Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks (1974)*

Boasting as it does the immortal credit "...and Boris Lugosi as Ook the Neanderthal Man", this is essentially the sheerest tosh, entirely typical of its guiding hand: supreme trash cinema oddball Dick Randall. But there may be slender grounds for meeting it on a level field.
If nothing else, this is a textbook example of Italian magpie horror, boasting that characteristic kind of skittish derivativeness that borrows from so many styles as to emerge almost as something new. Clearly an ersatz-Hammer horror was the general aim, but the half-hearted sense of period (one of the villagers at the beginning is plainly a contemporary extra in jeans and a jumper) and wild plot ideas (there is coincidentally a marauding revived cavemen in the district who does not owe his existence to Frankenstein's activities) make it impossible to take it seriously. There's even a portrait with holes in the eyes for someone to stare through. Set against this, however, are stylish performances from a proper cast (Rossano Brazzi, Edmund Purdom, Michael Dunn and Simone Blondell), a smart music score, attractive photography, and a generally pleasing use of locations, so that it constantly threatens to really work on its own terms, only to then throw in the towel with some fresh infusion of insanity. The combination, of course, makes for a distinctly acquired taste, and the delicate sense of naivety is in any event too often spoiled by over-enthusiastic recourse to exploitation elements. But like the best lunatic horror nonsense it certainly won't bore its intended clientele, and for the most part the thing has the happy eccentricity of a Grimm's fairy tale, or a half-remembered dream.