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Castle Freak [Blu-ray]

Jeffrey Combs , Barbara Crampton , Stuart Gordon    Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 12.99
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Castle Freak [Blu-ray] + The Pit and the Pendulum [Blu-ray] + The Howling (Collector's Edition) [Blu-Ray]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 45.11


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John Reilly (Jeffrey Combs) has come to Italy with wife and blind daughter in tow to arrange for the sale of his newly inherited castle. Unbeknownst to these folks, the duchess who willed the castle to Reilly kept her kid shackled in the dungeon, lambasting him regularly with a wicked cat-o'-nine-tails. Though the duchess is gone, the eponymous freak remains, now fully grown. As the family moves into the castle to await its sale, internal conflicts concerning Reilly's guilt over the blinding of the daughter, and the blame from his wife, further fracture their unstable family unit. Castle Freak escapes his shackles in search of food, and more importantly human warmth. The Freak just doesn't know how to express his need for love in a socially acceptable way, however, and seems destined for an unsavory end at the hands of the something-to-prove Reilly, who must find some way to route to vicious creature. But there's more than one way to skin a cat (though they only use one of those ways in this picture). Fitting addition to the oeuvre of splatter specialist Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator). --Jim Gay

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This isn't horror, it's drama. March 25 2004
Format:DVD
A family inherits a castle in Italy and there's a freak lurking around, with a disturbing history. A simple premise to a story executed right. For a direct to video film, I didn't expect it to go into such incredible depth emotionally. The main theme of the story from my impression was about how people could get second chances to redeem themselves. (You'll see what I mean when the husband does something heroic to ask for forgiveness from his wife because he did something awful earlier). The only flaw in the movie is that Castle Freak wasn't in the movie enough. He'll pop up every now and then, killing whoever shows up in the house. There weren't much graphic scenes, except for the one part where he murders a hooker. The make-up is impressive, none of that computer generated nonsense. Looks like it took a great deal of labor. But we only get glimpses of it which is a shame. Jeffrey Combs is the main character even though the movie is called Castle Freak. Other then that, this is probably one of the most dramatic "horror" films ever. I don't really consider this a horror film since the Castle Freak was just an abused child who we still feel pity for. He's not just some blood-thirsty monster.
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Format:DVD
Stuart Gordon's CASTLE FREAK (1995) is a direct-to-video production that is actually way above the average quality of such fare. Gordon, as most genre fans know, is the director of the highly venerated RE-ANIMATOR, the Lovecraft-inspired horror-comedy starring Jeffrey Combs as the titular character, Herbert West, and the beautiful Barbara Crampton as the requisite T&A. With CASTLE FREAK, Gordon re-unites with Combs and Crampton, but this film is much bleaker than the other, dealing with more serious and grimmer themes. Fans of RE-ANIMATOR will therefore be disappointed if they go in expecting the same tongue-in-cheek situations and gallows humor, 'cause it just ain't there. CASTLE FREAK is an earnest, adult horror film.
The film follows the three members of the dysfunctional Reilly family--father John (Combs), mother Susan (Crampton), and daughter Rebecca (Jessica Dollarhide)--as they travel to Italy to check out a castle and surrounding estate that has been bequeathed to John by a recently deceased aunt. But the family arrives at the castle with more baggage than just that which contains their clothing and personal items: A year earlier, an inebriated John had been driving his kids home from school during a rainstorm, and an accident resulting from his drunkenness caused the death of his son and the blindness of his daughter. In spite of John's sincere contrition and his subsequent commitment to remaining sober, wife Susan has been unable to forgive him, and her participation in the marriage has since been perfunctory at best. John hopes that Susan's willingness to come to Italy, stay in the castle, and help him sort out the details of his inheritance is a signal that the wound to their relationship is healing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What kind of meat goes with this wine? Dec 31 2003
Format:DVD
Stuart Gordon with Full Moon bring us two essential elements for creepy pleasure....A Freak...and A Castle! Poor baby has been locked away in the cellar and beaten his entire life, but he has also been fed regularly. Till Mama dies.
John Reilly inherits this beautiful castle, and travels with his wife and blind daughter to see his new windfall. A brief and non-intrusive flashback show us that John and Susan have recently lost their son in an automobile accident, the same accident that left their daughter blind. Susan blames John for their son's death, and this explains the tension between the two as they settle into their quarters in the castle. Their plans are to sell the furnishings and artwork, and John wants to get started right away on inventory. He takes his daughter Jessica along with him, but Jessica gets curious about a cat meowing and follows it instead.
