Mario Bava’s Baron Blood is a mix of medieval evil and modern day mystery oozing Gothic atmosphere and gory fun throughout and Arrow’s rerelease packed with amazing extras is the perfect way to watch it.
Opening with young jet setter Peter Kleist (Demons 2 Antonio Cantafora) arriving in Austria the home of his ancestors on a visit to the castle that housed Baron Otto Von Kleist better known by the locals as Baron Blood due to his sadism and retched reputation.
Cursed by a witch before he was burnt at the stake by the villagers for his crimes against them Peter is intrigued to find out more about Baron Blood. At the castle he meets the beautiful and intelligent architect in charge of renovations Eva (Elke Sommer) and showing off to her Peter produces a parchment which holds a spell to bring back the Baron.
As a joke the pair perform the ritual at the dead of night to summon Baron Blood back from the dead however unbeknownst to the couple the spell is very real and the Baron is resurrected taking up a killing spree to revenge himself and claim back his castle. It seems only Peter and Eva can stop him that is if anyone believes them before its too late.
Mixing elements of Bava’s previous movies such as the witches curse from Black Sunday and the 70’s occult scares from Lisa and the Devil along with the movies star Elke Sommer Baron Blood is an enjoyable horror with a great villain in Baron Blood with his melted face and menacing moans.
Filmed in an amazing setting on some spectacular sets Bava blends the gothic horror of films like Dracula and his own movies with a slasher story line as the Baron bumps of more and more characters in his bloody style using a variety of torture devices including a particularly nasty spiked coffin.
A macabre and menacing tale of the dangers of messing with magic and mysticism the story does take an almost Scooby Doo turn midway throw as Peter and Eva play detective when the castle is auctioned off to the mysterious American Alfred Becker played with relish by the excellent Joseph Cotton who stared in The Third Man and Citizen Kane.
Most importantly Arrow have done Bava proud and the High Definition Blu-Ray release looks amazing including three versions of the film, Bava’s original version Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga with Italian audio, The European Export Version of Baron Blood with English audio, and, on home video for the first time, the re-edited and re-dubbed AIP Version of Baron Blood with alternate score by Les Baxter.
Also included are a bloody bunch of extras with Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas, an introduction to Baron Blood by author and critic Alan Jones and features Delirium Italian-style: Ruggero Deodato on Mario Bava and the golden age of Italian genre films, Mario Bava at work – a photo gallery of Bava behind the scenes on his films as well as trailers and radio spots for the film.
Bava’s movie is a fun throwaway film that will entertain fans of gothic horror no end and with Arrow’s brilliant Blu-Ray and DVD releases Baron Blood looks even better resurrected over 40 years later than he did the first time around.