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Castle Freak

Castle Freak

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Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Harrowing Hardcore Horror
Review: "Castle Freak" is a profoundly disturbing, tragically horrific tale of torment told in the grimmest, goriest fashion imaginable, and featuring one of the most unflinchingly and unglamourously evil characters in movie history - and that's not even the title character! A family inheriting a European castle has seldom been in for such a nightmare. The only light in this dark and brutal picture is the sweetly innocent Rebecca character (played impressively by Jessica Dollarhide), who seems to awaken some buried goodness or sympathy within the title beast's mangled psyche. And what goodness it must have been at the beginning, to have survived, even in deeply submerged form, the excruciating horrors that created the Castle Freak. Like "The House Of 1000 Corpses" and the scariest of the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"s, this is a rewardingly petrifying find for those of us deeply into the horror genre, but not necesarily recommended for those who only occasionally venture into the territory.

Rating: 5 stars
Summary: Underrated Full Moon Flick From The Makers Of Re-Animator
Review: "Castle Freak" (1995) is the third in a series of films that were directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred both Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton. The first was the brilliant cult classic "Re-Animator" (1985) and the second was the equaly bizarre "From Beyond" (1986). Although "Castle Freak" doesn't scale the delirious heights of those two masterpieces, it still holds up as a great old-fashion fright flick. The film was so impressive that it won the Fangoria "Golden Chainsaw Award" for best direct-to-video film.

Unlike many films in the genre, "Castle Freak" spends a great amount of its screen time developing its characters. John Reilly (Combs) has just inherited a castle in Spain from a distant relative. He brings along his wife Susan (Crampton) and their blind daughter Rebecca (the excellent Jessica Dollarhide). However, as the title suggests, there is someone or something locked in the dark and murky basement of the castle.

Director Stuart Gordon does a masterful job with the material, turning what could have been just another routine horror movie into a surprisingly emotional tragedy. As the film progresses, we slowly learn more and more about what the characters have been through. There are even touching moments within the film, although it would ruin the surprise if I were to give anything away. In the end, the castle freak becomes a physical manifestation of the emotional guilt of the characters, and taking that into account, the movie becomes more complex than it would initially seem to be.

But I'm getting ahead of myself... this is a horror movie and, rest assured, Stuart Gordon does not disappoint. The violence is bloody and graphic, and there are many repulsive scenes that are guarenteed to shock. There's also a bizarre scene of eroticism in the film (you'll know it when you see it). It all ends in a thrilling action-packed conclusion that only Stuart Gordon could deliver. Fans of "Re-Animator" and "From Beyond" shouldn't be disappointed. The freak itself is a hideous creation, and Jonathan Fuller gives an amazing performance under a ton of make-up. Richard Band composes an eerie minimalist soundtrack, and there's a little bit more than a touch of humor in the film. Jeffrey Combs has always been a favorite actor of mine, and he certainly delivers in the acting department here.

This being a Full Moon film, the DVD features a great behind the scenes segment that includes interviews with the cast and crew. The disc also features a theatrical trailer for "Castle Freak," and other Full Moon films, and a bunch of advertisements for Full Moon merchandise. The movie is presented full screen, although I believe that was the way it was shot due to the fact that it was a direct to video film.

Rating: 4 stars
Summary: This isn't horror, it's drama.
Review: A family inherits a castle in Italy and there's a freak lurking around, with a disturbing history. A simple premise to a story executed right. For a direct to video film, I didn't expect it to go into such incredible depth emotionally. The main theme of the story from my impression was about how people could get second chances to redeem themselves. (You'll see what I mean when the husband does something heroic to ask for forgiveness from his wife because he did something awful earlier). The only flaw in the movie is that Castle Freak wasn't in the movie enough. He'll pop up every now and then, killing whoever shows up in the house. There weren't much graphic scenes, except for the one part where he murders a hooker. The make-up is impressive, none of that computer generated nonsense. Looks like it took a great deal of labor. But we only get glimpses of it which is a shame. Jeffrey Combs is the main character even though the movie is called Castle Freak. Other then that, this is probably one of the most dramatic "horror" films ever. I don't really consider this a horror film since the Castle Freak was just an abused child who we still feel pity for. He's not just some blood-thirsty monster.

