Sight and Sound - 03/01/1975
"...A film of great charm and uninhibited gusto..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Within the decadent walls of the Frankenstein mansion, the Baron (Udo Kier) and his depraved assistant Otto (Arno Juerging) have discovered the means of creating new life. As the Baron's laboratory begins to fill up with stitched body parts, the Baroness (Monique van Vooren) dallies with the randy new manservant (Joe Dallesandro) / and soon the decadent, permissive household is consumed by an outrageous, bizarre, and hilarious orgy of death and dismemberment. Smart, savage, and satiric, this international box office hit from Paul Morrissey is presented here with all of its uncensored comedic excesses intact, complete with a stunning new transfer.
With Andy Warhol lending his name as "producer," longtime filmmaking associate Paul Morrissey (FLESH, TRASH, HEAT) turned in the first of two uncompromisingly idiosyncratic convention-shattering interpretations of classic horror tales starring the suitably demented Udo Kier, who was previously unknown to American audiences. Dr. Frankenstein (played straightfaced and earnestly deadpanned by Kier) pieces together male and female monsters, eventually lacking only the perfect "Serbian nasum." Frankenstein lives in false marital bliss with his detached and malcontent wife-sister and two sinister children, who perpetually peek in on the forbidden experiments of Frankenstein and the equally forbidden sexual liaisons of Mme. Frankenstein with the local peasant stud (Joe Dallesandro). When Frankenstein and his blithering assistant steal the head from a local peasant, their carefully laid plans run afoul, no thanks to the interference of the peasant's friend (madame's lover). Filmed in the famous Cinecitta by a crew of Italian master filmmakers, FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN is suffused with the crumbling glamour of old Italian films, paying homage to (while simultaneously parodying) the earnest and stark visual and psychological beauty of the old horror films on which it is based. Morrissey's patent Warholian sense of ironic detachment gives FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN a modernity and beauty all its own.
Difficult to look at with a truly critical eye, WARHOL'S FRANKENSTEIN knows it is campy and trashy, going full speed ahead regardless of any unkind words it might see up ahead. In this version of the story, Frankenstein desires to create perfect male and female specimens from body parts he has collected. If all goes well, his creations will then start a "perfect" new race. When the brain of a holy man is mistakenly placed in the head of the male creature, things don't go as the good doctor planned. The result is an abundance of nudity and gore as well as a disturbing gall bladder fetish.
Cult Film |
Mad Doctor |
Theatrical release: March 17, 1974.
FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN was originally released as a 3-D film, rated X.
Arno Juerging, who plays Frankenstein's assistant, was brought to Andy Warhol's Factory by his mother, who demanded that he be in one of Andy's films.
The intestines used in various scenes of the film are actual animal intestines and had been on the set for days as a result of various delays. By the time the scenes that required the intestines were filmed, they smelled so bad that Udo Kier was almost unable to shoot the scenes.
FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN had a budget of less than $300,000 and was shot in three weeks.
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