 but it might score higher if the whole performance was viewable or if the quality was improved. A bit like a slightly undercooked appetizer of high quality food leaving us hoping that the main course might still be quite good.......
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
I'd have probably enjoyed this video more if the PQ looked rather less like it was a VHS copy of several generations, but I'm grateful that we can see this version, whatever state that we do, it's always great to et one's hands on such rarities.
As for the actual contents, there's so much happening, that it looks quite chaotic, but the "monsters" didn't seem to have much camera time.
That'll be a wise move, not awarding a "Dancer Of The Day", because I'm also completely lost with that accolade.
Not really sure what to make of this one, it always seemed little more than a cameo, with a 'gothic' cabaret style performance but what we get is ok if a little blurry. I do like the outfits, reminds me of Mortitia Adams and the monster and ghost parts are good too certainly better than the costumes on TOTP. The tunnel section is a decent spooky setting and had they shown the whole thing it would be way more watchable. Its fun but one for the completionists i guess, 6/10.
♥♥♥♥ Cherry, Louise, Patti and Ruth Alliance ♥♥♥♥. If there's a cure for this I don't want it.
Combining truncated length and murky picture quality this is something reaching up to us from the vaults without quite being in our grasp. Probably stirring a few submerged memories in the process. It's quite amateurish and disjointed; like an entry for Michael Rodd's short film competition in a Screen Test for grown ups. The whole Monster Club is crammed in when a stricter door policy would have given us more of the girls. In suspenders! I can't enthuse about it but agree with P4PM that the full clearer copy surfacing would elicit greater appreciation. 5/10
I am another who didn't realise until recently that there was more than one version of Monster Mash. Hopefully the full version will be released from the crypt one day. This version feels a lot more claustrophobic than the studio version and does have the feel of a very low budget horror film. The extra performers unfortunately deny the ladies some camera time and the picture quality is a little ropey at times. On the other hand I do like their outfits and the dancing is quite nice. Would like to have seen how it finished - I do like a happy ending!
Without the full version being available, it is difficult to know how to score this. I think I will offer 6 out of 10.
I do actually remember this one being shown on totp in 73 I think personally it looks more professional than the studio version ,but I'm pretty sure it wasn't meant to be pans main routine for that week ,I'm not even sure it the film was credited as a pans performance,I don't know if I'm just guessing but the song skywriter does ring some kind of very distant bell as a dance
Well i like.It's spooky and wacky and fun.The parts with the dancers are great too.
I saw it repeated on an Australian TV music show a month or two ago.Sadly it had graphic overlays,and wasn't any longer than what we already have.I sent it to Grace Brothers anyway.
I'll base my rating on the routine as a whole and not simply on how much we see of Pan's People.9/10
To cut a long story short, this will be making it out of the vaults.
I was lucky to have been in dialogue with the Archive owner a while back, and as I said in Derby, it's emerging from the crypt.
I managed to persuade him to release it - it was originally down as 'not for sale'.
The version that was shown on Pop Around the Clock in the 80's (which is where the youtube video was taken from) was actually obtained from the archive holder.
If Ryan puts on another event, I hope this will be shown, and I will faciltate that.
Not really enough of it and the quality is poor. At the moment I'll give it a 6/10 but may change it if the full version appears.
Dotd: It's hard enough working out who is who on the low rez clip so I'm not giving one.
Sandy Borne and Tricia Roberts Appreciation Society