The Horror Honeys: Saturday Creature Feature - Castle Freak!

Saturday Creature Feature - Castle Freak!

A Saturday Creature Feature with Suzanne

Castle Freak (1995)

When you think of H.P. Lovecraft adaptations, you’d be hard pressed not to think of Stuart Gordon. Gordon is an unabashed super fan of Lovecraft and has, without question, done some of the most memorable movie adaptations of the author’s works. Gordon also has a longstanding working relationship with Charles Band and his various companies, most notably Full Moon Productions. This week’s Creature Feature is one of my favorite collaborations of the three.

Castle Freak is based on Lovecraft’s story The Outsider and tells the story of John Reilly (Jeffrey Combs), a man trying to put his life and family back together after a car accident which tragically claimed the life of his young son, JJ, and blinded his daughter, Rebecca (Jessica Dollarhyde). The accident was the result of John’s drinking. John travels to with his wife, Susan (Barbara Crampton) and Rebecca, to check out a castle he has recently inherited, hoping the sale of the castle and its contents will bring some needed financial stability and repair the rift in his marriage.

Then things get seriously messed up when a disfigured creature, who has been locked in the bowels of the castle, escapes. We learn the creature was the son of the Duchess who owned the castle. As revenge for her husband’s abandonment, she faked her son’s death, chained him in a cell, mutilated him, and beat him daily, until she died.

The creature’s first victim is a local prostitute, whom he abducts after watching her have sex with John in the wine cellar. This scene is probably the most disturbing of the film as we finally get a real look at what’s been lurking. He’s obviously seeking some sort of companionship and tries to recreate what he saw, but castrated, with no lips and no tongue, he only has his teeth. He uses them on the girl with reckless abandon and the results are bloody.

As the local police peg John for the murder of the prostitute and the housekeeper, also found in the castle, John starts looking into his family tree and discovers who the creature really is. In an attempt to clear his name and save his family, he goes after the freak in a violent and tragic showdown.
Combs and Crampton are always a winning duo. Their onscreen chemistry is so good, even in a corny setting, that it’s impossible not to love them. Speaking of the setting, the castle will probably look familiar as it appears in pretty much every Full Moon feature that requires a castle, and some that don't. 

The makeup on "the freak" is extensive and very well done. Now that could be a result of not ever seeing the creature in direct light, but it works, especially in the first full reveal. The nub where there should be a penis and the grey, saggy balls will really make you cringe.

Whenever I watch this film, there is always a part of me that feels for this poor creature who longs for human contact. Then he gets ragey and bites off someone’s nipple and I stop feeling sorry for him.

Castle Freak is not currently available for streaming on Netflix or Amazon, but it is available on DVD and blu ray for super cheap. Buy it!