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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.
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
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.
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