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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Castle Freak

Howdy all! Apolgies for being a day late, but I've been fighting a nasty cold. This week's entry is called Castle Freak. If it's about a castle that comes to life and freaks out, I'm giving it a 10 out of 5. As always, be prepared for SPOILERS...

Things start out in the kitchen of a witchy-looking old woman. She's preparing a meal of bread and meat, then she lights a candle. As she leaves her dwelling, we see that she lives next to an imposing castle. Oh, and a cat follows her to the castle.

Once inside, she brings the candle and the food into the dungeon, where she puts everything on the ground to pick up a whip that's hanging on the wall. Kinky. After unlocking a cell in the dungeon, she begins to whip the occupant, who cowers on the floor and screams. Then the old woman feeds her prisoner, leaves the dungeon, and has a pesky ol' heart attack.

After the opening credits, we meet the Reilly family. The parents are John and Susan, and they have a blind daughter, Rebecca. The castle is some kind of inheritance, and it's in pretty poor condition, with broken stones everywhere and a rat scurrying past them as they walk through the front gate.

The Italian lawyer explains that he found the Reillys after he launched an investigation into any living heirs of the estate. He also apologizes for the condition of the castle, due to the family fortune being depleted over the years. John responds that they won't be staying very long, as he plans to liquidate the assets and sell the estate.

They are introduced to an elderly maid, and Susan requests that a third bedroom be prepared. It seems that she and her husband sleep in different beds these days, because of friction over the death of their son. John was driving drunk, and the accident was also the cause of Becky's blindness. And the winner of Father of The Year is...

Later that night, John knocks at Susan's door. He asks for a chance at a fresh start, then gets a little too grabby for her. She tells him that she can't forgive him and she sends him back to his room, where he passes out and has a nightmare about the crash. His own anguished cries in the dream manage to wake him up, and he gets rattled by the sound of a monstrous wailing that seems to be from within the castle.

John decides to do some exploring. He follows the noises to the wine cellar, where he cuts his hand. Then the maid finds him washing the blood off in the kitchen. She tells John that the elderly duchess lived alone in the castle for 42 years, and that the sound John heard was the ghost of the supposedly-dead son of the duchess, a boy named Giorgio.

The next day, John decides to take his daughter on a tour of the castle. They find a nursery, another bedroom, and several pieces of art. When John decides to snoop around for any valuable jewelry, he comes across the whip. Oh, and he also discovers a strange photo album.

Becky hears a mysterious scratching noise, so she stumbles off to check it out. John, fully engrossed by the old pictures, completely ignores his daughter. Man, this guy is a real family man, huh?

Becky finds her way back to the room full of toys, and nearly has a heart attack when she gets scared by a cat that was behind a door. She follows the sound of the cat to the cellar level, where she takes a tumble and scrapes up her leg. John finally notices that she's gone, and searches for his daughter. Better late than never, I suppose...

Becky gets back on her feet, and she inadvertently wakes Giorgio. She hears him moving around, but tries to convince herself that it's just the cat. He finds the cat after Becky leaves the area, and he decides to eat it. Becky tries to tell her folks that she heard somebody downstairs, but they don't believe her.

After snacking on the cat, Giorgio gets a surge of energy. He snaps off his own thumb with his teeth, then manages to break free from the chain that was holding him to the wall. Let's hope he doesn't have to hitch a ride anywhere. After Giorgio breaks free, he holds the chain over his head in victory. Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!

Susan scoffs at Becky's story, telling her that her imagination is just running wild. Giorgio busts open the door to the dungeon area, and then we see the Reilly clan sitting down to dinner.

Becky asks the elderly maid about the cat, and is told that the cat was probably a pet that belonged to the duchess. Then we see Giorgio discover a mirror, and he recoils when he sees his own grotesque image. The sound of the mirror being smashed brings the family out to check out the damage.

After everyone goes to bed, Giorgio decides to wander around the castle. He limps into Becky's room, where he watches her sleep, then tries to figure out how to undress her without waking her up. Becky does wake up, so Giorgio tries to hide. The sound of his chain falling to the floor makes Becky scream, and her parents somehow manage to come running in seconds after Giorgio leaves, without ever seeing him.

