Castle of the Creeping Flesh (1968)

CASTLE OF THE CREEPING FLESH (1968)
aka Im Schloss der blutigen Begierde
Article 2755 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-22-2008
Posting Date: 2-27-2009
Directed by Adrian Hoven
Featuring Janine Reynaud, Howard Vernon, Michel Lemoine
Country: West Germany

Several guests of Baron Brack find themselves in the castle of the Earl of Saxon, a madman intent on reviving his daughter and finding her rapist/murderer.

Ten thoughts on CASTLE OF THE CREEPING FLESH.

1) Advance warning on this movie had me prepared for a certain degree of nastiness. However, no advance warning prepared for me for just how silly it was. Caveat emptor.

2) There’s really not much creeping flesh in this castle (though, admittedly, I’m not sure just what “creeping flesh” is supposed to be”). The more accurate alternate title, CASTLE OF BLOODY LUST, is, however, quite accurate.

3) Let’s handle the lust first. This movie features two rape scenes, one consenting sex scene, and some of the stupidest erotic flirting I’ve ever seen; the scene where the woman tries to tempt the Baron by erotically nibbling a chicken leg and lusciously licking the bone while the rest of the cast looks at each other is enough to have you doubled over in pain or in giggles.

4) Speaking of “looking at each other”, I suspect Adrian Hoven has a weakness for actors that can act with their eyes; the movie is full of scenes of people giving meaningful glares and eye-shifting. Unfortunately, the utter lack of subtlety in these scenes (as well as everywhere else in the movie) undercuts whatever effectiveness they might have had.

5) Now, let’s get to the blood. Let me just sum this up by concocting a quote that I imagine may have been said by the director during the making of this movie – “Look, I bought all this stock footage of open-heart surgery, and I’m damn well going to use it all!”

6) You know, I would try to cut this movie some slack since it’s dubbed, because the incredibly bad poetic dialogue about life, love and death could be just bad translation. But there’s something about it all that makes me suspect that it’s not much better in its original language, and, given the exploitation nature of the rest of the movie, it’s incredibly out of place. But then, the story is supposedly inspired by King Lear and came from Jesus Franco.

7) Director Adrian Hoven is mostly known as an actor. The only other movie he’s directed that I’ve seen is the softcore MAIDENQUEST, aka THE LONG SWIFT SWORD OF SIEGFRIED. Why am I not surprised?

8) Note to the man responsible for the score – Symphonic or Jazz – make up your mind.

9) Note to director – modern day or period piece – make up your mind.

10) Oh, by the way, I like the knocker. No, I don’t mean Janine Reynaud’s (she’s got two of them, anyway), but the one on the door.

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