I continuously sing the praises of director Stuart Gordon, and I believe whole-heartedly they are well warranted. From RE-ANIMATOR to ROBOT JOX, from FORTRESS to DAGON, he is responsible for some of my favorite titles throughout the years. CASTLE FREAK is another addition to his horror canon, and it is an excellent example of how diverse Gordon’s mentality is. Part Drama, Part mystery, but all Horror, this film is a definite must-have for your horror library.
If you are not familiar with CASTLE FREAK, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Full Moon Features:
Stuart Gordon takes you on a pulse pounding roller- coaster ride in Castle Freak… one of the most macabre thrillers you’ll ever experience. John Reilly (Jeffrey Combs – Re-Animator), Susan (Barbara Crampton – Young & The Restless) and their daughter come face to face with terror when they travel to Italy to move into a castle they have inherited. They soon discover it is haunted by a relentless blood- thirsty creature. When mutilated bodies start turning up, John must uncover the Reilly family’s dark secret to save his wife and child from the sadistic being.
Gordon’s Castle Freak is coming to Blu-ray for the first time and has been remastered with AMAZING Widescreen color correction, 5.1 surround sound, and an incredible amount of extras.
I never get tired of seeing Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton onscreen, especially when they are in the same film together. These two have been in several of Gordon’s films together, and their onscreen chemistry is evident from the start. They are truly a dynamic pair, and they play off each other perfectly.
CASTLE FREAK is shot well and looks great onscreen. I have to applaud the Full Moon team once again for the excellent color correction. I recently watched the film on DVD, and then watched it again on Blu-ray for this review. The difference is stunning. The Blu-ray is so much more vivid, and the images burst to life in HD.
The acting is superb, with iconic portrayals from both Combx and Crampton once again. Jessica Dollarhide does a great job as their daughter, Rebecca, while Jonathan Fuller rounds out the cast as the hideous Giorgio.
The creature effects in CASTLE FREAK are fantastic. The Freak looks horrific and gives the audience a fitting, grotesque antagonist to loathe. There’s a nice bit of gore as well, including a very believable scene where the Freak bites the nipple off a prostitute. I actually cringed at the scene because it was so well done.
CASTLE FREAK is another huge win for me and for Full Moon. If you’ve seen the movie before, you need to pick it up on Blu-ray to check out the amazing HD upgrade. And if this is your first time, get ready for a treat. In addition to the stunning picture and 5.1 surround sound, the Blu-ray comes with several extras, including:
* NEW: Castle ‘Speak’ interview with Stuart Gordon
* Lost William Shatner Interviews w/ Stuart Gordon, Jeffrey Combs, and Barbara Crampton
* Original Castle Freak VideoZone
* Full Moon Trailers
The film is available now, so check it out for sure.