John reilly susan and their daughter come face to face with terror when they travel to italy and move into a castle they have inherited. They soon discover it is haunted by a blood thirsty creature and john must uncover a ... more »dark secret to save his family. Studio: E1 Entertainment Release Date: 08/27/2002 Starring: Jeffrey Combs Barbara Crampton Run time: 95 minutes Rating: R Director: Stuart Gordon« less
Jefferson N. from BLAIRSVILLE, GA Reviewed on 2/17/2013...
Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, and Stuart Gordon worked on a number of films together...and this was the last in which they all worked as a group. Made for Full Moon Video, Castle Freak is another Stuart Gordon film loosely-based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft...or at least in his vein. A man finds he has inherited a run-down castle in Romania. He takes his family, which has been falling apart after a tragic accident that blinded the couple's daughter, to the castle in hopes of starting their life over. But, tension in the air from the feuding couple is only the start of their problems. Another heir to the castle lives here...a man who has been tortured and beaten by his sadistic mother for years. Now with her gone, he roams the castle looking for flesh to feast on...and otherwise. Kept away from human contact, he has no morals and feeds his desires on what and whoever crosses his path. Soon, the family will find themselves at ther mercy of this pathetic but dangerous man-monster.
Even though I wouldn't place this in the same category as Re-Animator, it is probably at least as good as From Beyond. Gordon does a good job of using actual Romanian sets to amp up the gothic feel of the film. And there is no shortage of gore in this one! It goes further than Full Moon is usually willing to go. It's brimming with creepy sexuallity and gore...Almost feels more like a Brian Yuzna film...execpt made better. Jeffrey Combs does a good job of playing the tormented father...going against his usual stereotype of being creepy and funny...There is nothing humorous about this man whose life is collapsing around him. Lovely Barbara Crampton does a fine job as the wife who cannot decide whether to keep their family together or just leave with her daughter for a more normal life in the states. And Jessica Dollarhide plays the blind daughter on the verge of her womanhood who becomes the unknowing object of the Freak's obsession. A lot of good performances and the Freak is truly frightening. A better-than-average Full Moon feature.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Laurie S. (LaurieS) from MERRIMACK, NH Reviewed on 4/22/2008...
A huge, dreary castle, a scarred flesh-eating, girl loving, horrifyingly naked "freak" and Jeffrey Combs. What more does a girl need?
Seriously though, this is a morbid, humorless "B" movie with a bit of gore and an unexpected turn or two. The family who inherits the castle are grieving and in emotional pain and the sad tone is prevalent throughout the film. I think this would have been a better movie had a wee bit of humor been thrown in here and there to lighten up the heavier aspects of the story. Still, it's a decent enough way for a horror fan to spend an hour or two.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
What kind of meat goes with this wine?
Schtinky | California | 12/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stuart Gordon with Full Moon bring us two essential elements for creepy pleasure....A Freak...and A Castle! Poor baby has been locked away in the cellar and beaten his entire life, but he has also been fed regularly. Till Mama dies.John Reilly inherits this beautiful castle, and travels with his wife and blind daughter to see his new windfall. A brief and non-intrusive flashback show us that John and Susan have recently lost their son in an automobile accident, the same accident that left their daughter blind. Susan blames John for their son's death, and this explains the tension between the two as they settle into their quarters in the castle. Their plans are to sell the furnishings and artwork, and John wants to get started right away on inventory. He takes his daughter Jessica along with him, but Jessica gets curious about a cat meowing and follows it instead.Of course, we all know that Jessica will wind out in the lower halls of the castle where our hungry, wretched little friend awaits. Jessica gets away, Freak eats Kitty and gets loose, but while Jessica didn't see Freak, he saw Jessica and would like a closer look. He sneaks into her room, leaving with a sheet to wrap himself in, and only Jessica's dad believes her tale that there is someone or something else in the castle with them.Surprisingly good acting in this low budget film, with Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator and the Frighteners) and Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator and Body Double) and a good supporting cast; plus gorgeous castle background giving us beauty and creepiness all in one, set the perfect stage for our lovely, twisted, lonely freak.When John Reilly brings home a local prostitute, our darling, grotesque little intruder will give you a whole new meaning to the term "oral sexx" in a particularly gory "love" scene.Over all, if you are lover of cheap and/or cheesy horror flicks, you will not want to miss out on this jewel. Enjoy!"
"I liked this movie. Directed by the same guy who did Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Fortress. Unfortunately like Bruce Campbell, I've come to expect a little bit of tongue in cheek comedy whenever I see a Jeff Combs movie. That wasn't there, it was just a serious movie.Combs plays the father of a family of four. He has a drinking problem and has destroyed his family because of it. But an old unknown relative left him a castle and they all go to stay there and check it out. Unknown secrets of the family are discovered and it leads to the utmost horror. The 'freak' is horrifying, yet sad because of how he became such a freak.This is my first Full Moon DVD which has the 'VideoZone' movie magazine on it as well. Unlike all the movie companies that have just started doing stuff like this when DVD came out, Full Moon has been doing it for years. I used to be a big fan years ago and saw everything they had like Subspecies, Puppet Master, Pit And The Pendulum, etc. The only thing it lacked was a Full Moon starlet introducing their new merchandise and movies. Instead they have taken the DVD route and you just browse though it with your remote."
STUTART GORDON STRIKES AGAIN WITH........CASTLE FREAK!
