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Brazzi plays mad Dr. Frankenstein, Dunn is an evil dwarf and Lugosi (no relation to Bela) is a Neanderthal man. Add a monster named Hulk, and some nude women for sexploitation value. Written by
Arthur Workman <email@example.com>
Frankenstein's Castle of Babes and Vastly Entertaining Nonsense
The Italians were the kings of the Horror genre from the 60s to the 80s, and, as far as yours truly is concerned, the combination of this genre, era and country is as great as cinema can possibly get. The rise of Italian Horror/suspense cinema started with atmospheric Gothic tales (such as the brilliant films by the ultimate master Mario Bava, Antonio Margheriti and Riccardo Freda) in the late 50s and early 60s. In the 70s, a time when the Giallo genre had replaced the Gothic tale as the dominant sub-genre Italian suspense cinema, some (but by no means all) of the Italian Gothic Horror films that were still being produced were very low-budget and sleazy, but nonetheless elegant Exploitation efforts.
TERROR! IL CASTELLO DELLE DONNE MALEDETTE aka. FRANKENSTEIN'S CASTLE OF FREAKS (1974) is a super-cheesy slice of 70s Italian B-movie Gothic Horror which will certainly not give anybody the creeps, but which is incredibly entertaining nonetheless. Directed by the American Dick Randall, the movie puts a lesser emphasis on the typically Italian elegance and atmosphere, and, sometimes looks more like one of the many contemporary Spanish Gothic Horror films (which is probably due to the low budget). Sleaze-fans should not be scared off by the PG rating (as according to IMDb), since this little trash gem contains plenty of female nudity, perverted characters and some very cheesy gore effects. The film doesn't take itself too seriously, and the demented characters alone make it worth a look for my fellow Euro-Exploitation fans.
Count Frankenstein (Rosanno Brazzi) lives in a castle with a bunch of freaky helpers including a necrophiliac midget, a hunch-back who has rough sex with the housekeeper when her sadistic husband (Luciano Pigozzi) is not around. His hot daughter (Simonetta Vitelli) comes to visit with her fiancé and an equally hot friend (Christiane Rücker). Both of the women have exhibitionist tendencies. What follows is a sleazy and incredibly entertaining succession of very absurd horrors.
While FRANKENSTEIN'S CASTLE OF FREAKS is below-par in terms of style and elegance by the high Italian Gothic Horror standards it is still very stylish for a rather nonsensical B-Movie of the kind in international comparison. The most well-known faces in the cast are former strongman and B-movie regular Gordon Mitchell (in the role of the undertaker) and the Peter-Lorre-lookalike Luciano Pigozzi, a great supporting actor who was in all sub-genres of Italian cult-cinema, including several films by Mario Bava and Umberto Lenzi.
Overall FRANKENSTEIN'S CASTLE OF FREAKS is a sleazy, very cheesy, and often unintentionally funny trash-gem that is incredibly entertaining and should not be missed by true lovers of European Trash flicks. However, one should definitely be acquainted with the many great Italian Gothic Horror films before watching fun trash like this one. For Italo-Cult buffs like myself this film is often hilarious and vastly entertaining.
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