Very few things in life are clear, but Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks boils down to a simple formula: A mad scientist named Count Frankenstein (Rossano Brazzi), a crazed and vengeful dwarf (Michael Dunn), inexplicable cavemen named Ook (Salvatore Baccaro) and Goliath (Loren Ewing), and a liberal dash of female nudity (mostly courtesy of Christiane Rücker). What does this equal? A weird-ass movie, basically. Is it exciting? Will it forever change your view of the world? Probably not. In fact, there’s a good chance it can help you fall asleep, almost as a powerful sedative.

The question is, is this film more intoxicating or mind-numbing? There is some potential for it to be exciting. The title itself offers that promise, doesn’t it? Well, don’t be too concerned, because this story isn’t entirely boring (I promise!). It’s just that the film lends itself to a trance-like state in the viewer. While some will be instantly turned off by pervy dwarves and malvolent cavement, others will be perfectly at ease in such a disparate environment. Their brains will all but totally shut off.

Somehow, Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks is a Frankenstein tale, yet you’ll forget its roots in that classic work, It almost transcends its genre constraints, as it flows rather naturally for such an abnormal story. In the process, it may produce a lulling effect. Try it and see!

Am I Saying it’s Boring?

Don’t misconstrue: There is some manner of excitement scattered throughout, but you’ll likely be dulled by the constant strangeness. Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks will inspire a sense of oblivion, and you’ll probably find worries melting away. There is a special way to watch this one: Cinematic Titanic has riffed on it, and you may be able to better appreciate the film that way. Of course, a possible downside to that is their censorship of the nudity (hey, it happens). Still, it may be a small price to pay if you want some people from “MST3K” to help you laugh at an already silly movie.

Defining “Freak”

Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks
Never judge an Ook by its cover!

“Freak” has always had a harsh ring to it, even before social sensitivity was so prominent in pop culture. However, the freakishness of these characters is not solely due to their physical appearances. In fact, Count Frankenstein himself is a huge freak here and looks relatively normal. No, instead the freak aspects mostly involve behavior. Let’s be simple about this: A short person acting as a perfect gentleman would hardly match the term “Freak.”

No, the freak critique stems from the character’s desire to caress female corpses, and also to be a peeping tom! If that’s too easily forgivable for you, consider that he becomes hellbent on revenge and gets additionally “rapey” at times. He’s not a good guy and is therefore a freak. Get it? Got it? Good!

What are your thoughts on Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks? Were you capable of even having thoughts after seeing it? Let us know in the comments, ya’ freak!

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Wade Wanio is an author.

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