KNOWN also as the Day of the Dead, Halloween is the only day of the year that Count Dracula, the headless horseman, werewolf and the bride of Frankenstein mingle in our midst.
But don’t the real demons, ghouls and goblins wield their gnarly heads in the news pages daily?
Vincent Price has the answer in The Monster Club, an overlooked cult film based on the works of British horror author Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes.
The film stars Price as the vampire Erasmus and an unsuspecting earthling played by John Carradine.
Erasmus brings Carradine, a horror storywriter, to the club — the Monster Club — where he nominates the human for Monster Club membership.
In order to persuade the club that Carradine is a monster, Erasmus delivers what amounts to an anti-war monologue. This vetting is a breeze, as humans — or “humes” they’re called in the film — possess all the monster qualifications and more.
Over the past 100 years, Erasmus begins, “humans have exterminated over 150 million of their own kind. No effort has been spared to reach this astronomical figure. And the methods that they have used must demand our unstinted admiration...”
“They invented guns and tanks and bombs and aeroplanes and extermination camps and poison gas and daggers and swords and bayonets and booby traps and atomic bombs and flying missiles.
“Submarines, warships, aircraft carriers and motor cars. They have even perfected a process whereby they can spread a lethal disease on any part of this planet — not to say anything about nuclear power.
“During their short history, you know, humes have subjected other humes to death by burning, hanging, decapitation, strangulation, electrocution, shooting, drowning, crushing, racking, disembowelling and other methods far, far too revolting for the delicate stomachs of this august assembly.”
Monster Club monsters, upon hearing this exhaustive list of monstrosities, unanimously decide to grant the human membership.
“I second the proposal!” says the Wolfman. “A member of such a talented race can only be a credit to any monster club!”
The monsters all cheer, “Bravo!” Then the place becomes a dance party to celebrate the installation of a new member with that old Halloween hit, the Monster Mash.
Price’s words couldn’t be more spot-on today. After napalm, white phosphorus, depleted Uranium and Trident; as we cluster bomb, drone strike, carpet-bomb, torture, and waterboard our way through the 21st century, humans deserve platinum membership in any club for monsters.
The monster club of Britain is headquartered at 10 Downing Street and led by the Vampire Tories, sucking the blood of the nation (including their few remaining zombie supporters).
In there is the Mummy, Theresa May, who’s so weak and wobbly on her feet. We’ve seen Boris Johnson’s King Kong diplomacy, and Freddy Krueger slashing welfare in the form of Jacob Rees-Mogg.
“The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls,” goes a quote most often attributed to Edgar Allan Poe. But when someone has no soul, you’re left with only the horror invoked by the toothy grin of the dinosaur Tony Blair.
And as Thatcher’s ghost skulks around the smouldering dragons in the City of London, you can hear the bones rattling the skeleton of the NHS.
Who needs Halloween? The real-life Monster Mash is a number one graveyard smash every single day.