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Gli Orrori del Castello di Norimberga

Baron Blood

Italy/West Germany/Austria 1972
produced by
Alfredo Leone for Euro America Produzioni Cinematografiche, Dieter Geissler Filmproduktiion, Wienfilm
directed by Mario Bava
starring Joseph Cotten, Elke Sommer, Antonio Cantafora, Massimo Girotti, Rada Rassimov, Umberto Raho, Alan Collins (= Luciano Pigozzi, Dieter Tressler, Gustavo de Nardo, Pilar Castel, Nicoletta Elmi, Valeria Sabel, Helena Ronee, Rolf Hädrich, Murice Poli
written by Vincent Fotre, music by Selvio Cipriani, special effects by Franco Tocci, assistant director: Lamberto Bava

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Peter (Antonio Cantafora), an American on a visit to Austria to research his family history, and Eva (Elke Sommer), a history student helping to renovate the infamous Schloss des Teufels (= the Devil's Castle) recite an incantation to resurrect the notorious Baron Blood - who lived 300 years ago and impaled men and burned women as witches as a pastime -, just for fun basically, and though at first the whole thing turns suitably scary, not all that much seems to happen ... until a disfigured man starts killing people and chases Eva through the streets.

Soon, Peter and Eva are convinced they have really resurrected the Baron, and together with Peter's uncle Karl (Massimo Girotti, they try to figure out who the Baron might be and how to send him back, and eventually they even seek advice frrom a clairvoyant (Rada Rassimov) - who speaks in riddles though.

Eventually, the Baron turns out to be Alfred Becker (Joseph Cotten), the kind new owner of Schloss des Teufels, but when Peter, Eva and Karl find that out, it's almost too late already, and the Baron has no problems overcoming the three of them, and tieing up the two men in his dungeon - why he doesn't tie up Eva is beyond me, but Eva takes her magic amulet (?), drops it onto a corpse she finds in the dungeon, and all of a sudden, the corpse rises as well as all the other bodies the Baron has killed, and they come to take the Baron to hell with them.

 



Despite a very stylish directing job, despite wonderful sets (first and foremost the Austrian Burg Kreuzenstein, an authentic castle), and despite a deliciously creepy Joseph Cotten this is not one of  Mario Bava's better films - primarily due to an extremely silly script that makes it next to impossible to identify with the on-screen goings-on, plus Antonio Cantafora and Elke Sommer don't really make an impressive or even terribly likeable lead couple, especially Sommer's damsel-in-distress antics are at times nothing short of annyoing, actually.

Still, the film is not a total loss, it's just a piece of not terribly original, routine Euro-horror.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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written by
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