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Episode No. 50:

“The Monstrous Monkee Mash”

The Monkees attempt to rescue David from Dracula, Wolfman,
Mummyman, and Frankenstein's monster in a creepy castle.

Vital Stats, Credits and Releases On Home Video:

Production No. 4767
Filmed At: Screen Gems Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Filming Dates: October 31 (hint-hint!)-November 2, 1967
Original Air Date: January 22, 1968
Ratings: 17.4 rating/26.6 share (9,740,000 viewers)
© Raybert Productions; 1-22-68; LP37621
Sponsor This Week:
Yardley Of London
Rerun Dates: June 8, 1968 (NBC); November 14, 1970, March 11, 1972 (CBS); February 3, 1973 (ABC)

Written by Neil Burstyn & David Panich.
Directed by James Frawley.
Executive Producers: Robert Rafelson & Bert Schnieder.
Associate Producer: Gerald S. Shepard.
Produced by Ward Sylvester.
Background Music Composed and Conducted by Stu Phillips.
"Goin' Down" Written by Diane Hilderbrand, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz & David Jones; Produced by Chip Douglas.
Guest cast:

Ron Masak as The Count
Arlene Martel as Loreli
David Pearl as The Wolfman

Home Video Releases:

  • The Monkees - Volume 6 (Musicvision VHS #60811/Beta #20811, June 25, 1987)
  • The Monkees: The Collector's Edition - VHS Tape #8 (Columbia House #19937, May 22, 1995)
  • The Monkees Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set - VHS Tape #11 (Rhino R3 2960, October 17, 1995)
  • Rhino VHS R3 2245 (September 17, 1996)
  • The Monkees - Season 2 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 3 (Rhino RetroVision DVD R2 970128, November 18, 2003)
  • The Monkees - Season 2 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 3 (Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD EM351369, September 27, 2011)

Synopsis:

David is lured by his new girlfriend Lorlei to her Uncle Count Dracula’s castle near the swamp on a thunderous night. While there, David becomes spooked by some of the surroundings including a moving armor, a painting of Count Dracula on the wall (which is really The Count standing behind a blank picture frame) and a bat-type lamp and tries to exit. Lorlei manages to persuade him to give her a kiss and ends up paralyzing him with a magic necklace she places on him. Soon The Count decides that David is the perfect specimen for Dracula reborn!

Meanwhile back at The Monkees' pad, Micky and Peter begin to worry since David isn’t back yet so Michael calls the castle. But when he receives The Count’s creepy laughter on the phone, he’s convinced that David is in trouble and needs their help; while Micky and Peter hide under a sheet Michael declares that once again Courageous American Youth leaps into the fore..."or five!" At the castle, Dracula starts training David on how to act a vampire by having him drink tomato juice as blood and flying lessons with a vampire's cape. Michael, Micky and Peter arrive at the castle to rescue David where The Count welcomes them inside but Micky is reluctant until Lorlei invites them in. They bring them to the library where they inform the guys that their mate went into town and should be back soon before excusing themselves. The guys start to get spooked by their surroundings while The Count and Lorlei observe and take notes behind the picture frame on the wall. Then Count Dracula decides that Peter’s mind would be perfect for the monster since he doesn’t have a brain in his head! Michael reads a book, A Study Into The Nature Of The Vampire by Count Sylvanias Dracula, and they notice the picture of the vampire in the book resembles The Count. They deduce that The Count and Lorlei are vampires, and Michael and Micky search for David while Peter stays behind.

David, chained to a wall in the cellar, tries to turn The Wolfman against The Count by accusing him of keeping Wolfman in the basement all the time, not giving him second billings in the pictures they’ve made together and exploiting him. When The Wolfman prepares to pounce on Lorlei, David informs her that the Wolfman wants a better percentage of the profits, cookouts on weekends, and the right to play his own music and Lorlei agrees. Later, Lorliei seduces Peter in the library into kissing her freezing him with the magic necklace like she did with David. The Wolfman enters and attempts to carry Peter off to dispatch but is stopped by The Count who manages to distract him with links of hot dogs. Then The Count and Lorlei take frozen Peter to the lab. Michael and Micky continue to search for David when they briefly encounter The Mummy. Micky is still spooked by their surroundings and is ready to leave but Michael insists on finding David and they head back to the library where they discover Peter is gone, too!

