Judging a Book by its Cover
-Let me guess, buddy, you’re single.
-Apparently Romanians don’t have affordable dental plans, which is a shame because this Lisa needs braces.
-Oh my god, what happened to Barbara Crampton?
Hideous, hungry & loose!
Starring Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton
The film opens with an old lady cutting up some moldy meat and dried out bread on a plate and bringing it into the basement of a draughty castle to reveal a dungeon. She opens a cell door and picks up a barbed whip and beats some poor bastard wearing a blanket over his face with it. She leaves the food and goes back to her room where she passes away in her sleep.
Some time later, the Reilly family are on their way to their new castle in the Romanian countryside. They inherited it by being the next of kin and who wouldn’t want to check out their very own castle? Despite the inheritance, not all is well in Reillyworld. John and Susan’s daughter, Rebecca, is blind due to John’s drunk driving accident not long ago that cost Rebecca her sight and their son’s life. Susan has a hard time forgiving John for it though he thinks he deserves it at this point. Not with that attitude, mister. As if it wasn’t bad enough for the family, that thing in the basement that was left for dead earlier, figured out a way to get out of his cell and hungry.
John and Susan’s arguments lead John to stray from the fold and he visits a bar to break his streak of abstaining from drinking and even brings home a prostitute because the man has needs. He unknowingly brings her to her doom because the freak is out in the castle and kills the poor woman. The police are led to believe that John is the killer so he must prove that it wasn’t him as the freak starts taking a liking to Rebecca.
Going into the film you may be expecting a monster movie but it takes a long time before the movie twists into what you expect from it. It’s nice to see Combs and Crampton together flashing their dramatic chops about a family tearing apart at the seams and it just so happens the titular freak makes things so much worse though he’s not so much scary as he is gross. Props to the effects crew for making a disgusting looking freak as well as the gruesome effects which are the highlight of the film. Stuart Gordon has made some of my favorite movies and despite me wanting to say that Castle Freak is in that upper echelon of the director’s efforts, it’s only okay.
Story: 6 – A family inherits a creepy castle complete with a deformed creature in the dungeon.
Blood: 7 – The effects for the creature are indeed gruesome as well as his methods of devouring his victims. A bit off nipple and eyeball munching are among the stomach-churning scenes.
Nudity: 4 – While it won’t end well for the prostitute, she does get nekkid.
Overall: 6 – Well worth a watch but it certainly doesn’t come near the best of Gordon’s films.
-The castle is owned by Charles Band, owner of Full Moon Pictures.
-The freak effects took six hours to apply.
-The film was blessed by the Vatican for fears of the effect on its viewers.