John rushes out of the room with a flashlight, and misses seeing Giorgio a second time. He even finds the cell that Giorgio was living in, but misses seeing the dead cat on the floor. This man is some kind of genius.

John finds the family crypt next, and looks at the various names and dates on the wall. Giorgio sneaks in behind him, just as he reads the plaque for Giorgio's death. It says that Giorgio died at the age of 5, which brings John to tears over the loss of his own son.

A cop comes by the following day, and questions the family very briefly. The officer clearly doesn't think that there was an intruder, and he notes John's injured hand. After implying that John himself broke the mirror, the officer leaves.

After getting Becky to take a nap, John tells his wife that he has something to show her. He brings her to the crypt, and the picture of Giorgio has now disappeared. John decides to kill himself, but then he chickens out. He finds the local tavern, and decides to get drunk instead. Uh, okay...

While he's getting smashed out of his gourd, John meets a prostitute. He buys her a drink, then proceeds to spill it all over her skimpy outfit. A man at the bar suggests that it's time for John to leave, so he begins waving around a wad of cash to pay for the drinks. The hooker sees the money, and decides that he suddenly looks a lot more charming.

John takes her to  his wine cellar, where he manages to spill another drink on her. She makes a fuss, but he shushes her, worried that his family will discover them. They start to make out, and Giorgio sneaks in to watch.

The sight of her nudity excites Giorgio, who has decided to start wearing a white hood over his face. Where'd he get the hood from? He waits for John to finish up and pass out, and then Giorgio grabs the wine bottle. He follows the hooker to the toy room, then attacks her from behind with a white sheet over her head.

The next morning, a cop knocks at the castle door. He's the same officer that arrived the other day, and this time he's VERY interested in looking around the castle. Susan learns that her husband was seen leaving a bar with a hooker, and that makes John get a little bit defiant. Nevertheless, the cop seems to believe that he did something to the hooker.

After the cop leaves, we see that the hooker is still alive. Wow! She seems to be begging the monster to let her go, but he offers her a swig of wine instead. She decides to play along and seduce him, but then she discovers that he's missing more than a thumb, if you know what I mean. She gets her hands on the bottle, smashes it and slices a gouge into his arm, so he throws her up against a wall, then bites off her nipples.

John is really up shit creek now, because the maid has discovered the hooker's purse in the castle. When John finds out, he's told that the police will will definitely arrest him. The maid's brother agrees to keep quiet, but only if John pays him off. Then he informs John that his lineage isn't quite as royal as he was led to believe, making him a bastard of the family. Boy, he sure is having a bad day!

The maid hears a horrible scream, so she decides to go have a look around the dungeon. She finds the hooker's mutilated body, and the hooker is barely alive. She tries to warn the old woman that Giorgio is right behind her, but the monster attacks the maid, repeatedly beating her after she hits the floor.

John gets home, just in time to see his wife and daughter leaving. She tells him that it's too late to salvage what they had, but all John is worried about is how there exit will make him look even more guilty to the authorities. She refers to him as a "whipping boy", and the phrase suddenly helps him to see what the evil presence is that is living in the castle. He vows to prove his innocence. Oh, and the cops arrive, telling Susan that the entire family must remain in the castle until the investigation is completed.

John grabs a heavy shovel, and the others can hear him bashing it against something somewhere deep in the castle. Susan and a couple of the officers decide to see what John's up to, and they leave Becky with another officer. Yeah, because splitting up ALWAYS works out well in horror films!

It turns out that John was breaking into Giorgio's crypt, to see if his body was in there. He breaks open the coffin in front of Susan and the cops, confirming that there's no corpse. Then he tells them that Becky was right, and that the presence she kept hearing in the castle was Giorgio.

The officers handcuff John, even after he tells them about the whip, the mirror, and all of the noises they've been hearing. Then they stumble upon the bodies of the hooker and the maid. John is dragged away, even while screaming that he's innocent.

A couple of officers stay at the castle that night, and Susan is expected to come to the police station in the morning to give the investigators an official statement. She asks the pair to get her and Becky some fresh water. One heads to the kitchen, while the other cop remains outside the bedroom door.

The cop in the kitchen sees some dirt and soot getting kicked up, so he examines it. Giorgio ambushes him from above, as you might expect. After some kicking and screaming, the cop is dragged up into the chimney.

