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Baron Blood (1972)

Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga (original title)
PG | | Horror | 27 October 1972 (USA)
A young man, Peter, returns to Austria in search of his heritage. There he visits the castle of an ancestor, a sadistic Baron who was cursed to a violent death by a witch whom the Baron had... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Baron Otto von Kleist / Alfred Becker
...
Eva Arnold
...
Dr. Karl Hummel
Antonio Cantafora ...
Peter Kleist
Luciano Pigozzi ...
Fritz (as Alan Collins)
Umberto Raho ...
Inspector (as Humi Raho)
Rada Rassimov ...
Christina Hoffmann
Dieter Tressler ...
Mayor Dortmundt
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Storyline

A young man, Peter, returns to Austria in search of his heritage. There he visits the castle of an ancestor, a sadistic Baron who was cursed to a violent death by a witch whom the Baron had burned at the stake. Peter reads aloud the incantation that causes Baron Blood to return and continue his murderous tortures. Written by Jeff Hole <jeffhole@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your Blood Will Run COLD and BoxOffice HOT when "BAR0N BLOOD" comes to town! See more »

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Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

27 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Baron Blood  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For its American release, AIP edited seven minutes of dialog and graphic imagery from the film and replaced the original European score with a more atmospheric music score by composer Les Baxter. See more »

Goofs

The parchment with the incantation changes between different degrees of folding between shots. See more »

Connections

Featured in Urban Gothic (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Typical of the genre, but memorable and visually-impressive.
1 January 2008 | by (South Korea) – See all my reviews

Imagine you knew the incantation that would bring Dracula back to life. Sure, he had a habit of murdering people from time to time, but wouldn't it be really amazing to see him in the flesh? This is essentially the premise of 'Baron Blood', although the dreaded Otto Von Kleist of the tale is far more Vlad than Dracula - a man who would happily spend the afternoon strapping someone to a rack and cutting their fingers off as we would spend it renting a DVD. Flash forward to the 20th century, where his great great great etc grandson Peter, who decides to pay a visit to his homeland of Austria during a gap year to get in touch with his roots, stumbles across just such an incantation. The chance to meet his infamous ancestor: who could resist?

Director Mario Bava shows what competent continental rivals to Hammer studios could do with the same formula. Classic horror aficionados will find much to compare, with the same ancient evils resurrected plot wise, the same helpless busty heroines, and the same near blackness films of the 70s often had, forcing the viewer to reach for the brightness control. There is even the obligatory witch to pull the story several notches away from horror in the direction of the occult, evoking "Cry Of The Banshee" to name one British contemporary. Yet despite being typical of the genre, 'Baron Blood' stands out in a few areas. Bava takes us to a real Austrian castle, the magnificent Berg Kreuzenstein, which oozes character all its own. It's also set in then-present day Austria. Hammer would often take us back a century for the action, although to be fair, this was already the era of Dr Phibes, which showed a monster in the 20th Century would probably scare the viewer more. Then, if you've got the US version, there's Les Baxter's soundtrack, which strongly suggests he didn't know it was a horror film. Why, was Stelvio Cipriani's original score deemed to scary for Americans, i.e - doing what it was supposed to do?

On the acting side of things, the cast do a fair job. Nothing award-winning, but they have just enough conviction to make you believe them. Rising above this however is the exceptional Joseph Cotton, as the mysterious Alfred Becker, a millionaire who suddenly appears out of the ether to buy the baron's castle. Given that the script is not one to hide its twists very well, Cotton is a welcome compensation. You can't help but look at him whenever he appears, wondering what he'll do next.

Overall, 'Baron Blood' breaks no new ground, but gives the genre fan most of the things they would expect, with some excellent location work and a memorable villain into the bargain. English-language viewers may scratch their heads at the mystifying score, but don't let it put you off - this is just the ticket for late-evening viewing.


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