Who knew Full Moon movies could be intelligent? Full Moon Entertainment is a production company created by Charles Band after Band's Empire International Pictures closed its doors. Full Moon production weren't as good as Empire productions, but they still made some great films, like Puppet Master, Dollman, and Oblivion. One film that is also fairly well known amongst Full Moon fans is Castle Freak. I had not had the opportunity to view this gem until today, when I picked it up on VHS. That thing beneath the sheets may not be furniture; it could be the...
Castle Freak 1995 Review
John (Jeffrey Combs), Susan (Barbara Crampton), and Rebecca (Jesca Dollarhide) Reilly move into an Italian castle that John inherited. It turns out he was related to a duchess who died in that castle where her son had supposedly died forty years prior. The family moves in, and it turns out that their son JJ was killed in a car accident when John was driving drunk, which also resulted in Rebecca long her ght. John and Susan are on the verge of divorce, which causes lots of tenon while staying in the castle.
However, tenons aren't the only thing the family has to worry about. Giorgio, the duchess's deformed, supposedly dead son, has actually been held captive in the castle dungeon all these years as her whipping boy. Giorgio breaks free of his chains and begins haunting the castle while hiding himself with a bed sheet. He starts to kill anyone unfortunate enough to cross his path. John gets accused of murdering the people, and realizes exactly what's been going on at his castle. He rushes to escape the police and save his family, but is it too late?
While the plot may seem illogical, which may lead to some confuon as to why I find this film intelligent, the way it is executed is expertly done. Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) is directing, and this time, he gives it a serious tone (though there is some black, black humor), which is surpring, because the films he did with Empire were campy and fun. That isn't a complaint, because he pulls it off spectacularly. The Gothic atmosphere is heavy, and the undertones are never treated as a joke. The film was shot at an actual castle, which adds to the film's realism. The make-up effects were surpringly well-done, and the Giorgio monster is a ckening creation.
Now when I say black humor, I mean it. There's a scene where Giorgio watches John have sex with a hooker he brought to the castle while drunk, and he views him sucking on...well, certain parts of her anatomy. Giorgio captures the hooker, brings her to the dungeon, and tries to imitate John. Well, Giorgio confuses "sucking" with "biting", which leads to a very grotesque scene. There's full-frontal nudity from males and females, and even if you're a woman, you're not going to enjoy this male full-frontal. The acting is great, even though some of the dialogue is poorly written. Like I said, the atmosphere is great, even though I'm not a big fan of Gothic horror. The interactions between Susan and John are very convincing, and the metaphor that Giorgio represents the evil that's tearing the family apart is a great underlying tone throughout the film.
There isn't a lot to say about Castle Freak. It's a very intelligent and serious horror flick produced by Full Moon and has gained a large cult following. I was surprised to see all the merchandise the film has spawned, including action figures and even a Halloween mask. This is one of Full Moon's better productions until Paramount stopped funding them a short while later, and when that happened, quality in their movies dropped tremendously. I mean, just look at Curse of the Puppet Master, AKA Stock Footage of the Puppet Master! The ending was kind of depresng, but overall, the movie deserves ahttp://www.robozone.com/auctions/FMTLH03B.jpg" class="photoborder" />