Castle Freak  (1995) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Quick, name a film directed by Stuart Gordon, based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, starring Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton.

OK, Re-Animator. You knew that.

But did you know that two other films are also correct answers to the question? From Beyond and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

Just kidding about that Ya-Ya thing. The third film, of course, is the one I'm writing about now, Castle Freak.

A dysfunctional American family inherits an Italian castle. Soon, people who meet them start dying violently. The police arrest dad. Turns out the real culprit is the castle freak, a deformed guy who's been living in the basement for decades, after having been abandoned there at age five by his sadistic mother.


Rafaella Offidani shows her breasts in a sex scene, then again later as a mutilated corpse.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • full screen

  • no features

  • but you get another complete film free- 2002's Deathbed, and that one has a commentary track as well.

It isn't a very good movie. It has none of Re-Animator's humor, the characters are irritating, and the acting is sometimes downright awful. Wait until you see Jeffrey Combs as a drunk. The only reasonably interesting element in the film is the ugly, gory killing of a local prostitute. And the only reason that is interesting is that the castle freak, a cannibal, seems to have misunderstood when he overheard the prostitute tell another guy to eat her pussy. Oh, he understood the words all right, so he literally ate her pussy. After killing her. With a pasta side-dish, a zesty Italian sauce, and a bottle of Chianti.

Perhaps you have heard the old saw, "women - can't live with 'em, can't brutally slay 'em". The freak does not subscribe to that theory.

The Critics Vote

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. The only reviews are from genre specialty sites, but they generally liked it. Average score 2.4 stars out of four. RT felt that five out of the six reviews were favorable.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. Voting results: IMDb voters score it 4.9/10.


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, C-. I personally found this film to be disappointing, but the C- reflects positive reviews from most genre reviewers. If you don't like humorless cheesy horror films with cardboard characters and all the plot mysteries revealed in the first act, stay away, 'cuz this is only for slasher fans, as reflected by the low score at IMDb

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