Saturday, May 26, 2012

#649. Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks (1974)

Directed By: Dick Randall

Starring: Rossano Brazzi, Michael Dunn, Edmund Purdom

Tag line: "Weird creatures return to life in..."

Trivia:  Actor Rossano Brazzi, who played Count Frankenstein in this film, was arrested in 1984 on arms smuggling charges

Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks begins as any good monster movie, or indeed any movie period, should: with a group of villagers battling it out with a caveman!

This is the first, but far from the last scene in Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks that will have you scratching your head and wondering “What the hell am I watching here?”

Once the caveman is subdued, the villagers go to work on him, beating the poor neanderthal to death. His body is then dragged off to the castle of Count Frankenstein (Rossano Brazzi), who uses it to conduct yet another experiment in his quest to bring the dead back to life. As luck would have it, Frankenstein finally realizes his goal, and the caveman, whom he names Goliath (Loren Ewing), rejoins the ranks of the living. Yet the Count's celebration is interrupted when he's forced to banish his assistant, a dwarf named Genz (Michael Dunn), from the castle for, among other infractions, “having his way” with a few of the more shapely female corpses. Yet Genz will get his revenge, teaming up with another Caveman (played by the strategically named Boris Lugosi) and setting his sights on Frankenstein’s beautiful daughter Maria (Simone Blondell) and her equally gorgeous friend, Krista (Christiane Royce), transforming the girls’ weekend visit into a nightmare from which they cannot escape.

Moments of pure hilarity, mostly of the unintentional sort, are to be found throughout Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks. In an early scene, we get a glimpse of Genz's treacherous behavior when he cops a feel off a nubile young corpse who's just been pulled from her grave. However, Ganz isn't the only one getting a little action. A hunchbacked servant named Kreegin (Xiro Papas) is locked in a relationship with the cook, Valda (Laura de Benedittis), who just happens to be the wife of Hans (Alan Collins), Frankenstein's most trusted assistant (During one of Kreegin and Valda's liaisons in the wood shed, we learn Valda likes it kinda rough). Not to be outdone, the castle's visitors don't keep their clothes on for very long, either. Her first night there, Krista strips down and takes a milk bath, a precursor to a later sequence where she and Maria are out exploring a cave and come across a pool of natural spring water, which they promptly jump into, smearing mud on each others naked bodies as they bathe.

Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks is certainly not be the best monster movie ever made, but the sheer lunacy that takes place within its 90 minutes at least ensures it’s never a boring one.


Steven J. Newman said...

Dunn, listed in the trailer credits, best known for his role in Wild Wild West, had an interesting short life, no pun intended.

DVD Infatuation said...

@Steven: Thanks for the comment! I was checking out his bio a few days ago, and you're right...he lived an amazing life! Thanks also for posting the link, and for stopping by.