For those of you who follow Redemption releases of Jess Franco films on Blu-ray, this is an easy choice. You simply buy Erotic Rites of Frankenstein and enjoy the transfer and a movie that is as gonzo as the name suggests. What you have here is a bit of black magic ritual meets classic monster movie meets softcore porn embraced in an art film with liberties taken at every moment in the production. It’s a mess… a beautiful, silvery monster mess. This was my first experience with Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, but it is just another shining example of what Franco meant to the world. He embodied the creative spirit of the artist with a camera. He also like monster pictures. He also loved beautiful women. The only thing you could do to create a more perfect piece of enjoyable trash is if you had Frankenstein’s monster fight the Wolfman or Dracula in relation to the titular erotic rites.
What you see is what you get with Erotic Rites of Frankenstein. The name is perfect. You have a silvery monster that resembles some of the early incarnation of the big guy with musculature and bulbous head that make it almost parody. In fact I have seen porn parodies of Frankenstein that seem to indulge a similar vision of the big guy. It isn’t frightening however it does embrace that perfect camp that was near categorical when discussing Universal monsters in the 70’s This is the like the X rated version of the TV show Monster Squad (not the 80’s movie… the show).
Just read the plot of the movie and try to piece together the writing of the story. It comes at you from a variety of directions with various mythologies intertwined and even a strange light scope that allows for the temporary rejuvenation of the dead. Perhaps the only moment of tension in the movie involves the questioning of the deceased Doctor Frank…will he get the damn words out or will he continue with his expository attempt at providing hyperbole to the myth of Cagliostro?
How else would you know this is Franco picture? How about the names of the characters. Doctor Seward (is this an homage to Bram Stoker’s Dracula?). Doctor Frankenstein played by Denis Price. He sort of maybe kind of looks a little like another famous doctor… Peter Cushing. This being 1972 post-Hammer Frank would make this the perfect opportunity capitalize on Cushing’s likeness. Then of course there’s Cagliostro, a character so strange that it take the entire canon of Frankenstein and throws it out the window. Top it off with Madame Orloff played by Britt Nichols. There’s always an Orloff! This is Franco after all. Mr. Franco makes an appearance as Morpho.
The Redemption cover preserves the traditional poster art. I have always been fond of the Redemption product including the transfers. Video Watchdog's own Tim Lucas does the commentary for this one, and it also includes a trailer.
Order your copy now and don't miss out on possible Halloween costume ideas or Friday night date plans. These are the kinds of "rites" you need in your life. This is essential viewing for you Franco nuts and actually has a narrative that is fairly simple to follow unlike much of Franco's abstract erotic fiction. Plenty of flesh on screen. Plenty of the Frank.
With THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN, controversial filmmaker Jess Franco merges his fondness for old-school horror with his unique and perverse tastes in sex and violence, partly inspired by the garish adult European comics of the early 1970s.
Audio Commentary by Tim Lucas
Original Theatrical Trailer
Original Theatrical Trailer