Thursday, September 23, 2010

Baron Blood (1972)

Another Mario Bava film that comes so close to being great. This one came out one year after the far Superior Gialo, Twitch Of The Death Nerve and doesn't quite hold up to his earlier work. To me most Bava films look amazing, Everything from the lighting to the cinematography and editing but fall short somewhere within the story and the pacing. Baron Blood is about a Marque De Sade type character who tortured the villagers in the dungeon inside his castle. The Baron was eventually tortured to death and then burned. The Baron's only true relative conjures up his spirit with some silly Evil Dead type incantation and the Baron is back as a sort of burn victim zombie, leaving a trail of blood where ever he goes. (no seriously, he bleeds all over the place.) Baron Blood once again will reap terror on the villagers.
The Baron is played by Joseph Cotton who is always great and the movie also stars that annoying little red head girl from Who Saw Her Die and Deep Red. The movie can get a little slow at times and in my opinion was a little to long. It clocks in at 100 min. and there really was no reason to go over the 90 min mark. It holds back on the gore which is surprising because only one year earlier he gave us the incredibly brutal Bay Of Blood. For me Baron Blood really gets good at the end when the Barons victims come back as zombies to reap their vengeance but unfortunately we don't see the vengeance in gory detail.  Bava also pays homage to himself and Black Sunday in one of the best scenes where a man is put inside a coffin with iron spikes on the lid. The spikes pierce the mans face and later the man returns as a corpse with a face full of holes. Baron Blood is typical of a Bava film in the sense that its worth a watch but if only it had a touch of Fulci in there it would really make it a better experience.

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