Tuesday, October 28, 2008

31 Days of Halloween - Day 28 Movie

"Baron Blood" (1972) is the nickname given to the Austrian Baron Otto von Kleist, a sadistic butcher along the lines of Vlad the Impaler. This 16th Century horror was tortured, cursed, and killed by a witch. Now, his ancestor, Peter (Antonio Cantafora) has come to Austria because of his fascination with this gruesome ancestor. With a copy of a parchment once belonging to the witch, Peter brings Baron blood back from the dead and is unable to send him back once the parchment is destroyed in a fire. The baron resumes his evil ways and is determined to make sure that this time he's here to stay. With the help of his uncle, (Massimo Girotti) and Eva Arnold (Elke Sommer) Peter searches for a way to return Baron Blood to hell before it is too late.

I'm a fan of Mario Bava and find that his films evoke atmospheres of dread and eerieness that hadn't been seen since the 1930s. His lighting and compositions create a sense of depth and space that really bring his movies to life. "Baron Blood" while lacking his use of bright greens, blues and purples, is no exception. The movie also has a great premise for his style of filmmaking and this movie should have been great. It isn't. It has it's moments, lots of them in fact. The location used for the Baron's castle is fantastic as is the decor. The actors are all capable as well. The problem here is the pacing. This movie moves so slowly that no tension is ever built. It takes a while for anything to really start happening, and once it does, repetitious scenes that bring the movie to a near halt are brought in one after another, making this the first Bava film that I was getting impatient sitting through.

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