"Castle Freak (1995/Blu-ray/Full Moon Features)" Review

Review: Stuart Gordon has been one of those directors who truly have a unique style and feel to their films.
Castle Freak has that unique Stuart Gordon stlye, but this time around there really is no intentional humor added in. This is basically a straight forward horror film that works great on so many levels which I will get to in this review. I originally seen this film on VHS back in the mid 90's and during that time I remember kinda liking the film, but did not see it again until now. I can say that this was a very pleasant watch and makes me wish I wouldn't of held off for so long on viewing it again. Being a fan of classic creature features and gothic horror Castle Freak works amazing as a combo of the 2 genres.

Castle Freak has once again the teaming up of Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton like that have been in other Stuart Gordon films. This pair just seems to work off one another so well and they have a certain chemistry on screen that just works so well. This time around Jeffrey Combs plays as John Reilly who is a man torn apart on the inside after an accident left his daughter blind and son dead. Barbara Crampton plays the role of the wife who is still hurt by her loss and torn apart inside as well. After John inherits a castle he brings along his daughter and wife as he goes to see it and set it up so he can sell it, but things go out of control when a creature that is chained up in the basement breaks free and is now hungry and on the loose. After John's daughter has an encounter with the creature it becomes a cat and mouse game between John and the monster. Will John save his family from this beast and save his soul in the process?
This film is set in an old gothic castle that I heard Charles Band owns/owned which for the most part the film takes place in besides scenes in the police station and a local bar. Having a real castle and not just on some man made set helps to give the film an authentic feeling as well as a gothic atmosphere. That mixed with the beautifully morbid creature made this film quite enjoyable. Also I must add that the great acting does help to make Castle Freak that much more great. Also add the creature in the great acting catagory because it takes a true actor and artist to make a creature like that frightening and realistic. I just wish they would quit using the creature on the cover of their releases because it works better to not see the creature until it is revealed full in the film. The only thing about the film that bothered me from time to time was the acting of the girl who plays the blind daughter because there is a couple times where it doesn't feel like the characters really blind. Nonetheless this was a great film and I cannot recommend this more!
Along with this great film you get a pretty damn good looking presentation that is not without it's faults. Really the only thing that I noticed with this release is that there is print damage throughout which doesn't bother me much because to me it adds to the film. Overly picky viewers will be bothered by the print damage. The audio is great as well and is quite clear. This release is also loaded up with special features that includes my favorite which is the original VideoZone! I always loved watching them and it's great to see this one! Overall this is a great horror film that has a great HD presentation as well! Well worth the upgrade!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Stuart Gordon
Genre: Horror
Blu-ray Release Year: 2013
Home Video Release Year:1995
Time Length: 90 mins.
Company: Full Moon Features
Website: www.fullmoondirect.com