I only saw one third of Roy Ward Baker’s “The Monster Club” (1981), when I was maybe in the third or fourth grade. It was a typical 80’s horror anthology movie, and I walked in when my older brother was watching the third and final segment on television. I’ll be damned if that segment alone didn’t creep me out, though. (And the reviews of the film that I’ve read indeed name “The Ghouls” as the scariest entry in the trio.)
It’s pretty tame by today’s standards, or at least to my adult sensibilities. It was definitely a lower-budget scary story, and probably pretty safe for television even back then. But I watched it again the other night, and it still retains its creepiness after … about 35 years, I guess. The titular monsters are indeed “ghouls” in the classical sense — they are human-looking fiends that are very much alive, but that feed on carrion (which actually makes them the reverse of zombies, I suppose.)
I can’t vouch for the rest of the movie, as I’ve only seen snippets, which seem pretty cheesy. The wraparound segments star none other than Vincent Price and John Carradine, which will of course appeal to fans of classic horror. (Carradine actually portrays a fictionalized version of R. Chetwynd – Hayes, the prominent British author who penned the stories on which the movie is based.)
If you saw this back in the day and “The Ghouls” got under your skin, then let me know. I’d get a kick out of knowing that I wasn’t the only one.