Il mostro è in tavola barone… Frankenstein (1973)

Italy, France, 1973
95m
35mm, Space-Vision 3D, Eastmancolor, 2.35:1
mono

An Italian/French horror film, directed by Paul Morrissey and originally released in 3D. For legal reasons, Antonio Margeriti was credited as director though leading man Udo Kier has stated that Margheriti directed none of his scenes1Video Watchdog Special Edition no.2 (1995). Although promoted in the USA as Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein and the artist taking a “presents” credit on English language prints, Andy Warhol had nothing to do with the actual production of the film.

Plot Summary

Baron Frankenstein is trying to create a new Master Race in the dungeons of his castle. He’s succeeded in stitching together the perfect male and female “zombies” which he hopes will mate, but he needs a brain for the male creature. He mistakenly beheads a young man heading for a monastery to become a monk and instead of getting the great lover and sex maniac he was hoping for, ends up with a creature that shows no interest in his “bride”…

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: Paul Morrissey [English language prints], Antonio Margheriti [Italian prints]
© 1973 by Compagnia Cinematografica Champion S.p.a.
Andy Warhol presents [on US and UK prints]. Compagnia Cinematografica Champion S.p.a., Jean Yanne & Jean Pierre Rassam Productions
Produced by: Andrew Braunsberg
Written by: Paul Morrissey [English language prints]; Tonini Guerra [Italian prints]
Characters: Mary Shelley *
Photography: Luigi Kuveiller
Editors: Franca Silvi, Jed Johnson [credited on English language prints only]
Music Composed and Directed by: Claudio Gizzi
Sound Mixer: Carlo Palmieri
Wardrobe Supervisor: Benito Persico
Make Up: Mario Di Salvio
Hair Dresser: Paolo Franceschi
Special Effects: Carlo Rambaldi
Production Designer: Enrico Job

Cast
Joe Dallesandro (Nicholas)
Monique van Vooren (Baroness Katrin Frankenstein)
Udo Kier (Baron Frankenstein)
Arno Juerging (Otto)
Dalila Di Lazzaro (female monster)
Srdjan Zelenovic (male monster)
Nicoletta Elmi (Monica)
Marco Liofredi (Erik)
Liu Bosisio (Olga)
Fiorella Masselli (large prostitute)
Cristina Gaioni (Nicholas’ girlfriend)
Rosita Torosh (Sonia)
Carla Mancini (farmer)
Imelde Marani (blonde prostitute)

Alternative Titles

Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein – USA, West Germany
Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein 3-D – USA (alternative)
Andy Warhol’s Young Frankenstein – USA (alternative)
Carne para Frankenstein – Argentina, Venezuela
Carne Para Frankenstein – Portugal
Carne per Frankenstein – Italy
De la chair pour Frankenstein – France
The Devil and Dr Frankenstein
Flesh for Frankenstein – UK
The Frankenstein Experiment – USA (pre-release title)
Frankenstein, teurastaja – Finland
Il mostro è in tavola barone Frankstein – Italy (advertising)
Sarka gia ton Frankenstein – Greece (re-release)
Up Frankenstein
O Varonos Frankenstein – Greece
Zombi enantion Frankenstein – Greece (re-release)

Extracts included in
Bleeder (1999)
Frankenstein: A Cinematic Scrapbook (1991)

Press

1974
Cinefantastique vol.3 no.3 (Autumn 1974) p.32
One critic has already written of this Frankenstein that more spoofery and fewer buckets of gore might have improved it. I disagree totally, for the comic core of the piece lay precisely in its Niagra of blood. To Morrissey, mutilation is indeed the message, and he piles it on so thickly that by the final frame the entire audience is laughing hysterically. And box offices everywhere are being broken. […] [It] does express a genuine personal vision and, perhaps unconsciously, a very real horror. Supplanting the present day natural weirdos of Flesh, Trash, and Heat are characters we’ve all grown up with finally pigeonholed as the freaks they are, thus proving that all anyone had to do to create the first really original and commercially successful version of Frankenstein in years was to update the preoccupations of all concerned, on both sides of the screen. lt’s a penetrating insight, but a lousy thought. – from an illustrated review by John McCarty

Production Notes

Production
The reason that Antonio Margheriti’s name was attached to Italian prints was due to a loophole in the Italian legal system that was exploited by producer Carlo Ponti. For its Italian theatrical release, Ponti registered the film as purely Italian production which would make it eligible for retrospective quota and tax benefits. But as the film was directed by an American, Paul Morrisey, and was made by a large number of non-Italian actors and crew (Ponti himself had taken out French citizenship in the 1960s) the producer needed to issue two separate sets of credits – on Italian prints, Morrisey is listed as “Supervising Director” with Margheriti being credited as director, while internationally only Morrisey was credited.

Release
The decision to promote the film in the United States as Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein caused a rift between Morrisey and the his long-term associate Warhol.

References

Periodicals

  • Castle of Frankenstein no.23 p.54
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.25 pp.12, 13
  • Chaplin no.136 (1975) p.40-41 – review
  • Cinefantastique vol.3 no.3 (Autumn 1974) p.32 – illustrated review (by John McCarty)
  • Cinefantastique vol.28 no.12 (June 1997) p.48-51, 60 – illustrated article (The Flesh and Blood Show by Patricia Moir)
  • Cinema TV Today no.10122 (22 February 1975) p.12 – review
  • Cinematografia ITA vol.40 no.9/10 (September/October 1973) p.41-42 – review
  • Fangoria no.149 (January 1996) pp.56-62, 82 0 illustrated article (Pretty, bloody, funny by Keith Beraden)
  • Fangoria no.250 (February 2006) pp.61 81 – illustrated DVD review (DVD Dungeon by Scooter McCrae)
  • Film-Echo/Filmwoche no.70 (14 December 1973) p.8 – review
  • Films and Filming vol.19 no.10 (July 1973) p.8-10 – review
  • Films Illustrated vol.4 no.43 (March 1975) p.246 – review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.231 no.14 (3 May 1974) p.23 – note
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.42 no.494 (March 1975) p.52 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.50 no.599 (December 1983) p.342 – note
  • New Musical Express 22 January 1983 p.17 – illustrated review (by Chris Bohn)
  • Sight & Sound vol.16 no.8 (August 2006) p.96 – DVD review (Flesh for Frankenstein/Blood for Dracula by Matthew Leyland)
  • Sight & Sound vol.44 no.2 (Spring 1975) p.125 – review
  • Take One vol.4 no.4 (March/April 1973) p.28 – review
  • Time Out no.263 (14 March 1975) p.10-11 – review
  • Variety 27 February 1974 p.18 – review

Newspapers

  • Diário de Notícias 23 February 1999 p.55 – review

Books

  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.279
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.309
  • Comedy-Horror Films: A Chronological History, 1914-2008 by Bruce G. Hallenbeck pp.101-103; 217 – review; credits
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.6, 296-98, 321, 359
  • Film Review 1975-76 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.168
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.11
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.177
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.310-313 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.241 – credits, review
  • The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies: An A-Z Guide to Over Sixty Years of Blood and Guts by Peter Normanton pp.209-210
  • The X-Rated Videotape Guide I (third edition) by Robert H. Rimmer pp.92-93 – credits, review