"Flesh For Frankenstein" of 1973 is a wonderfully grotesque, bloody, bizarre, creepy, hilarious, artistic and absolutely brilliant slice of European Exploitation Horror that may not be missed by any lover of cult-cinema. The first of two takes on classic Horror tales directed by Paul Morrissey, starring Udo Kier and Joe Dallessandro and (co-)produced by iconic artist Andy Warhol (the other being "Blood For Dracula), "Flesh For Frankenstein" (which is sometimes referred to as "Andy Warhol's Frankenstein") is an Italian/French/American co-production that simply has to be seen to be believed.
A blend of rich Gothic atmosphere, grotesque artsy imagery, unvarnished sleaze and excessive gore and wonderfully black humor, "Flesh For Frankenstein" is both a tribute to- and satire of earlier Horror greats. At the time of its release, the film was highly controversial for its depiction of sex and gore and even received an X-Rating in the US: No wonder, as this unspeakably morbid little gem features all kinds of demented scenes including explicit perversions, such as necrophilia, all containing a very VERY morbid sense of humor.
Udo Kier shines as a very demented Baron Frankenstein (with a thick German accent), who lives with his sister/wife (!) Katrin (Monique Van Vooren), their two children, as well as his equally demented assistant in a castle in Serbia. Frankenstein plans to create female and a male Zombie from body parts; the natural children of his creations are then to become a perfect race of people. In the meanwhile, the super-potent stable-hand Nicholas (Joe Dallesandro) has sex with every female that crosses his way...
Udo Kier fits perfectly in the role of the Baron - extremely demented, perverted and weird, Frankenstein constantly yells at his assistant for being a pervert. This Baron is dedicated to science and obsessed with results as are other Frankenstein versions in cinema (such as those played by Colin Clive or Peter Cushing), but, unlike these predecessors, he is also demented in every other imaginable way. Udo Kier is definitely one of Germany's greatest actors and doubtlessly THE remaining expert for sinister and eccentric characters since Klaus Kinski passed away. He is truly great here. Monique van Vooren is also very good as the Baron's equally malicious sister/wife - van Vooren looks very young for her age (she was 48 when the film was made), but also really weird, since she has no eyebrows. Italian Horror enthusiasts will notice that the Frankenstein couple's daughter is played by Nicoletta Elmi, who was in many other cult-classics such as Dario Argento's "Profondo Rosso" (1975), Mario Bava's "Bay of Blood" (1971) and "Baron Blood" (1972), as well as Aldo Lado's Giallo "Who Saw Her Die?" (1972).
"Flesh For Frankenstein" is a film that is very gory and outrageously morbid for its day. When I first saw it, some scenes even reminded me of Joe D'Amato's 1979 shocker "Buio Omega" (though this film isn't quite AS demented and sick as D'Amato's film). IMDb and some other sources credit Italian Horror deity Antonio Margheriti, who happens to be an idol of mine, as co-director of this film; however, it appears that Margheriti was merely credited to draw Italian viewers into cinemas, and had little to nothing to do with the actual production of the film. Either way, this is a must-see. "Flesh For Frankenstein" is a wonderfully bizarre, atmospheric, gory, demented, morbid, incredibly (and VERY darkly) funny film, that MUST be seen by all cult-cinema fans, and, personally, I cannot understand how anyone could not love it. My rating: 10/10