Castle Freak (1995)

Rating: D-

Dir: Stuart Gordon
Star: Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, Jonathan Fuller, Jessica Dollarhide

[18] The much anticipated return of Crampton to the horror genre doesn’t quite deliver, spending too long setting up ‘atmosphere’. The opening sequence sets the standard, with the duchess wandering – very slowly – through her castle to feed and torture her hideously deformed son. It’d have been okay had they run the credits over it, but it simply goes on, and on and on. Then she drops dead, and heir Jeffrey Combs turns up with wife (Crampton) and blind daughter.

Before you can say “Quasimodo”, out comes the freak; except, you’ve probably got time to read The Hunchback of Notre Dame before anything much happens. Some gross moments finally compensate the viewer, and only in the final 30 minutes does the body count mount acceptably, though up until this point, Crampton and Combs ensure this remains a cut above the usual Full Moon product. I was left feeling this was definitely a 30-minute idea stretched to a full-length feature.