Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Video Vault of Mora Tau! 10/6/11

This time, when it comes to the subject for this installment of the Video Vault of Mora Tau, it certainly wasn't hard to Pickett.

Bobby "Boris" Pickett, that is!

That means it's time to get Mashed. And we're not talking potatoes, or sour, or Hawkeye and Trapper John either.

We're talking The Monster Mash!

Novelty singing star Bobby "Boris" Pickett guaranteed himself eternal fame on an annual basis with his great tribute to the old monster movies and Boris Karloff. Let's start with the one true original.

Since the best choices are either watching a 45 rpm record playing for the whole song, or this cute clip with stop motion Lego people, I Lego the record video and got animated...

Of course, the whole thing hinges on Pickett's excellent Boris Karloff impression. But did you know that the TV show Shindig actually pressed an aging Karloff into service for a Halloween episode in 1965 to perform the song himself?

There don't seem to be any clips available, other than weirdly cobbled together recreations. There is a three part version of the whole show, but that's a lot of time invested. So instead, here's an interesting version - a fan's reel-to-reel (!) recording taken while sitting in front of the TV that night in 1965. In addition to Boris and the Mash, you also get a big chunk of Ted Cassidy and his novelty song of the time "Do the Lurch!"

I realize that's more an audio clip than a video clip - but at least he tried to set the mood with the candle and skull - and some great cameo action from his kitty!

A few years later, Vincent Price joined in on the fun with his version, in this clip from The Monster Club (1982). For some reason there's a couple of minutes in this video before the song - with an amusing if slightly heavy-handed speech by vampire Vincent about the horrors mere humans (or "Humes," as the monsters in the film refer to us) inflict on each other. At least this allows John Carradine a good moment at the end of the speech. Skip ahead to about 1:47 if you want to get closer to the song.

I can't resist throwing in one more clip. After the success of The Monster Mash, Bobby Pickett recorded a sequel song - this time geared to the Christmas season - called Monsters' Holiday. In the interests of time we're going to skip Bobby's version (sorry Mr. P!) and stick to our warbling masters of horror theme - because Monsters' Holiday was also recorded by none other than Lon Chaney Jr.!

I don't know about you, but now I'm feeling a bit mashed, and could use a holiday, monsters notwithstanding! Thankfully we have Halloween coming up in a few weeks!

And until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. That's quite the clipfest and monster melody mashup--nice!

    Yesterday, we heard "The Monster Swim." Same tune as the Mash, and it referenced the original in its lyrics. Obviously, we know which tune went on to become a novelty favorite...

  2. I love this song, but I was always partial to One-Eyed, One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater, myself by Sheb Wooley. And hey, it was a movie with Ned Beatty, Shelley Winters and Neil Patrick Harris from 1988. I rented it from my local video store... remember those?