1960s usa


Mad Monster Party?

130 in x of animated feature film history
Release: Mar. 8th, 1967
Country: USA, Japan
Director: Jules Bass

“Baron Boris von Frankenstein achieves his ultimate ambition, the secret of total destruction. He sends out messenger bats to summon all monsters to the Isle of Evil. The Baron intends to inform them of his discovery and also to reveal his imminent retirement as head of the Worldwide Organization of Monsters. 

Frankenstein’s plan is to hand the position and his secrets over to his nephew Felix, a young pharmacist with no knowledge of monsters. Frankenstein’s assistant Francesca wants the title for herself, and she plots with Dracula to take out Felix. Over time, Francesca develops feelings for Felix, after he unknowingly saves her multiple times. Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Monster’s Mate descend upon Francesca, who summons “It”––a gigantic gorilla ape reminiscent of King Kong––who captures all the monsters as Francesca and Felix escape. 

Unhappy that the monsters had conspired against him, Frankenstein drops his secret formula, destroying the island and everyone on it. 

The film was created using Rankin/Bass’ Animagic stop motion animation process, supervised by Tadahito Mochinaga of MOM Productions in Tokyo, Japan. Mad Magazine creator Harvey Kurtzman penned the script (with writer Len Korobkin) and Mad artist Jack Davis designed many of the characters.

In addition to the famous monsters seen in the film, Mad Monster Party also features several celebrity likenesses. Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller’s characters are both designed to look like the actors portraying them, while Baron Frankenstein’s lackey, Yetch, is a physical and vocal caricature of Peter Lorre.

Mad Monster Party was one of several child-friendly projects Boris Karloff lent his voice to in his final years. It was his final involvement in a production connected to the Frankenstein mythos that had propelled him to stardom some 36 years earlier.”



AUGUST 28: Nancy Kulp (1921-1991)

The actress Nancy Kulp was born on this day in 1921. She is most famous for her work as Miss Jane Hathaway on the popular 1960s television series The Beverly Hillbillies.

The interview in which Nancy came out of the closet was used in the book Hollywood Lesbians by Boze Hadleigh (x). 

Nancy Jane Kulp was born on August 28, 1921 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She grew up in a middle-class family with her mother and father and was an only child. She graduated from Florida State University with a degree in journalism in 1943, which was then Florida State College for Women. With the outbreak of World War II, Nancy left her pursuit of a master’s degree and became a lieutenant in the women’s branch of the United States Naval Reserve. In 1951, she and her husband Charles Malcolm Dacus moved to Hollywood so that Nancy could take a position at MGM’s publicity department. Director George Cukor at MGM was soon able to convince her that she should break into acting herself.

Nancy poses with her co-star John McCain Backus for a promotional shot for The Beverly Hillbillies (x).

Her first acting gig was on The Bob Cummings Show in 1955 and throughout her career, Nancy appeared in I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, and The Parent Trap. Her breakout role came in 1962 when she was cast on The Beverly Hillbillies as Jane Hathaway, for which she received an Emmy nomination in 1967. She remained on The Beverly Hillbillies until the show’s cancellation in 1971. In 1984, Nancy had retired from acting and made the switch over to politics – running but eventually losing a campaign for the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania’s 9th congressional district.

In 1989, Nancy came out as a lesbian in an interview with the author Boze Hadleigh. Her exact words read, “"As long as you reproduce my reply word for word, and the question, you may use it…. I’d appreciate it if you’d let me phrase the question. There is more than one way. Here’s how I would ask it: ‘Do you think that opposites attract?’ My own reply would be that I’m the other sort – I find that birds of a feather flock together. That answers your question.” Sadly, she was not able to live in her truth for long and was diagnosed with cancer just a year later in 1990. Nancy passed away on February 3, 1991.