Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Castle Freak, Lovecraft...Crampton...Combs, Oh my!

H.P. Lovecraft!  Barbara Crampton!  Jeffrey Combs! Need I say more?  Okay, if I must. This trio has already given us "From Beyond" and "ReAnimator," and now 1995's "Castle Freak." Filmed largely in Italy, this film also will throw lots of gore at us. Oh, I forgot to mention, this horror film is directed by Stuart Gordon. No laboratories in this one, and no alternate dimensions...no...something more horrible awaits...a bad marriage.
Bad news for John (Combs). He is married to the sultry Susan (Crampton) and she has banned him from the bedroom and other husband duties. See, Susan blames John for the death of their son. The blame is well placed as the little boy died as a result of John's drunkenness. In that same drunken accident, the couple's beautiful daughter was blinded. Now the unhappy trio head to Italy where John has inherited a very old Gothic castle.  Yeah...like this will turn out well.  As their blind daughter Rebecca (Jessica Dollarhide) learns to cope with her new handicap, John must cope with the lack of sex from his beautiful wife.  Rebecca will cope better.
But wait!  As Rebecca finds out the hard way, they are not alone in the castle.  A freak (Jonathan Fuller) has just broken out of the castle's dungeon and has fallen in love with Rebecca. This won't play well for our blind sweetheart. After witnessing John nail a prostitute in the wine cellar, our deformed mutant freak has the urge for sexual relations.  After eating the prostitute (literally and figuratively), the freak desires sex with Rebecca.  After John is blamed for the prostitute's murder, as no one knows of this freak's existence, the monster busts loose and stalks our beautiful damsels.  Uh oh, we are let in on the backstory of this freak, and this will force John to come face to face with some horrible truths about his own past.
Will John be able to shake himself of this bum rap and return to the castle to defend his two gals...one of which hates his guts? After messing up the prostitute, will the freak refine his love-making technique in order to leave Rebecca in one piece...and still breathing?  Will a very feisty Susan turn the freak's attention away from Rebecca?  This is a bloody one and some very ghastly kills await you, the viewer.  Perhaps not as cerebral as the aforementioned Lovecraft films, but the backstory is seedy enough to satisfy Lovecraft fans.  Great acting and gory scares make "Castle Freak" a very worthwhile take.


  1. I love Jeffrey Combs & Barbara Crampton. Throw Stuart Gordon into the mix & this is perfect. That trio is perfection. This movie is on my list of must sees. Good review, Christopher.

  2. Oh man I so need to revisit this one it's been several years since I seen it & I only caught it once. Really enjoyed it at the time & I've been meaning to revisit several Gordon films I've only seen once before, such as Pit & the Pendulum & King of the Ants. Very nice review as always mate, think I'll bump this one up on my revisit list. (Btw revisited Dagon a couple of months back & while it has neither Combs or the lovely Ms Crampton it's still really cool with a great atmosphere.)

  3. Really enjoyed this movie (first-time watcher in 2020)! The Castle Freak, Giorgio (sp?), broke my heart in much the way Frankenstein's monster did. Wanted human connection and just didn't get it (though, admittedly, his methods were a bit overzealous. Ha!). A great movie, glad Where the Scary Things Are podcast brought it to my attention. Great review, Christopher!