Of course, we all know that Jessica will wind out in the lower halls of the castle where our hungry, wretched little friend awaits. Jessica gets away, Freak eats Kitty and gets loose, but while Jessica didn't see Freak, he saw Jessica and would like a closer look. He sneaks into her room, leaving with a sheet to wrap himself in, and only Jessica's dad believes her tale that there is someone or something else in the castle with them.
Surprisingly good acting in this low budget film, with Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator and the Frighteners) and Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator and Body Double) and a good supporting cast; plus gorgeous castle background giving us beauty and creepiness all in one, set the perfect stage for our lovely, twisted, lonely freak.
When John Reilly brings home a local prostitute, our darling, grotesque little intruder will give you a whole new meaning to the term "oral sexx" in a particularly gory "love" scene.
Over all, if you are lover of cheap and/or cheesy horror flicks, you will not want to miss out on this jewel. Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Truely horrific! Sept. 23 2003
Format:DVD
This is the weirdest film I have ever seen. I do not understand why it is not rated NC-17. .... There is both a rated and unrated version. Don't watch this film if you are affended easily. I had to turn it off I was so appalled! It was the part where castle freak bit the prostitute's boob off and ate her...well...you know. After he saw the man of the house(who has a wife and daughter)doing it to the prostitute. This goes down in my book as the only film that truely scared me and made me cringe! It is very sad how castle freak never got to live a life.He was locked up in chains by his horrible crazy mother after her husband left her. After she dies Castle freak breaks free and lurks in the castle. Meanwhile a family moves in the castle. When mutalated bodies turn up they must fight for survival. You start to not feel so sorry for the freak when he starts killing people and animals in horrific ways. The acting is amazing! Jonathan Fuller who played Georgio the freak was great in this and should have won an award! Rafeala Offanidi who played the Italian prostitute was also great in this. That scene with her chained to the dungeon wall with the freak in the room always scares me! It is worth four stars due to the fact that Jeffrey Combs ways really bad in his drunk scenes! Any amature actor trying to make it in Hollywood could have done that! That was more of a comedic performance if you ask me! Barbara Crampton who played Combs' wife in the movie was quite good in her dramatic scenes. New-commer Jessica Dollarhide was very good in this considering this was her 1st feature film. Also, Elizabeth Kaza was good as the creepy, yet kind housekeeper. I'll wrap this up by saying don't watch it if you have nightmares frequently!
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars All Hype..or some people scare real easy :)
Well after reading all 37 reviews on Amazon got the DVD and BOO! This movie is often touted as "Sex,nudity,violence,and gore all in one movie? Read more
Published on July 4 2004 by Charles M. Lowe
3.0 out of 5 stars From the man who brought you "The Re-animator"
Stuart Gordon presents another film adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story. In this one "Castle Freak" John Reilly(Jeffrey Combs,The Re-animator series)his wife(Barbara... Read more
Published on June 20 2004 by Gitters
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Horror Flick
Full Moon is really the most under-rated horror studio. This movie was famous enough to spaawn a mass market toy of the monster. Read more
Published on April 14 2004 by Joseph Johnson
1.0 out of 5 stars Mip
Hey! I previously reviewed this and I originally said I reccomended this to a youner audience but I would like to do follow-up... Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
Stayed up late once with my mom and we watched this movie, I really liked it! I guess it isn't incredibly scary but it's an okay scary movie. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars one of Gordon's finest
I think this great little film is up there with Stuart Gordon's other two finest films : Re-animator and Dagon. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars ehhh, so so
I thought this movie was so so and you can yell and scream at me all you want Stuart Gordon fans but it aint better then Re-Animator which was the bomb diggidy. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003 by Michael Bolts
4.0 out of 5 stars get your freak on!
I bought this from the bargain bin without ever seeing it. I was surprised how good it was for a direct to video release. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2003 by ZZrider
4.0 out of 5 stars Hor-Gore Classic
Do you like pure horror? If so...imagine this. A cannibalistic freak goes balistic once he frees himself from the chains of a castle dungeon by biting off his own thumb. Read more
Published on April 27 2003 by PR GUY
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