To know death, Otto, you have to fuck life in the gallbladder. – Baron Frankenstein
Breathing is better than not breathing. – Farmhand
I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you that tonight’s viewing of Flesh For Frankenstein was my first foray into Warhol films. I find it to be pretty much like a John Waters film with better cinematography. Udo Kier as Frankenstein wants to make a super race of Serbian peasants with the typical Frankenstein monsters but can’t find the perfect head for his male of the breeding pair. When his sister/wife catches Joe Dallesandro banging peasant girls on their estate two days in a row, she alerts her husband/brother and he and his assistant plan to steal the lustful farmhand’s head to sew onto the monster body. Instead, they cut the head off of the wrong guy, an asexual man who wants to be a monk. There are disembowelments and Kier makes love to the female monster’s abdominal cavity. The wife has horrible 60s plastic surgery and no eyebrows. Ho hum.
I guess I’m too used to watching trash to be either shocked by this or to succumb to uncomfortable hilarity. The film makes a nice point about the evils of extreme and amoral hedonism, and the movie is very beautiful, but it’s boring. It’s hard to believe that Tonino Guerra was one of the writers. Both Udo Kier and the creepy sibling/cousin spawn of the Frankensteins are fun to watch, I’ll admit, and it is unusual to see Frankenstein as evil from the beginning of the film, rather than as a misguided intellectual. Here it’s almost as if the character is a sort of Hitler figure, with his master race scheming and all that shit. But I’d rather watch something a bit more mind-bending, and for me this ain’t it. However, I didn’t hate it, and I’d see it at a theatrical showing in 3D if I had the chance.
By the way, am I the only one who’s completely underwhelmed by Netflix’s DVD service? I ordered the Criterion Collection version and received the Image Entertainment release in a Criterion envelope. Luckily, according to this review at DVD Verdict, the Image release is just as good. It really is a stunning print. I’m sure I’ll enjoy watching the extras.