Vincent Donato | New York | 10/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love watching Full Moon videos.Subspecies,Trancers,and Puppet Master are the best series in horror.B movie fans will enjoy this but you'll have to wait until the middle of the movie when you see the guy's face.SPOOKY!A family moves into a castle in Europe.They don't know what's lurking below.But they soon discover its haunted by a blood thristy creature who will kill anyone he sees.The movie has a great plot and story but not everyone will enjoy.If you hate nudity in horror movies,skip this title since the creature loves looking a breats.Hate tons of gore,skip this title.If you just want ot get scared,see this title.Sex,nudity,violence,and gore all in one movie?This is the work of Director Stuart Gordon who also created Re-Animator.Stuart Gordon really made this thriller something.Can the family survive the night?FEATURES BEHIND-THE SCENES! Rated R for strong violence and gore,nudity,and some language.ALSO SEE PUPPET MASTER AND SUBSPECIES!"
DARK MOVIE THAT ECHOS OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT.
Darth J | Somewhere In Time | 03/10/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Castle Freak' is a 1995 straight-to-video movie directed by Stuart Gordon and is adapted from H.P.Lovecraft's short story 'The Outsider'. It stars Jeffery Combs, Barbara Crampton, Jessica Dollarhide, and Johnathan Fuller.
Out story starts out in an isolated 12th century castle in Italy, we see the resident, and elderly dutchess who seems to be somewhat senile, preparing some food in the kitchen/pantery. She then takes a plate of bread across the castle grounds to another wing and into the lower levels. She opens a locked door to a room that has a deformed pethetic looking thing chained to a wall. she then picks up a leather whip of sorts with jaged edges and begins beating the 'Freak'(Fuller). After the episode, we see her walk into her room in a somewhat disoriented state, and suddenly collapse on the bed. As the movie cuts to later in the evening we see that the dutchess has suffered a heart attack and has died with her being the only one who knows of the existance of the 'Castle Freak'. After the credits, we are introduced to the Reilys, John(Combs), Susan(Crampton), and their blind daughter Rebbeca(Dollarhide)who seem to be a very troubled family. Being distantly related, John has inherited the castle from the dutchess, and they have traveled to inspect the castle for the possiblity of selling. After the family settles in(and some exposition) Rebbeca wanders the castle. The freak becomes aware of Rebbeca's presence, and driven by hunger and the exitement of new contact, the freak breaks loose(gory scene)and slowly begins to terrorize the occupants of the castle.
This is the 3rd movie to feature the Gordon/Combs/Crampton team and, with a few flaws, is a solid effort. This movie is very dark and serious; It's a departure of the somewhat campy, dark comedy style of 'Re-Animator' and 'From Beyond'
The plot is not specificaly 'based' on 'The Outsider' but is adapted from it, with Gordon writing the screen-play. Gordon is definetly sucsessful in capturing the dark, isolated atmosphere of the story, and is one of the movies strong points. There is alot more to this story than a 'monster' on the loose. There are unerlying themes of abuse, neglect, isolation, hopelessness, and addiction. It veguely reminded me of Metallica's 'The Unforgiven' song and video(which is also influenced by 'The Outsider').
The acting and dialoge is spot-on. Combs and Crampton deliver a great performance(as ususal). After the first few minutes, you'll learn that a tragedy of John's fault took their infant son and resulted in their daughter losing her vision. Combs and Crampton(being a vet of daytime T.V)handle the disfuction and tension that would naturally follow an event of that scale. Dollarhide is convicing, and is able to 'keep up' with the veteran actors, impressive for her first film. Fuller had to go through six-hour make-up sessions to achieve the look. He is able to pull of the physical acting required of the 'freak'.
The editing and cinematography are solid. the movie is 95 min. and moves a little slow at times, but scenes don't overstay their welcome. The way Gordon shot the castle echos 'The Shining'. Being shot in rural Italy, you get a sence of isolation right away. their are tracking shots of the castle that make the castle itself become a character. This really helps bring a sence of what life was like for the 'freak' locked up in the dungeon.
There are only a few flaws with this movie; 1st, It's obviously a low-budjet, straight-to-video movie, but that shouldn't stop any fan of Gordon's movies(they're all like that). 2nd, It can be a little slow at times, but doesn't stray to far. 3rd, there are a few continuity flaws. For example; The Reily's would have to have recieved notice of the inheritance, and organized a trip to the castle before the 'freak' died of dehydration and starvation, so that's stretching it a bit, but is not a huge plot hole. I would rank this 3rd behind 'From Beyond'(my favorite)and 'Re-animator', but if you're a fan of those, 'Castle Freak' is worth the time."
Best offering from Full Moon
Dayna Newman | Tampa | 05/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Castle Freak is one of my favorite horror movies. of it's type.. It's not a slasher but some slashing occurs. I think I like it so much because the Castle Freak is so realistic looking and scary.As I mentioned about the creature in my review of "The Funhouse"..no matter how hideous The monster is, he is still humanized enough in the story for you to feel sorry for him at times..He has the same needs and desires as other men do but is a product of his deformity and environment. It has one of the most macabre sex scenes in horror history"in my opinion"..Hold on to your Areolas ladies..YEEK. The fact that the daughter brought to live in the castle with her parents is blind lends well to the storyline too. Plus you have Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, Two of Lovecrafts favorite actors as the leading characters. It's quite an intresting well written and well executed little movie.. My advice is buy it."