John begs the officers who arrested him to get his family out of the castle. He even reminds them that Giorgio's coffin was empty, but they still refuse to believe that a maniac is running loose. The cop brings out a lead pipe, and waves it at John in a threatening manner.

Susan asks the cop guarding the door why the other officer never brought back their water, and I wish he would have said, "Because we're not your servants, lady!" Alas, he just agrees to go find his buddy. Fetch your own damn water!

He finds a body wrapped up in a sheet. The first cop? Nope, it's Giorgio, who jumps up and grabs the cop by the chin. He nibbles on the poor guy's eye, and that's that. I may become a vegetarian after this one ends.

Now alone, Susan and Becky have a serious talk about the family. Becky seems to think that her folks loved her brother more than her, because all they've done since his death is fight. Susan tells her that they both love her very much, and that she and Becky have to be strong for John. Yeesh, this is turning into a soap opera!

Giorgio opens the bedroom door, and watches them both pray for their family. Then he noisily shuts it again, but the sound is masked by rumbling thunder. While Becky continues to pour her heart out to her mother, Susan decides to leave the room. That's kind of awesomely hilarious, when you think about it.

Susan is attacked and knocked out cold in the hallway. Becky is still rambling on about her feelings, and she mistakes Giorgio for her mother. She takes off her shirt, only then realizing that her mother isn't the person watching her. Is this supposed to be as funny as it is? Giorgio abducts her, just as Susan regains her senses. She begins to chase after the mutant.

Susan grabs the biggest knife she can find in the kitchen, then she sees the cop fall out of the chimney. She screams and runs away, then we see John still being interrogated. Wow, way to break up the action, movie!

The interrogator gets fed up with John, and smacks him across the face with the club. After another officer drags the interrogator out of the room, John manages to make an escape. He attacks another cop to do it, though, so he's still in some pretty serious trouble here...

Giorgio carries Becky back to his cell, and ties her up. He realizes that she's blind, even waving at her, so, yeah, now this is a wacky comedy.He babbles at her and removes his mask, and tries to kiss the girl. He's into it a lot more than she is.

Susan arrives, and she offers herself up in exchange for Becky's immediate release. Giorgio decides to get close enough to sniff her, and she attacks him with the knife. While Giorgio struggles to remove the blade, Susan works on releasing her daughter.

A short chase back up the stairs ensues, and Giorgio uses his knowledge of the castle layout to somehow get in front of them. They run down a corridor as he limps after them, and Becky costs them precious seconds by tripping past some of the furniture.

He chases them into the bedroom where he murdered the duchess, but they've seemingly vanished. They're actually hiding behind some of the covered furniture, but Giorgio is trying to literally sniff them out. He finds the whip instead, and flies into a rage as he recalls the torture that he endured over the last several decades.

He uses the whip to destroy several objects in the room, then he wanders back into the hallway to continue his search. Becky and Susan think it's safe to leave the room, but he soon discovers them. Another chase begins, this one bringing them onto the roof. Where it's raining. And the blind girl is mostly topless. Need I say more?

Giorgio corners them, but John shows up. He gets the killer to come after him instead, and the two men battle to the death on the roof. John kicks him in his man-gina, punches and beats him several times, then rejoins his wife and daughter.

After a big family hug, Giorgio pops up a final time, and uses the whip on John. As the monster goes after his family, John chains himself to Giorgio, then jumps off the roof. Both men fall to the ground below, and Susan just now decides that she still loves her husband.

They pack their belongings, and load up the coffin to return to America. Before leaving, Susan sees the cop who suspected that her husband was guilty of murder, holding a young boy's hand. The cop removes his hat, and she smiles at him. THE END

Man, what a goofy movie! I mean, the plot was really silly, the acting was over the top, and the only truly impressive thing in it was the gore. I'm giving this one 2 killer trees out of 5, only because it was marginally better than the crap I watched last week.

And what did Castle Freak teach me?

-If you inherit a castle, there's usually a catch.

-A blind girl can hear a monster several floors away, but can't tell if her mother leaves her alone.

-On a related note, blind children love it when you just abandon them at random moments.

Later this week, I'll be watching Pumpkinhead. I could have sworn I did it already, but I couldn't find it on the blog. Happy Halloween!