How many monster movies open on angry villagers slinging torches at a snarling monster? More than a few I would wager. In how many of these films is the monster a classic Flintstones style caveman?? I’d bet it is just one, FRANKENSTEIN’S CASTLE OF FREAKS is just that movie. A deranged bit of camp that could only come from Dick Randall, this film features a caveman named (by a vengeance seeking midget) OOK, a monster called GOLIATH, angry townsfolk, Doctor Frankenstein, love stories, tiny footprints by a graveside and yes…beautiful nude women taking mudbaths!
To give you a plot synopsis would be unfair, but FCoF is all about Dr. Frankenstein and the bizarre crew of people that surround him getting up to no good in the name of science. When Genz the little man (played with passion and energy by Micheal Dunn-really!) leaves behind his little footprints at a graveside the local prefect (Edmund Purdom!) is on to Frankenstein and company. This couldn’t happen at a worse time as Frankenstein’s Daughter AND her beautiful friend Krista arrive for a little visit. The doctor and the monster fall for Krista, the daughter frets a lot and we find out that not only does the Doc have a monster named Goliath, but the caveman is loose as well.
Hard to really criticise this film, it is cheap and tacky-but comes with a unique energy that Randall brings to a lot of his productions. Why have a monster when you can have a GOLIATH vs. OOK fight? Why have one beautiful Frankenstein Daughter when you can toss in her friend as well? And the fun doesn’t stop there. You could pick at the silly monster make-up, but why bother? THIS is a Halloween Monster Mash for the ages.
Well, a monster mash for the big kids. Nudity and nasty behavior abounds, and this features one of my all time favorite Pththfmp (ow) moments. That is my interpretation of a strange image passing over your eyes and penetrating your brain in an area that it should not. Simonetta Vitelli and Christiane Rucker have a boggling wonderful bath together in a hot spring casually located in the Frankenstein home…all is well. Suddenly young Ms. Frankenstein decides to smear mud all over her pal because “it is great!” Maybe I am just changing to many diapers, but this is another OOK moment! But I’ll always have the minute preceding this I guess….
Another thing that sets this film apart from lots of other sexploitation monster films is the incredible cast of familiar faces-all of which really do their best to keep a straight face and sell the characters. Rossano Brazzi as Frankenstein is cool, but you also have Luciano Pigozzi, Gordon Mitchell (as IGOR!), Edmund Purdom looking even more serious than he does in Monster Hunter, Salvatore Baccaro (The Beast in Heat) as Goliath and even a brief appearance by Mike Monty. My favorite of all however is Xiro Papas as Kreegin. This is not because he is particularly amazing in the role, but he did play MOSIACO in the beloved (by me) Frankenstein ’80-and he is my favorite cheap monster of all time. Seeing him square off against another Frankenstein monster is a jaw dropper in my twisted little cineverse.