Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks (Italian: Terror! Il Castello Delle Donne Maledettenote ) is a 1974 Italian horror film.
When a Neanderthal man is lynched by villagers, Count Frankenstein uses his years of research to bring the monster back to life. The process is a tricky one, however, as the Count must avoid detection by the authorities, the furious locals and his own daughter—who is preparing for her wedding.
Frankenstein's Castle of Tropes:
- Age-Gap Romance: Count Frankenstein has an affair with his daughter Maria's school friend Krista (who is literally young enough to be his daughter). Krista seems quite infatuated with the Count, and Maria makes a joke about the possibility of Krista becoming her mother.
- All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: The cavemen are explicitly stated to be Neanderthals. They are hulking brutes much larger and stronger than an average man.
- Bathtub Bonding: Maria and Krista bathe together in the mineral springs in the caves. As they rub therapeutic mud into each others skins, they discuss Krista's possible romance with Maria's father.
- Depraved Dwarf: Frankenstein's assistant Genz is a dwarf with a number of perversions: including voyeurism and necrophilia. During the Grave Robbing scene, he opens the corpse's dress and fondles her breasts. He also introduces Ook to the concept of rape.
- Eskimos Aren't Real: Krista believes that Neanderthal Man is a myth. Possibly justified given the time period, but still a strange statement from someone studying anthropology.
- Frankenstein's Monster: Count Frankenstein reanimates a Neanderthal man (It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context) to serve as his monster. He christens his creation 'Goliath'.
- Frazetta Man: The Neanderthals are ape-like subhumans. Exactly how they have survived into 19th C. Europe is never addressed.
- Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death
- Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks: There is a surprising amount of glassware in Count Frankenstein's laboratory, given that his process seems to be entirely electrical in nature.
- Grave Robbing: Frankenstein's assistants steal a girl's body from the graveyard. Genz takes the opportunity to grope the corpse.
- Hand Gagging: When Eric surprises Maria in her room, he does so by reaching out from behind the curtain and clamping a hand over her mouth.
- Heir Club for Men: Count Frankenstein laments that his wife died giving birth to a stillborn son, so there is no one to carry on the Frankenstein family name. Krista hints, none too subtly, that it is not too late for him to remarry and father a male heir.
- The Igor: Count Frankenstein has several assistants: the sycophantic Hans, the hunchback Gregor, and the Depraved Dwarf Genz. Also a normal looking assistant actually named Igor...
- I Love the Dead: Count Frankenstein accuses Genz of being a necrophiliac. Given he is seen groping the breasts of a corpse while Grave Robbing, the accusation appears to be true.
- Karma Houdini: Genz, the Depraved Dwarf who is involved one way or another in all on screen deaths, is still alive at the end of the movie.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Lightning is required to power the actuators that give Frankenstein's creations life. Frankenstein notes that the castle is located in area especially conducive to electrical storms.
- Mad Scientist: His name is Frankenstein and he is attempting to revivify the dead. Take a wild guess.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: Count Frankenstein's laboratory contains operating tables, Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks, and an improbable number of Jacob's ladders. It's even got a secret entrance.
- Outdoor Bath Peeping: Genz spies on Maria and Krista while they are bathing in the mineral bath in the caves.
- Out with a Bang: Genz and Ook kidnap a peasant girl whom Ook rapes to death.
- The Peeping Tom: Genz spies on Krista while she is in the bath, on Maria and Eric while they having sex, and on Krista and Maria while they are bathing in the mineral springs.
- Portrait Painting Peephole: Used by Genz to spy on Krista while she is taking a bath.
- Torches and Pitchforks: The villagers gather torches and pitchforks and march on the caves when they are told that is where the monster is hiding.
- Überwald: The film is set at some unspecified location in Europe that ticks most of the boxes for the Uberwald: a Mad Scientist living in a castle that is prone to lightning strikes, a village full of superstitious villagers itching to form a Torches and Pitchforks mob, a local official trying to drag the region into the modern day, and wild Neanderthals living in the forest (It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context).
- Wanted a Son Instead: A minor plot point is that because Count Frankenstein's only child is a daughter who is about to marry, the Frankenstein name will die with him. Krista hints none too subtly that it is not too late for him to remarry and father a male heir.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Count Frankenstein's ultimate goal is a noble one, in that he is seeking to conquer death (and, in the process, ensure that the name Frankenstein lives forever in medical history). However, he is so certain of the rightness of his goal that he willing to take serious ethical shortcuts in its pursuit.
- La X di Y: Il Castello Delle Donne Maledette (The Castle of Cursed Women)