Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Castle Freak" DVD/Movie Review (Full Moon 1995 Issue)

"Castle Freak" DVD/Movie Review (Full Moon 1997 Issue)

1997 -1st Issue DVD Cover


This is the ninth installment of DVD / Movie reviews of adaptations of the works of H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).

BASIS: Loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft's short story "The Outsider" written in 1921.


Under the proven hand of master-Lovecraft Director Stuart Gordon with a screenplay by ever-present collaborator Dennis Paoli, "Castle Freak" has elements of "The Outsider" in it, but is, more or less, an excellent horror film. Another frequent collaborator is musician Charles Band who scored the film. Partial credit also to Mr. Band for his "original idea" in which the rest of the story is based.

The production itself took place in Italy in a real castle, which adds to the realism of the film. 

As with several early (1985-1997) Gordon/Paoli Lovecraft adaptations, actors Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, From Beyond) return as does gorgeous Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond). Both give solid performances which are a bit more serious that the other two outings.

NOTE: A third Lovecraft-based film "The Evil Clergyman" starring Combs & Crampton was made in 1987. (After "From Beyond") The completed film was thought lost after Empire Pictures shut down, but a work print was discovered. It has been reported that it was restored & released on DVD in 2012 and is currently available! I'll have to get this one pretty soon!


A troubled couple, John Reilly (Jeffrey Combs) & Susan (Barbara Crampton) inherit an ancient castle in Italy. They, along with their blind daughter, Rebecca (Jessica Dollarhide) temporarily move into the castle in the hopes it might help mend their broken marriage.
They soon discover that something else is living in the castle with them, something vicious.

The final discovery of who it is might not be shocking, but the manner in which his story is told is particularly gruesome and sadistic.

Guilt-ridden husband, John Reilly (Jeffrey Combs).

Susan Reilly played by Barbara Crampton.

Their blind daughter, Rebecca (Jessica Dollarhide).

Giorgio, the freak, after a lifetime of beatings.

Giorgio breaks his own thumbs to escape his shackles.

The final confrontation with the "castle freak".


Some fans don't like this movie because of some of the violence towards women by the freak. However, I believe that this is the makers attempt to show the freaks hatred of women because all of his suffering had come from the hands of his mother.

This movie isn't the romp of "Re-Animator", but it has some gory moments. The acting is solid and the sense of regret comes through in the performance of Jeffrey Combs. Barbara Crampton angry wife is also well-played, at times showing coldness to her husband and others blaming him for their daughters blindness and death of their son, J.J.

It runs about 95 minutes and the pace is slow in setting up the story, but picks up quickly.

Special Features:

Presented in Full Frame
VIDEOZONE Video Magazine

No comments:

Post a Comment