Castle of the Monsters (1958)
Where can you find The Frankenstein Monster, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolfman, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon held up in an old creepy castle with a mad scientist and a hunchback? In a Mexican horror film! This is El Castillo de los Monstruos (1958). Be prepared for horror and comedy mayhem. I purchased this movie on a double-bill, Antonio Espino “Clavillazo”, Nuestro Cine DVD, with Conquistador de la Luna (1960)(also worth a peak). Castle of the Monsters obviously takes its inspiration from A&C Meet Franky (1948). This was a Spanish only DVD (no sub-titles or dubbing), so I’ll do my best to break it down. Pictures are worth a thousand words…
The film openings with the howling sounds of a wolf. A horse pulled carriage is shown traveling down a rural road through forested land. The carriage driver has claws. The carriage pulls up to a castle and is greeted by a scarred-face hunchback. He knocks on a massive front door and the Frankenstein monster shows his face and approaches the carriage to retrieve Dracula’s coffin. The film cuts to funny-man Clavillazo, who has a penchant for wearing silly hats, and passes time with a dolt and a newsboy. Clavillazo is not particularly funny, but is energetic, animated and pleasant enough. He is in love with seamstress Beatriz (actress Evagelina Elizondo).
In the castle, the diabolical Dr. Sputnik makes monsters with the assistance of his scarred hunchback underling. The doctor hypnotizes Beatriz and keeps her in his castle of monsters. It’s up to Clavillazo and friends to save the girl. The usual horror-comedy slapstick ensues…
The film does feature Spanish-born horror star Germán Robels as Count Dracula (well, he’s a vampire so I’m calling him Dracula, but I’m not sure this is his character). We’ve seen him before in several films including El Barón del Terror (1962) and El Vampiro (1958). He plays it up and is fun in the role.
There’s also a werewolf and a cave-man like creature kept in a locked cell. A pit of crocodiles, a decked-out mad scientist laboratory and plenty of dark and creepy corridors complete the usual mad monster party trappings.
I particularly liked the Gill-man makeup, which actually isn’t bad. I guess some grease paint could’ve been used around the eyes, but he’s fun all the same. In the exciting final confrontation with Clavillazo, the Gill-man reverts back into a fish!
Fans of La Nave de los Monstruous (1960) and the El Santo vs. the monsters films will enjoy Castle of the Monsters. They don’t make ‘em like they used to!