Michael and Micky continue their search, neither of them noticing that The Wolfman is behind them. Soon Michael finds a secret passageway and enters it but Micky doesn’t follow him in and when he spots he Wolfman, he runs back to the library and barricades himself in with furniture--which is exactly where Loreli uses the necklace on him just as she did with David and Peter, and promises The Wolfman that Micky is for him, and Wolfman arrives with a banana. Michael finds himself in the cellar but he becomes scared when he realizes that Micky is not behind him. He’s further scared when the comes across The Mummy in his tomb and heads back upstairs and into the library where he hides from The Count and Lorlei behind the picture frame in the wall. There, Michael overhears and takes notes as Dracula and Loreli plan to switch brains from Peter to their monster, in the underground crypt at the height of the full moon at midnight!

Meanwhile, in the dungeon, David and Micky, in chains, are faced with the possibility of becoming monsters. The two become Count Dracula and The Werewolf in a fantasy sequence, but their fantasy is interrupted by The Count. Dracula commends the boys on their conversion to monsterhood, but they try to kick him out for interrupting their fantasy sequence and he's not allowed to take part in same. But The Count informs them that he controls everything including their fantasies, and to their shock they really have become a vampire and a wolfman when they can't take their makeup off! The Count orders the Wolfman to chain them back up as he and Lorlei prepare for the operation on Peter. Michae makes it to the cellar and hides in the Mummy’s tomb with The Mummy as The Count arrives. The vampires and Wolfman drag two stretchers of Peter and the monster covered with white sheets preparing for the operation. Nes switches wardrobes with the Mummy and arrives as his assistant and manages to trick The Count with a scalpel and a chisel, snatching the stretcher right under his nose and takes off. Then Michael frees Werewolf Micky and Vampire David. Realizes he’s been duped, The Count decides to use mind control on the guys which makes Micky try to bite Michael’s hand and David bite his neck and drink his blood. The Count finds the boys have their monster while he and Loreli have Peter and throws an energizing switch, setting off a wild romp between monsters and Monkees as they fight off Frankenstein’s monster, Wolfman, Dracula and The Mummy singing "Goin' Down", eventually defeating them all.

Returned to reality, The Monkees reconvene in the library, where Michael reads in the book that defeated monsters can't return for a thousand years. They are all relieved that they’re no more monsters until the book starts flying in space which spooks Peter thinking it’s The Invisible Man. Mike reveals it’s merely special effects with a wire holding the book up and proves it by using scissors to cut the wire. David uses the scissors as well and manages to cut the wire causing the book to drop on Peter’s foot.

Production Notes:

“The Monstrous Monkee Mash” was the first official episode of The Monkees television series not to be produced by Raybert Productions; Ward Sylvester assumed the producing reins for the first time. 

Outtakes from this episode can be spotted at the outset of Episode No. 46, "The Monkees On The Wheel".

Though he composed the song together with his fellow Monkee comrades and Diane Hilderbrand, Michael Nesmith is suspiciously omitted from songwriting credit for "Goin' Down" in the end credits song listing for “The Monstrous Monkee Mash”. The song itself appears here and in Episode No. 54, "The Monkees In Paris" (a.k.a. "The Paris Show"), in its mono mix heard on the B-side of the Colgems 66-1012 single. For the Saturday Afternoon repeats of “The Monstrous Monkee Mash” on CBS November 14, 1970 and March 11, 1972, "Goin' Down" was replaced by the Micky Dolenz/Ric Klein tune "Bye Bye, Baby, Bye Bye".

Several interior shots of Dracula's castle in “The Monstrous Monkee Mash” were filmed on the set previously used as Cunningham Manor in Episode No. 2, “Monkee See, Monkee Die”.

An early story idea in the original synopsis for “The Monstrous Monkee Mash” had Loreli promising The Wolfman, when he leaps at her, a better contract and the next body.

In the scene where he and Micky attempt in vain to remove their monster makeup, David inadvertently calls for Jack Williams, the show's property man---when he should have called for Keeva Johnson, the makeup artist!

The Monkees' first recording session for their fifth album, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees, took place on the evening they finished “The Monstrous Monkee Mash”'s first day of shooting.

Listen for an off-camera voice by director Jim Frawley, as he gives Micky direction on how to give a scare. Frawley also provides the voice of the small toy bat which flaps its wings and speaks when its string is pulled ("I vant to drink your blood!")

Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In premiered directly after the firstrun telecast of “The Monstrous Monkee Mash” on NBC. The late David Panich, one of the writers of “Monstrous Monkee Mash,” was also a celebrated member of Laugh-In's writing staff. Coslough Johnson, another Monkees writer-turned-Laugh-In writer, is the brother of Laugh-In regular Arte Johnson. Monkees semiregular Monte Landis appeared in the original 60-minute pilot for Laugh-In, which aired on NBC September 9, 1967 (2 days before the launch of The Monkees' second season). David Jones was later seen in a February 10, 1969 episode of Laugh-In (in which he plays Romeo to JoAnne Worley's Juliet in a Valentine's Day sketch), and The Monkees (sans departed Peter Tork) guested in an October 6, 1969 episode of the series (in which they portrayed Spirits Of '76, medieval knights, and salesmen). 

The tail end of the "Goin' Down" number intersperses footage of The Monkees leaping across and around a fountain, previously used in various musical sequences in the first season. 

The stock footage of the Gothic manor atop a steep mountain (flashing with lightning to thunderous weather) is used for the third time on The Monkees in this episode. Previous usage of the clip was in Episode No. 2, “Monkee See, Monkee Die”, and No. 18, “I Was A Teenage Monster”

Trivia Notes:

“The Monstrous Monkee Mash” is the second horror movie/occult-themed Monkees episode of the series; the first was No. 18, “I Was A Teenage Monster”.

Once again, the series delves into Monkee/monster transplants! In “I Was A Teenage Monster”, The Monkees' musical prowess is transferred from them to a mod monster (Dick Kiel); whereas here, an attempt is made to transplant Peter's brain into the body of another monster.

Here, Peter faces the prospect of having his brain transferred, whereas in an earlier episode, No. 17, “The Case Of The Missing Monkee”, his brain was drained.

The title for the episode “The Monstrous Monkee Mash” may have been inspired by the 1962 novelty song “The Monster Mash,” co-written (with Leonard Capizzi) and performed by the late Bobby “Boris” Pickett.

Here is a fifth occurrence which sees Peter Tork clad in his orange jammies and matching nightcap with the blue bunny design; previous ones are found in Episode No. 2, “Monkee See, Monkee Die”, No. 38, "I Was A 99-lb. Weakling", No. 42, "The Wild Monkees", and No. 43, "A Coffin Too Frequent". He also wears it in a Kellogg's Rice Krispies commercial filmed for this season. Peter is the only Monkee to have worn the same pajamas in all four episodes; Micky, Michael and David wore different PJs in “Monkee See, Monkee Die” (the only one in the first season in which they wear PJs), while these 3 second season episodes find them wearing new pajamas. (Micky and David wear different PJs in No. 58, "Mijacogeo" [a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper"].)

Micky and Michael make snide comments during this episode about people being denied access to Disneyland due to their long hair. This same comment was first mentioned in Episode No. 42, "The Wild Monkees".

When Micky and Michael find Peter missing, Micky thinks they should make it a duet, and "if you get lost, I'll be a single!" Mick then breaks out with a fine rendition of "Hey!, Hey!, I'm A Monkee!"--little suspecting that within 2 years, The Monkees would be reduced to a duet due to Michael Nesmith's departure, comprised of a David Jones-Micky Dolenz duo. (They would record one more album together, their ninth, Changes [#COS-119, released 5/70], and release one final single, "Oh My My"/"I Love You Better" [Colgems #66-5011, released 4/70] before officially calling it quits.)

Number of times flashcuts of images of vampires are inserted inbetween scenes each time the word "vampire" is mentioned: 6.

Number of times flashcuts of images of vampires are inserted inbetween scenes each time Peter mentions the word "face": 3.

Michael Nesmith, as we know, is the only Monkee in this episode to successfully avert the mighty spell of Loreli's magic necklace!! (The reason is obvious: he's already married, of course.)

Also, here's another occasion which sees Michael copying the famous chin-in-hand candid of America's favorite "39 year-old," Jack Benny (1894-1974); others are No. 45, "The Monkees In Texas", and No. 53, "The Monkees Race Again" (a.k.a. "Leave The Driving To Us").

This is the second time "cookouts on weekends" is mentioned on The Monkees, following Episode No. 7, “The Monkees In A Ghost Town”, in which Lenny (Lon Chaney, Jr.) was seen requesting cookouts on weekends from Michael and David.

