Horror Movie Review: Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)

Absurd, corny, silly, awkward, explicit, and entertaining… it’s Flesh for Frankenstein aka Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein. A 1973 horror written and directed by Paul Morrissey that fell afoul of the UK censors during the video nasty scare of the 80s.

Flesh for Frankenstein stars Udo Kier, Joe Dallesandro, Monique van Vooren and Arno Juerging. It may hold the unique distinction of being one of the strangest entries on the video nasty list.

This is not your traditional Frankenstein tale, that’s for sure.

Baron von Frankenstein wants to create the perfect Serbian race, one that is subservient to his commands. To do this, he has assembled a male and female out of body parts, creating what he believes is the perfect ‘Adam and Eve’ for his new race. He will bring them to life and get them to mate, resulting in children that are ‘perfect’.

There’s just one problem though, he needs a head for the male. One that has a high libido and one that has a correct Serbian ‘nasum’.

This is where Nicholas comes in. A local farmhand that is sleeping his way through the local town and brothel. His head would be perfect for the Baron’s monster, except they mistakenly attack and dismember Nicholas’ friend who they believe is also super-horny. The jokes on them though as this guy is uninterested in sex and was going to join a monastery.

Nicholas, having gotten the ire of Katrin, the Baron’s wife and sister, is called to the castle. There, she hires him to work in the castle and to satisfying her sexually, which he agrees to do. It’s not the worst job in the world. At least until he spies the Baron’s creation that just so happens to look exactly like his friend.

Katrin insists that he stay away from the Baron’s laboratory, but Nicholas just can’t ignore that his friend is here. Will he find out the truth? Will the Baron fulfil his plan to make the perfect Serbian race? Will Katrin get the orgasm she so desires, and will anyone bother to check on hers and the Baron’s incestuously created children?

The plot is insane, yet it is so entertaining. The film holds the attention, thanks to the camp performances and its extravagant style. It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if 1994’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein borrowed some ideas from this film.

It is a Frankenstein story but in a very different skin. One that is heavy on the gore and unashamed when it comes to sex. We’re not just talking about conventional sex either as Flesh for Frankenstein has a handful of bad-taste moments. One such scene sees the Baron use the surgical wounds of his female creation to satisfy his lust.

It’s just one of many gory moments, enhanced by the fact that the film was made to be shown in 3D. Most of which sees bloody entrails, organs and gore thrust towards the screen. This is one of those movies where you can easily see why the DPP had such an issue with it. Although, as of 2006 it is now available completely uncut.

Thank goodness too, as the gore and sex is a major part of what makes Flesh for Frankenstein such a memorable watch. The laughs may be unintentional but they will come. After all, who could keep a straight face when the Baron utters this immortal line:

To know death, Otto, you have to fuck life… in the gallbladder.


  • Carl Fisher

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Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)
  • The Final Score - 7/10
User Review
9.6/10 (1 vote)