Blu-ray Review: Castle of the Creeping Flesh (1968)

Ever-horny Baron Brack (Michel Lemoine), he of the atrocious dubbing and wild hootenannies, leads a group of revelers to the ornate, though dilapidated, home of Count Graf Saxon (Howard Vernon) to continue the party-hardy fracas.

What does Saxon think of the swingin’ sumbitches who have invited themselves in? He seems to give not a single fuck… rather, he does the Chatty Cathy bag and fills the gang in on his family history and the fate of his daughter who was recently (like an hour ago) raped and killed in the nearby woods. I’m sure he has no plans for all of the sexy ladies that have fallen into his lap…

Naturally he does have a plan… a batshit crazy one too, involving resurrecting his daughter with all of his new found female flesh! Oh, and a bear is involved as is so often the case…

If Castle of the Creeping Flesh is anything it’s atmospheric. The sets utilized to bring the Count’s manse to life are lavish and include plenty of Gothic ambience, not to mention the additional fright flick fun offered up by the Frankenstein laboratory and full-on wax museum quality displays that illustrate the family’s history which that arcane abode also contains. It’s a feast for the eyes for sure!

Speaking of “eyes”; the copious amounts of naked flesh on display are easy on the eyes, and a draw here, even if the situations they find themselves in are questionable at best… but hey, a lady seduces a dude with a chicken leg, and I can safely tell you lot that shit would fire me up right quick!

In an unexpected Mondo twist; the filmmakers inserted sequences of a real heart surgery into the proceedings that doubtless kept the effects budget low, but it’s kind of tacky… I mean, this is a trashy European flick, so all bets are of course off, but it was jarring nevertheless…

While the feature is entertaining and off-kilter enough for me to easily recommend it to you cats n’ creeps, the fine fiends at Severin have included some bonus content on this Blu-ray release to get you all hot and bothered (as if that chicken leg wasn’t enough)!

First we get an archival chat with Joyce Hoven and Percy Hoven (director Adrian Hoven’s… yes, he of the notorious 1970 torture shocker Mark of the Devil… wife and son respectively), as well as a Q&A sesh with the same from 2015’s Austrian Pulp Film Fest (both of which offer plenty of anecdotes about Hoven and Castle of the Creeping Flesh).

Following that comes a look at the film’s locations as they appear today, a trio of trailers for the film, and four alternate credit sequences.

Bringing up the rear we get an alternate ending from a VHS release of the picture, as well as notes on the film’s various versions.

Opulent, lurid, and at times dubious; Castle of the Creeping Flesh is a nice relaxing soak in the warm waters of Euro-sleaze that’s sure to satisfy!



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