After entering the horror genre with a witch hunt historical horror flick, Udo Kier did a trio of sleazy flicks based on classic fictional horror monsters. Yay! So let’s get into all four of them.
MARK OF THE DEVIL (1970)
This is where Udo’s horror career all started, if you consider it horror. To me, this witch-hunting period piece exploitation shit from the late 60s an early 70s is the original torture porn. Having sat through a few of these by Hammer Films and Paul Naschy, I dare say I’m burned out on them, so I’m not going to be kind.
The message is there as usual—men are monsters who simply dehumanized other human beings for power, pleasure, and personal gain. Yet we’ve learned nothing, because half the people in the U.S. would get wet at the thought of resurrecting public square torture and killing of people who aren’t just like them.
In this film, Udo Kier is the apprentice to a respected witch finder, but the more he sees him gruesomely violate people, the more he doubts his integrity.
The majority of the film sees two people being continuously tortured: a young woman they’re trying to get to confess that she fucked the devil, and a young man they want to sign over all his possessions to the church. Not surprisingly, these God-fearing freaks do a lot of butt stuff to him…
That’s about it. Eventually Kier turns against his “master”, and a woman he saved from sure death starts a rebellion against the witch finder, leading to a melodramatic, tragic love story ending.
FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN (1973)
Despite Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula having “Andy Warhol’s…” added in front of the titles when they were released, they are the creations of director Paul Morrissey. I don’t know how Andy’s name got attached to them. He doesn’t even seem to get production credits. Perhaps it was a way of saying thanks because he let Paul borrow his boy toy obsession Joey Dallesandro to star in both films?
Either way, maybe if John Waters had taken himself more seriously back in the day, he could have been the mastermind behind what feel like Hammer Films gone rogue. I haven’t seen them in decades, so it was kind of fun to revisit them, especially after having gone brain dead from watching dozens of actual Hammer versions of Frankenstein and Dracula in the past year.
Udo Kier continued to solidify his horror icon status starring in the lead role as Dr. Frankenstein. He wants to make a master race of Serbians, so he begins by crafting a woman with the help of his assistant Otto.
Sexually repressed—probably because his fricking wife is also his sister in this movie—Frank makes sweet love to his creation’s guts a few times while Otto watches, thereby earning this movie its X rating.
Meanwhile, Frank’s sister-wife has the hots for Joey Dallesandro, the farmhand stud that Frank has somehow completely overlooked in his plot to make a virile man to impregnate his new woman. Not realizing what is right under his nose (and what his sister-wife is under), he goes to the local whorehouse looking for a horny brain and mistakes Joey’s friend, who is ready to become a holy man, for a sex fiend (easy mistake to make). So Frank and Otto hack off his head and put it on their man creation.
Between segments of sleazy and bloody sex, Joey figures out what has become of his friend, and Frank figures out he figured it out. So Frank abducts Joey with plans to use his hot head instead…and so that we can gaze at Joey bound up and helpless.
As with any classic Frankenstein story, Frank’s plans all backfire and the monster goes on a killing spree, although it is the shortest segment of this re-telling of the tale.
BLOOD FOR DRACULA (1974)
It’s as if the almost incidental camp of Flesh for Frankenstein inspired Paul Morrissey to totally go for it with the follow-up, which stars Udo and Joey once again. Blood for Dracula is a midnight movie mess and I love it.
Udo mesmerizes with his eyes as Dracula, but the true stars here are Joey’s butt, Joey’s hilarious New York accent in a period piece, and Udo’s flamboyant assistant—sort of his Let the Right One In guardian—who is played by the dude who played Otto in Flesh for Frankenstein.
Dracula is sickly and in need of virgin blood, so his assistant brings him to meet a family with a gaggle of supposedly virginal daughters. Good luck with that when Joey Dallesandro is…shocker…the studly caretaker.
With his hair beautifully trimmed this time (I’m just not a fan of long hair on men), Joey is totally gorgeous in this film. He’s also a total douche bag who smacks the sisters around and calls them whores as foreplay whenever he’s about to fuck them. So sexy. But seriously, this film is misogynistic satire? Historically accurate? Exploitative? All of the above?
While Joey is punching and plugging away at the sisters, Drac is meeting them one by one, trying to trick them into admitting they are not virgins, and then giving in to his desires and sucking them for sustenance anyway. Udo is comedy gold when his face literally turns green and he begins to get violently I’ll because he drinks slut blood instead of virgin blood.
Delivering on the déjà vu, Joey once again figures out there’s a monster in their midst, but this time he goes into Buffy mode and hunts down Drac with an axe and a stake. The climax of this one rox.
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MISS OSBOURNE (1981)
I wouldn’t be surprised if this take on the Robert Louis Stevenson classic weren’t the inspiration for the 1986 flick Gothic, another trippy film intertwined with a classic horror novel. It also makes Hyde as perverse and vile as he can possibly be—beginning with the pursuit and beating of a child—and parallels his grotesque and evil behavior with that of the aristocratic class.
Udo plays Jekyll. He and his fiancée are having an engagement party loaded with the upper crust of society. When a female guest is gruesomely raped and murdered, there is a surprisingly graphic inspection of her bloody vagina and then all hell breaks loose. Guests run amok in a frenzy of fear, and an old military general starts shooting willy-nilly.
This leads to the best debauchery the film has to offer. Hyde appears, ties up the old man, and makes him watch his whorish daughter bend over and offer herself to Hyde. Nothing is left to the imagination as we see Hyde’s huge, erect member several times.
Male guests barge in to chase him, and while the old military man is busy whipping his grown daughter’s bare ass, Hyde is sodomizing a dude in the attic.
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that his erect penis is now blood red. Ew.
Considering Hyde is played by a different actor, Udo doesn’t actually have substantial screen time. The film just gets more chaotic and confusing as Hyde runs around beating people, shooting them with a bow and arrow, and eventually enticing Jekyll’s fiancée to go female Hyde for a final act that feels like a bad drug trip—okay, an even worse drug trip than everything that comes before it.