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Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)

In Andy Warhol‘s gory adaptation of the Mary Shelley classic, Baron Frankenstein (Udo Kier with a strong German accent) is working – with his henchman, Otto (Arno Juerging) – to create the perfect man and woman.

He plans to mate them, in order to get the perfect children he desires. He already has two kids with his wife, but seeing as how his wife is also his sister, the kids are probably far from perfect!

Baron Frankenstein also likes to have sex with his female creation – while her insides are open, and before she’s even been brought to ‘life’. He insists “In order to know death, you must fuck life . . . in the gall bladder.”

Explicit blood-letting and violence overwhelm this shockingly funny Italian-American exposé of the venal grime behind Victorian aristocracy from director Paul Morrisey, who shot the film back to back with his Blood for Dracula (1974) in Rome’s famous Cinecittà studio.

Kier is wonderfully arrogant and bad-tempered as the unhinged Nietzschean Baron Frankenstein, dismembering the local townspeople to build the perfect Aryan male and his female mate in the hope of producing a Serbian race of super beings.

Only one body part is lacking for the male half of the couple – the perfect Serbian nose (the Baron’s racist ideology will accept nothing less).

Frankenstein and Otto head off to the local brothel in search of a suitable victim, which turns out to be Sasha (Srdjan Zelenovic), whom they promptly kill, not realising that he is in fact homosexual.

His friend Nicholas (gay underground star Joe Dallesandro), a farm labourer and servant to the Baroness, rushes to Sasha’s aid, but too late. Sasha’s head already adorns another man’s body.

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In a bloody showdown, almost everyone ends up dead. Sasha murders both the Baroness and his creator, Frankenstein, before killing himself.

The only survivors are the Frankenstein children – who have witnessed everything and who now calmly step up to accept their inheritance, much to the horror of the bound and helpless Nicholas.

Originally shown in “Space-Vision 3D” (the reason why sharp instruments are constantly being thrust into the camera) a strong stomach is still needed to witness the flattened down lurid gore and sickening splatter.

Full of camp quotable dialogue and a particularly hilarious sex scene between Joe Dallesandro and Monique Van Vooren, the Baron’s over-sexed sister (also his wife) who goes to elaborate lengths to bed labourer Dallesandro.

There are plenty of disgusting scenes, featuring exposed internal organs and lots of blood. One guy gets decapitated by a giant set of hedge clippers and the end of Flesh For Frankenstein looks how the last act of Hamlet would have if everyone had used real swords.

You can’t say that you know life until you’ve fucked death in the gallbladder!

Nicholas
Joe Dallesandro
Baroness Katrin Frankenstein
Monique Van Vooren
Baron Frankenstein
Udo Kier
Sasha/Male Monster
Srdjan Zelenovic
Female Monster
Dalia de Lazzaro
Otto
Arno Juerging
Monica
Nicoletta Elmi
Erik
Marco Liofredi
Olga
Liu Bozizio
Nicholas’ girlfriend
Cristina Gaioni

Director
Paul Morrissey