Story: Baron Brack (Michel Lemoine) is a man who loves to party, so when a chance to swing comes up, he is always there. After some less than wild parties leave him cold and a visit to his own lush villa comes to an end, Brack decides the fun needs to continue at a new locale. And what better place to throw an orgy with his friends than the remote castle of the Earl of Saxon (Howard Vernon), a man known to be cursed and riddled with rumored dark secrets. As Brack and his cadre of sexual explorers settle in at the castle, some strange things begin to happen, mostly unknown to our swingers. A pair of medical doctors engage in a full on surgical procedure, an odd diorama spooks the visitors, and of course, random animal attacks start to occur as time passes. Even as some lust fueled romance begins to blossom, danger lurks around every corner, both real and imagined. Is the Earl’s castle truly cursed and if so, will our intrepid swingers finish their decadence before the creepy castle overtakes them?
Entertainment Value: This one is a blend of old, dark house spookiness, gothic slow burn horror, and light sleaze blended in with oddball elements to keep things fresh. The slow in slow burn is quite accurate here, as Castle of the Creeping Flesh moves at a deliberate pace and while it never feels boring, a more active pace might have helped a lot. While I wasn’t in love with the pace, the movie is able to keep a fairly steady flow of naked flesh, bizarre moments, and overly dramatic acting, so it is able to hold attention, even in the slower stretches of narration. At the same time, if you struggle with attention span or need a kinetic pace, you will likely find this flick to on the slow side. I appreciated the production values in this one, with a suitably eerie castle to explore, a wealth of little set design touches to notice, and some bold period costumes, some of which I wish I owned. This helps Castle of the Creeping Flesh appeal to fans of old school gothic horror and Eurohorror in general, as the vibes here fall within those genres and those viewers aren’t as likely to be concerned with pacing issues. I had fun with this movie despite the lesser elements and while I found the narrative to be off a little, the resulting odd choices made by the filmmakers more than balanced out any story worries. The Baron is a wild character and Michel Lemoine’s ham fisted performance only enhances that wildness, though to be fair, most of the cast dial up their efforts here, just not as much as Lemoine and his wackiness. So if you like old school, gothic style horror with some light sleaze and craziness, give Castle of the Creeping Flesh a spin.
As I said a couple times above, this picture has some light sleaze and most of the naked flesh is seen in a number of topless sequences. So no graphic nudity or sex here, with only a few sex scenes and none offering much titillation. There is also a non graphic rape scene that seems to drag on forever, so keep that in mind if you need to avoid that section. Over half a dozen scenes with bare breasts here, but don’t expect more than that in terms of sleaze. The blood quotient is rather low, with some bright red stuff seen from time to time, but no real kinetic violence on screen. There is some actual surgical footage spliced in at times, but it feels out of place and doesn’t add to the experience. In other words, some light bloodshed at times, just don’t expect much visible violence or gore here. The dialogue isn’t that memorable, but the over the top performances help in that regard, turning some basic dialogue into unintentional humor in some scenes. But some points are also scored by Baron Brack’s outlandish presence, as he seems to be able to make even the most mundane dialogue feel overly dramatic. I wish there were more quotable or ridiculous lines in this one, but at least the wacky performances pitch in. The film moves the insanity scale needle, thanks to fairly regular moments that seem offbeat or just confusing. Some highlights include an awkward conga line, a very dramatic wig reveal, a man comparing the riding skills of sisters, the over explanation of a diorama, bizarre rape narration, and of course, a random bear. Not wall to wall craziness by any means, but there’s a good amount of small, silly moments to enjoy here.
Overall Insanity: 4/10
The Disc: Severin Films has released this one in a new scan taken from the German negative, with superb results. The print looks quite clean and with minimal debris or damage, the detail level is allowed to shine throughout. This means the movie looks better than ever, with sharper presence and bolder colors, the latter of which really enhances the visuals. The extras include interviews with director Adrian Hoven, a featurette on the film’s locations, alternate opening sequences, and three of the film’s trailers.