Castle Freak

Production Year: 1995
Release Date: 04/30/2013
Studio: Wizard Entertainment
Collection Number: 939

Full Moon continues to give their past releases the HD treatment, the latest being Stuart Gordon's Castle Freak.  The film is about a broken family who discover they've inherited a European castle.  The group heads overseas to check out the inheritance and are immediately taken by the beauty of the place.  Soon we discover that the family is essentially on it's last legs, Jeffery Combs is a struggling alcoholic who's addiction led to the death of the couple's son and took their daughter's vision.  As the married couple are constantly having at each other the daughter seems to be the only one to notice something strange is happening inside the castle.  While they might now own the place they are not the only ones to inhabit it.  The gothic castle is also home to a tortured and deformed man whom for the first 40 years of his life was held prisoner there...Now with the death of their realitive, his abusive captor, he's able to roam free and has only one thing on his mind.


As a huge fan of From Beyond and Re-Animator it's always nice to see Gordon, Crampton, and Combs working together.  Gordon is a very competent director and certainly someone whom I believe to be highly underrated as far as genre directors go.  Combs and Crampton are both great in their roles.  Combs is a very haunted man who longs for his wife's forgiveness.  Crampton is torn between the love for her husband and a serious disgust due to the fact that he took away one child and crippled the other.  Along with the pair is Jonathon Fuller who played the Freak.  Fuller was literally covered head to toe in makeup appliances, he did a great job playing the monster.  Much like the two titles mentioned earlier, Castle Freak is also a loose adaption of an H.P. Lovecraft tale The Outsider



Right off the bat I can tell you that the film doesn't have the best print.  The PQ with this is decent at best, in comparison to the past release however there is a lot more visible detail with the blu-ray.  There are a handful of instances where the quality does degrade a bit (especially in some of the night scenes.)  I also noticed that the image seemed to have a bit of a bluish hue this time around.  Onto the AQ, we're given 5.1 and 2.0 track options, the 5.1 gets the job done and I don't really have any complaints about it.  Richard Band scored the picture and it certainly benefits from the 5.1 audio.  The blu-ray also includes a handful of supplements; Castle Speak, which is an interview with the director Stuart Gordon, the Video Zone for Castle Freak, a trailer reel with various FM trailers, and lastly a featurette where William Shatner interviews Gordon, Combs, and Crampton.  I'm assuming the latter is from the short lived Full Moon Fright Night show.  Overall the extras were pretty nice, I really enjoyed hearing the actors recant about making the film in the supposedly haunted castle.


All in all this is certainly an upgrade from the previously released DVD.   As mentioned the print used wasn't the best but I still feel this is superior to some of their earlier blu-rays.  As the film goes it's one of the last real horror movies Gordon would be involved in which is too bad as the man is a true talent, and while he's moved on to make more serious films I feel the genre is really lacking good Lovecraft adaptions, something he always excelled at.

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