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Monsters Crash the Pajama Party
     

Monsters Crash the Pajama Party

Director: David L. Hewitt, Don Brandon

Cast: David L. Hewitt, Don Brandon

 
This thoroughly enjoyable DVD release -- one of the few family-friendly titles from exploitation merchants Something Weird Video -- has been designed to take advantage of the DVD medium as few other discs have. The Monsters Crash the Pajama Party disc is built around the 1965 short subject of the same name, which was designed to be shown as part of a live spook

Overview

This thoroughly enjoyable DVD release -- one of the few family-friendly titles from exploitation merchants Something Weird Video -- has been designed to take advantage of the DVD medium as few other discs have. The Monsters Crash the Pajama Party disc is built around the 1965 short subject of the same name, which was designed to be shown as part of a live spook-show presentation. Like the rest of the material, it's been transferred to disc at the full frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with the audio mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. But that film is just the tip of the iceberg. Instead of a conventional menu, this disc has you navigate your way though illustrations of a graveyard and a haunted house, where, by clicking on particular items (a tree, a bat, a gravestone), you can call up dozens of things -- anything from horror-themed home movies of the 1920s to a hilariously shoddy-looking 3-D short (Asylum of the Insane) to a gallery of vintage spook-show ads to a full-length film, Tormented. Since none of the items are identified on the "menu," this might be frustrating for someone looking to find a specific item, but as a video hide-and-seek game, it's plenty of fun for kids and genre enthusiasts alike; and if the quality of the source material varies quite a bit, that seems somehow fitting given the theme of the disc. Something Weird has also thrown in a pair of 3-D glasses for good measure, and included two optional commentary tracks during Monsters Crash the Pajama Party in which old-time spook-show operators discuss the finer points of their trade. Clever, well researched, and lots of fun, this is one of the few DVDs that suggest that its producers realize the disc is more than a souped-up video cassette, and have designed it accordingly. The result is a very entertaining release.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Fred Beldin
Monsters Crash the Pajama Party is a slow-witted, but enjoyable time warp that boasts a perfect combination of bad jokes, bad acting, and fake monsters. Unapologetically cheap, the entire film was clearly just a ruse to keep the audience interested until the big payoff, five minutes of blank screen time (with an appropriately "scary" soundtrack and occasionally punctuated by flashes of lightning) which cued a trio of costumed cut-ups to tear through the theater causing mayhem. Monsters opens with a ludicrous address from the mad doctor, who promises that "in a few moments, I will be a lot safer in here than you will be out there!" This is followed by one of the weirdest credit sequences in movie history; the names are read aloud by a bad Boris Karloff imitator while each person's position on the film is clumsily mimed by a man in a gorilla suit. The stars are five pairs of boys and girls, undistinguished except for one fellow who sports an impenetrable, but genuine, accent of some sort. They spend their time onscreen lamely spouting off a variety of laugh lines that range from unfunny to just plain confusing ("Knock it off, or you'll be instant monster!"). From there on, the mad doctor cackles and rubs his hands together, his gorilla slave holds up signs reading "Fantastic!" or "Outstanding!" to express his moods, and both Maila "Vampira" Nurmi and Jonathan Winters' Maude Frickett character are lampooned (or ripped off, depending on your level of charity). It's all a sublimely ridiculous 45-minute show that never takes itself seriously for a second and even seems to revel in the flat failure of its own bad jokes. The credits refer to writer/director/producer David L. Hewitt as "the fearless showman," and that appears to be an accurate statement. Not only was Hewitt responsible for this bewildering achievement, but he was also in charge of a sci-fi revision of L. Frank Baum's most famous book entitled The Wizard of Mars, which certainly took courage to release with a straight face.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/11/2001
UPC:
0014381080520
Original Release:
1965
Rating:
NR
Source:
Image Entertainment
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
3:34:00
Sales rank:
29,186

Special Features

Commentary track by Harry "Dr. Jekyl" Wise; Commentary track by Philip "Dr. Evil" Morris; "Asylum of the Insane" 3-D short; 3-D glasses

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