Rating: 5 stars
Review: Another Gem... Yes... A little Graphic for the faint at heart...
This movie lacks very little!

Rating: 4 stars
Summary: H.P. Lovecraft.
Review: Castle freak is a film directed by Stuart Gordon and its based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft. Stuart Gordon who previously directed Re-animator which is a horror movie classic brings back two of its cast from the film Jeffrey Combs and Barbra Crampton, they are playing a married couple who are suffering through a tragic loss after there son was killed in an accident and has also caused there daughter to go blind. The wife is unable to forgive her husband because he was the one who was driving them that night and he was drunk. So they enherit an old castle in Italy but what they don't know is that there is something deep down in the castle, nobody believes them untill the hideous freak has broken loose and has killed some people. The reason why he does this is when he was younger he was locked in a cell in the basement of the castle while his mother totured and beated him for not looking normal. I must say that some of the death scenes were pretty gory especially the scene that happens to the prostitute, it was sick the way that he killed her. Overall I think the film was great and I recommend it to horror fans who are sick of all those modern slasher films like scream or urban legends because this is a real horror film.

Rating: 5 stars
Review: CASTLE FREAK is a great, scary, suspensful horror film brought to you by Full Moon Pictures. John Reilly moves with his wife and daughter to a castle that he has inherited in Italy, but the castle comes equipped with a deformed monster that is hiding in the shadows. When mutilated bodies slowly begin to pile up, John must discover who the monster is and save his family before it is too late. If you like truly scary horror films, then you should check this film out. The DVD edition comes with a behind-the-scenes featurette and a theatrical trailer.

Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Castles? Freaks? What more could you ask for!?!
Review: CASTLE FREAK is, perhaps, the best horror film of the nineties. The film is disturbing, haunted, unnerving, and, unlike most every other horror film of that decade, smart. The characters are well drawn and well acted, the script is tight, and Stuart Gordon once again shows his prowess behind the camera. I'm not sure what the budget on this baby was, considerably less than other more successful films of its ilk, but so much, much more got done with the money here. The Castle Freak himself is one of the best makeup jobs in history. I would recommend you folks seek out the uncensored edition, but, either way, don't let this one pass you by. This is not for the squeamish. If you like your genre fare full of bubbly teen agers and nifty one liners, stay away from the Castle Freak. If you're a genre believer, this one's for you! I give this a 4 out of 5 because there never should have been a rated version of this film, therefore I deduct a point to battle fascism.

Rating: 5 stars
Summary: Castle Freak....Wow imagine the concept!!!
Review: Castle Freak was absolutly one of the best b rate movies i've ever seen from the pathetic prostitute to the "sometimes" blind daughter. Sometimes CastleFreak pets breasts, sometimes he just eats 'em!! Eat up Castle Freak!! Can't wait for part II.

Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Praises for Castle Freak
Review: Castle Freak was an outstanding movie. The very scary story kept me huddled under blankets but watching every move, the story had "Thrill Ride" written all over it. From the gory escape of the Castle Freak, to the stunning end, this was a very captivating movie. The make-up and effects were smashing, potraying some of the most repulsive scenes I have ever watched. The acting was more then beleivable, and I found myself truly feeling for the charecters, hoping that all would turn out all right, though wanting to see what else the director could do, to creatively kill off the charecters. The set was excellent, you could really feel the evil radiating from the castle, and all the pent up family past, that was also exploding out of the remaining, mis-treated child. I really found that I felt sorry for the Castle Freak, his only crime, his family past. Trying to learn all that he had been neglected to be taught. Still acting out his wants with the maturity level of a 5 year old. This truly was one of the coolest movies I've ever seen. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys horrors and has a strong stomach. Cheers.

Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Good movie, bad title
Review: Director Stuart Gordon does it again, getting himself down and dirty, he sets about creating a great little horror flick. The screenplay is strictly by the numbers - (freak locked up in castle, gets loose and terrorises mild-mannered family), but it is the gloomy cinematography and the authentic italian gothic setting that propells this monster along. Yet again, Re-animator favourites Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton turn in great performances, but it is the Freak who is the showstopper. Beautifully designed and wonderfully portrayed - a great tragic monster in the old horror movie style. The disc has a short "making-of" and the picture quality is fine, just a little better than VHS. Not a bad purchase for Gordon fans!

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