From the Flop House podcast. Dingdonggate. Cohost Stuart Wellington recommends Stuart Gordon’s Castle Freak (1987), a movie about an American family who inherit a castle in Italy. Unbeknownst to them, the castle is home to a freak who stalks and kills them, and then at one point “rips off his own ding dong” (according to Wellington) in a fit of rage. Listeners watch Castle Freak and are disappointed to discover that there is, in fact, no ding dong ripping off in the movie. Controversy follows. Was there actual ding dong ripping, or was it one or more other body parts?
Incidentally, Castle Freak is supposedly based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Outsider,” so that ties in with our weird fiction discussion. Gordon and star Jeffrey Coombs had already collaborated on Lovecraft adaptations Re-Animator (1985) and From Beyond (1986), which had very little to do with their source material, but helped popularize Lovecraft’s fiction among teenagers in the 1980s.