Since Halloween is coming up we got a rare horror treat for you little monsters out there. Way back in 1973, when pop artist and experimental filmmaker Andy Warhol decided to make a film that somebody might actually be willing to sit through (as opposed to his previous Empire, for example, a mind-bending 8-hour film consisting of a single static shot of the Empire State Building), he decided to do a horror film. Not just any horror film, mind you, but a black-comedy version of Frankenstein, in glorious 3D.
In the United States, the film was marketed as Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein, and was presented in the Space-Vision 3D process in premiere engagements. It was rated X by the MPAA, due to its explicit sexuality and violence. A 3-D version also played in Australia in 1986, along with Blood for Dracula, its obvious pairing. In the ’70s, a 3-D version played in Stockholm, Sweden. In subsequent US DVD releases, the film was retitled Flesh for Frankenstein, while the original title was used in other regions.
The gruesomeness of the action was intensified in the original release by the use of 3-D, with several dismbowelments being shot from a perspective such that the internal organs are thrust towards the camera.
Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein – restored trailer
Digital restoration of the rare “lost” movie trailer for “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein” (aka, “Flesh for Frankenstein”), directed by Paul Morrissey, starring Udo Kier, Joe Dallesandro, Arno Juerging.
The film was later cut to 93 minutes for an R-rating, thereby increasing its viability for wider distribution. The U.S. DVD releases have utilized the full uncut version, which is now unrated. The film had its television premiere in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2009 and was broadcast in 3D as part of Channel 4′s 3D Week.
Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein – Complete Film
Ian Jane of DVD Talk said of the film, “Flesh For Frankenstein is a morbid and grotesque comedy that won’t be to everyone’s taste but that does deliver some interesting humor and horror in that oddball way that Morrissey has.”
Nora Sayre of The New York Times said, “In a muddy way, the movie attempts to instruct us about the universal insensitivity, living-deadness and the inability to be turned on by anything short of the grotesque. However, this “Frankenstein” drags as much as it camps; despite a few amusing moments, it fails as a spoof, and the result is only a coy binge in degradation.”
J.C. Maçek III of WorldsGreatestCritic.com wrote, “There is a brilliance to the satire here and a certain way that Morrissey has with the camera eye and framing that allows for the lavishness of the countryside and even the castle and laboratory interiors to look incredible. On the other hand, one must be in on the joke to get much more enjoyment out of Flesh for Frankenstein. I get the joke, I’m a Warhol fan. I understand. But there’s no way to make this into a “great” film. If the implied nastiness of the psycho-sexuality here doesn’t get you the incessant gore will, especially when the two are combined. If neither one gets to you at all, even when combined, then you might want to consult a shrink. That’s, um… not what gallbladders are for, there, Sparky!