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The Dreadful Ten: Top 10 Versions of “THE MONSTER MASH” from Bobby “Boris” Pickett

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It’s not very often that Halloween falls on a Saturday, but when it does, it poses a question to all lovers of festivities and frights: what “Monster Mash” should I play at my Halloween party? Obviously, with Bobby “Boris” Pickett having dedicated his life to performing the same song over and over with slight variations to the orchestration and lyrics, it’s not an easy choice to make and is guaranteed to lay on even more pressure to one’s Halloween plans. Luckily, FANGORIA’s resident novelty song expert and THE CONDEMNED enthusiast Madeleine Koestner took charge to provide horror hounds with the ten best Monster Mashes for their petrifying playlists.

 

10.  “The Monster Mash”

It doesn’t get better or much different than the original novelty Halloween classic. Bobby “Boris” Pickett was a showman, mugging for the camera and littering the song with impressions. Additionally, as you may not have realized, he’s surprisingly attractive. Watch till the end and see him drop the act, and then tell me you don’t kind of want to kiss him.

Bobby wrote the song to parody dance crazes of the time, and was a lover of horror. The Mash was a huge hit and everyone wanted to partake, including the Wolfman, Dracula, and his son.

 

9.  “The Monster Rap”

The Monster Rap is my personal favorite of the Monster Mash follow-ups. Recorded early ’80s to mime the rap trends of the time, The Monster Rap wasn’t met with much success, but how often do you get to hear Frankenstein’s Monster rapping? Dracula agrees, as he requests to be taught how to rap by the Monster as well.  And the “Shock the body!” hook is very catchy.

 

8. “The Monster Swim”

The Monster Swim is nearly identical to the Monster Mash, but with a water vibe, in that the word “Mash” has been changed to “Swim”, and Bobby is now hanging out with a scary octopus. Returning to American Bandstand on Halloween to perform for Dick Clark again, Bobby claims the Swim is bigger than the Mash, but it isn’t, and he’s definitely in on the joke.

 

7. “The Climate Mash”

The last Mash Bobby ever recorded was this political statement about Global Warming. No word on how climate change has affected Dracula and his son.

 

6.  “Sinister Stomp”

This Mash is a Stomp, and boy, is it a Sinister one. Bobby, as his “Boris” character, declares ownership of the Stomp, and then details the way it has been used. He says it is good for the soul, but he might be misleading us. The purpose of the Sinister Stomp in the context of the song is somewhat troubling, as it broke someone’s back and also keeps his ghouls in line. It is clearly the most evil and godless of the different Mashes.

 

5. “Monster’s Holiday”

A Holiday Mash, for all occasions, but especially Christmas. One of the original Mashes, Monster’s Holiday is just like the Monster Mash, but with jingle bells and the Monsters attacking and robbing an unsuspecting (and woefully unprepared) Santa Claus. Rumor has it that it’s this very attack that has caused Santa to carry a firearm during his yearly rounds.

 

4. “Monster Mash Party”

As the B-side to the original Monster Mash, I get the impression that this track is simply the audio of the party Boris and the Crypt-kickers threw, and I appreciate their foresight in setting up a microphone to capture and immortalize the event. It must have been the best Halloween party of all time.

 

3. “Monster Motion”

The Monster Motion is a dance Dracula invented whilst the Boris character was working in his lab late one night, which appears to be a running theme in Pickett’s long, long life. Zombies are doing it. Ghouls are doing it. You’ll dig it too. Dracula wants his Mummy back, and has problems with a lot of the dancers, but he’s still pretty enthusiastic about everyone learning the Motion. Sadly for Drac, it is not as well-known as the Mash, but if you know the Monster Motion, chances are you’re gonna do it.

 

2. “Monster Mash (2000 Remix)” 

There’s a lot of remixes of this song out there, but I don’t feel anything captured the spirit of the mash quite as well as this one did. I am a big fan of the “woman screaming” sound effect that was added and repeats every chorus. It really spices this mix up.

 

1. “It’s Alive”

Recorded in the early ’90s, It’s Alive is the true end of the Mash story arc. It begins with Boris expressing his irritation with the passing of time and the success of his Mash. “No one cares!” he declares. But Boris has spawned a child who uses computers and lasers, and his kid is ready to take up the reins of the Mash. He’s turned the Monsters into a band, and even Boris enjoys their album. It’s the perfect Halloween musical treat for fans of the film BOYHOOD.

About the author
Madeleine Koestner
Madeleine Koestner is a writer, filmmaker and performer. She plays a ukulele and sings songs about ghosts in small venues in New York City. She likes beer, synthesizers and movies about death games. Sometimes Madeleine does special FX makeup and gore for low-budget horror movies. You can follow her on twitter @DVDBoxSet, but do so at your own risk, as she's really weird and inappropriate.
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