Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Terror! Il castello delle donne maledette(Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks)

Even die-hard fans of the 60's Italian Gothic horror films of Bava,
Fredda, et. al. would have to admit that those films aren't known their
careful, logical plotting. But in the 1970's when these films were
freed from the constraints of censorship (and good taste) and fell into
the hands of less talented directors, they REALLY went off the rails,
veering between downright silly and completely insane (sometimes both
at the same time). And nobody suffered more during this period than
Frankenstein's monster.

In this film "Count Frankenstein" (apparently he was demoted from
Baron) takes time off from his building his monster to woo his busty
adult daughter's even bustier friend. Meanwhile he has fired his
lecherous hunchback dwarf assistant after catching him feeling up
female corpses (did I mention this was originally rated PG?). The
disgruntled and vengeful dwarf then does what any disgruntled, vengeful
dwarf would do in a movie like this--he finds a group of Neanderthal
men living in a nearby cave and befriends a particularly large one
named "Oog". The pair plot their revenge (although not before taking
time off to watch the Count's daughter and her friend skinny-dipping).
As you might imagine the end is a ridiculous battle between caveman and
Frankenstein's monster.

This film is similar to "Lady Frankenstein" but not as good. Lead
Rossano "South Pacific" Brazzi is frankly not as good of actor as
Rosalba Neri/Sara Bay (he probably doesn't look as good naked either,
but fortunately we never find out). It also doesn't compare to "Flesh
for Frankenstein" lacking that film's self-consciously artistic NYC
irony, but all these Italian Frankenstein films are similar enough to
give lie to claims of "F. for F." co-director Paul Morrisey (the guy
who replaced the tripod in Andy Warhol's home movies) that his Italian
collaborators made no significant contribution to that film. On the
other hand, this movie is better than "Frankenstein '80" (although its
PG rating precludes the rape-by-Frankenstein's-monster angle of that
one). It's also better I than "Frankenstein All'Italia" (I'm not sure
though since that one's only available in Italian, and I only watched
it because of my strange crush on the late, obscure Italian actress
Jenny Tamburi). As Italian Gothic Frankenstein sex movies go than, this
one is fair to middling. You can take that as as a recommendation or

No comments: