October 29th THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN (1973) Dr. Frankenstein (Dennis Price) successfully reanimates his latest creation, a silver-skinned brute who has the ability to speak. Rather pissed off, the creature lets his maker know that he is in pain. Such suffering pales in comparison to a surprise attack from unhinged birdwoman Melissa (Anne Libert) and her partner in crime named Caronte (Luis Barboo). Frankenstein is left clinging to life, his assistant taken out, and worst of all - the monster taken away to the brains behind this escapade. That would be Cagliostro (Howard Vernon), an evil sorcerer who specializes in mind control. The ultimate goal of Cagliostro is to use Frankenstein's Monster for breeding purposes. You know, a super race to take over the world. After the underwhelming experience I had with Killer Barbys, it seemed like the perfect antidote would be classic era Jess Franco. Watching this for the second time really delivered the goods. Jess Franco was up front about his admiration for the 1940's Universal Monsters films (think Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula). Those films not only pit the monsters against one another, but threw so many outrageous plot points into the mix. Franco dabbled in a few of these films in the early 70's. The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein is the most memorable of the group - a delirious mindfuck of psychedelic monsters, ever present erotica, and bizarre twists not easily forgotten. Not convinced yet? One scene finds two unfortunate individuals punished by Cagliostro. This involves the silver skinned Frankenstein Monster whipping a couple (both of whom are fully nude) on a platform with poison covered spikes while a crowd of freaks and skeleton people (some of whom are depicted above) observe the spectacle. Howard Vernon did countless films for Franco. This particular role could be one of his best. Even more outrageous is Anne Libert as the green feather sporting (yet still nude) birdwoman who we learn was created by Cagliostro himself. In the bonus materials, Franco expert Stephen Thrower says that she would have been perfect portraying one of the Manson Girls with her drugged out otherworldly performance. Thrower also notes that while he has seen about 163 Jess Franco films thus far, he would rank Erotic Rites of Frankenstein in the director's top 10 all time. I haven't seen nearly as many Franco films, but strongly agree this is a classic. This UK release from Nucleus Films is very well done and essential for collectors of Jess Franco.