By Sarah Kitteringham
CALGARY — In the pastoral hills of Serbia in a great stone castle live the Frankensteins, including Baroness Katrin, her brother/husband Baron and their young children Monica and Erik. Sinister doings are unfolding in the bubbling, massive laboratory of Baron Frankenstein, who is labouring alongside his assistant Otto to create a pair of super-humans by piecing together the best body parts he can find from his butchered victims. Eventually, the scientist completes his female creation, then reaches into the cadaver’s stomach cavity to finds her gallbladder, becoming visibly aroused. Eventually, he mounts the bloodied corpse and fornicates with her. Evidently, fondling the bile filled organ is his fetish.
Throughout the 94-minute run time, Andy Warhol’s Flesh for Frankenstein (1973) pushes the boundaries of bad taste with depictions of rape, beheading, disembowelment, ample sex and violence. Such is the case with exploitation film, a genre that enjoys and exploits troupes that big budget films generally cannot and do not. These low budget affairs use explicit and often horrific methods and lurid subject matter. Although the label is informal and haphazardly applied, it can be applied to a myriad of films whose storylines vary dramatically. There exists subgenres of rape revenge films like 1978’s I Spit On Your Grave, sexually driven Nazi exploitation films like Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1974), man-eating classics like 1980’s Cannibal Holocaust, biker films like Satan’s Sadists (1969) and much more. Of course, horror exploitation is a huge piece of this jagged edged puzzle. In Calgary, the opportunity to see such films on the big screen is a reality, thanks to the Night Terrors Film Society.
“Greg and I are big fans of schlock cinema,” enthuses Cody Cook, the president and co-founder of Night Terrors Film Society. A film programmer for the Calgary Underground Film Festival and the only other employee at Burning Moon Video, Cook has been organizing and hosting the showings alongside his partners Greg Sonier and Karley Osterhold at the Globe Cinema on Stephen Avenue since summer 2014. So far, they’ve shown Lamberto Bava’s splatter classic Demons (1985), jet-setting zombie film Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981), murder rampage Christmas tale Silent Night Deadly Night (1984), comedy/horror/love tale Frankenhooker (1990) and Lucio Fulci’s tropical island undead pandemic film Zombie (1980). They’ll be screening Flesh for Frankenstein on March 27th at midnight at the Globe Cinema.
“Flesh…. has always been on our list of possible films to screen, we just had a few others in mind first. This film is one that not a lot of horror fans know about but the ones that do love it! We wanted to show our loyal fans something exciting but at the same time it had to fit with the rest of the films we’ve already shown.”
Indeed, it’s yet another obscure, obscene film on their list that will appeal to punk and metal fans in droves, who regularly are in high attendance at their screenings. Indeed, Flesh for Frankenstein gave Swedish grindcore titans Nasum their name and clips from the film can be heard on the intro to American death/grind band Impetigo’s “Mortuaria” from their classic Horror of the Zombies (1992). It’s a skin crawling sample set to classical piano, interlaced with heavy breathing.
“To know death Otto, you have to fuck life in the gallbladder,” proclaims the Baron post coitus, before the song erupts.
“I love really fucked up movies!” says Cook. “I’m just kind of sick and tired of the mainstream and I hate Hollywood, so films like Flesh For Frankenstein or [2011’s revenge horror flick] Father’s Day play more towards my fandom than any high budget Hollywood piece of crap. And sometimes the writer and director want to really shock the audience while pushing boundaries. So a lot of times in genre specific films and especially exploitation films you’ll see some touchy subjects including rape and necrophilia.”
Looking forward to the future, the trio has much more in store.
“If you like Flesh For Frankenstein then you are going to love our May screening! We will be taking April off because of [the Calgary Underground Film Festival] but we’ll be back in May and we are also co-hosting Re-Animator  with [Calgary Horror Con] in June at the Globe so keep your eyes open for that!”
As for those left wondering what the hell is wrong with people and why they’d want to see such filth…. Well, you’d best walk on and let the freaks continue with their freakery.
Concludes Cook, “Greg, Karley and I want to bring our fans some great horror and exploitation films that you can’t see in the multiplex or anywhere else for that matter.”
See Flesh For Frankenstein on March 27th at midnight at the Globe Cinema. The films costs $10 cash only at the door or you can pre-buy your tickets at http://fleshforfrankenstein.brownpapertickets.com.AB, Alberta, Flesh For Frankenstein, Globe Cinema, Night Terrors Film Society