The tail end of “The Monstrous Monkee Mash” offers the last of three occasions Micky Dolenz is seen mimicking famed comedian W.C. Fields. Earlier occasions can be found in Episode No. 15, “Too Many Girls” (a.k.a. "Davy And Fern"), and No. 31, “The Monkees At The Movies”.

David is seen wearing a white shirt which is closely identical to the one which Micky wore in Episode No. 42, "The Wild Monkees", and No. 43, "A Coffin Too Frequent".

Peter's orange paisley shirt is the same one he wore in the tag interview segment of Episode No. 48, "Fairy Tale", and will wear in the tag interview segment of the next episode, "The Monkee's Paw", the wraparound segments of Episode No. 54, "The Monkees In Paris" (a.k.a. "The Paris Show"), and No. 58, "Mijacogeo" (a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper").

Watch, during the "Goin' Down" romp, as Peter manages to frighten The Count with a lollipop, which he slurps in celebration. Peter was seen with a similar-looking lollipop in Episode No. 14, “Dance, Monkee, Dance”, which he presented as "an all-day sucker," as a response to David's claim that the Renaldo's Dance Au-Go-Go school "is gonna be loaded with suckers!" ("All day! All-day suckers!").

The next episode which sees Michael Nesmith in disguise as a mummy will be Episode No. 55, "The Monkees Mind Their Manor", in which he disguises as Capricorn The Mummy (wearing the same bandaged headgear!), traveling along with Micky and Peter (also as mummies Pisces and Aquarius) with David to England in mummy cases.

A Dracula "jiggler" (rubber figure) can be seen flapping its wings and intoning "I vant to drink your blood!" (courtesy of director Jim Frawley). Other interesting aspects include a shot of a Don Post Dracula mask in a "Dracula Family Scrapbook" and several clips of the Roger Corman castle (used for the third time on The Monkees). 

The end of “The Monstrous Monkee Mash” which finds Peter frightened by The Invisible Man is an affectionate lampoon of the ending of the 1948 Universal Picture Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein

One of the last 2 Monkees episodes to be released on Beta, along with Episode No. 52, "The Devil And Peter Tork", in 1987. 

Guest Cast Notes:

Ron Masak (The Count) later played Charlie Wilson in the 1973 ABC sitcom turkey Love Thy Neighbor, and Sheriff Mort Metzger on Murder, She Wrote (CBS, 1984-95). With pre-Monkees series developer Paul Mazursky, he previously partook in a February 12, 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone (CBS, 1959-64), "The Purple Testament." A day after "The Monstrous Monkee Mash" aired, Masak also appeared in the beginning of a 4-part episode of I Dream Of Jeannie (NBC, 1965-70), "Genie, Genie, Who's Got The Genie?" (Jan. 23, 30, Feb. 6 and 15, 1968), with Monkee guest alumni Lou Antonio ("Hillbilly Honeymoon" [a.k.a. "Double Barrell Shotgun Wedding"]), Rita Shaw (“Too Many Girls” [a.k.a. "Davy And Fern"]), William Baghdad ("Everywhere A Sheik Sheik", HEAD) and Joseph Perry (“The Monkees In The Ring”); he was later seen in an October 15, 1970 episode of Bewitched (ABC, 1964-72), "Samantha's Hot Bed Warmer," with another Monkee guest, Noam Pitlik ("Everywhere A Sheik Sheik", "Hitting The High Seas").

Arlene Martel (Loreli) had her own turn on Bewitched: she guested with Monkee guest alumnus, Laurie Main ("The Monkees Mind Their Manor") in a 2-part September 15-22, 1971 episode, ""How Not To Lose Your Head To Henry VIII," which launched the series' 8th and final season on ABC.

David Pearl, who is The Wolfman, is, as we all know, a Monkee Stand-In. Despite numerous episode appearances, this is his only screen credit on The Monkees.

That's Valerie Kairys, walking down the steps past Dracula David and Wooly Werewolf Micky, summoned by Micky's howl. Kairys previously had a guest role as Kitty in a December 28-29, 1966 episode of Batman (ABC, 1966-68), "The Sandman Cometh/The Catwoman Goeth," (#9715), whose "Extra Special Guest Villainess," Julie Newmar (as The Catwoman), was another Monkee guest (“The Monkees Get Out More Dirt”).

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