Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972)

Post Reply
User avatar
LiamCasey
Posts: 76
Joined: October 22nd, 2022, 1:02 pm

Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972)

Post by LiamCasey »

Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972) - Tubi

w/ Joseph Cotten, Elke Sommer, Massimo Girotti, Rada Rassimoy, Antonio Cantafora, Umberto Raho (aka Humi Raho), Luciano Pigozzi (aka Alan Collins) and Dieter Tressler. Written by Vincent Fotre. And directed by Mario Bava.

Similar to Lady Frankenstein (1971), this is another movie which begs the question, why the heck was Joseph Cotten in this one in the first place.

An American grad student (Antonio Cantafora) takes time off from his studies to get back to his Austrian roots. Which just happens to include visiting the castle of his long-dead ancestor (Joseph Cotten). Who just happened to be a cross between Vlad the Impaler and Sebastian Medina who put to death many of his subjects. Including a witch who had the power to put a curse on the baron (But not the power to save herself. Why is it always that way?). And who ultimately died fairly nastily at the hands of those same subjects.

And, of course, the aforementioned student just happens to have a parchment from that same witch which would allow the baron to be brought back to life (A concept that logically appears to me to be beyond the beyond.). And which he makes use of to, basically, impress a girl (Elke Sommer) working at that castle. Because guys are inherently stupid enough to risk anything on the off chance that it will get them laid.

And, needless to say, the baron does come back and picks up his sadistic tendencies from where he left off while cribbing all of his looks from Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933).

Another one that I saw a long time ago in a decade far far away. And even read about back then in Famous Monsters of Filmland in what was, if memory serves, a full recap of the movie's plot. But, considering how predictable that plot was, complaining "Spoiler Alert!" about that would have been fairly laughable.

But, even though predictable, it is still watchable. And Mr. Cotten does seem to be enjoying himself in this.

And, although a 1970s Italian horror movie, it felt more like something Hammer would have done in the 1960s. Or (ignoring the fact that it was in color) Universal in the 1930s and 40s. No sex or nudity (gratuitous or otherwise). And not really all that gory. All in all, it would fit right in with the fare that Svengoolie serves us.
User avatar
EP Millstone
Posts: 619
Joined: October 20th, 2022, 9:40 am
Location: The Western Hemisphere

Re: Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972)

Post by EP Millstone »

LiamCasey wrote: January 22nd, 2023, 6:35 pm Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972) - Tubi
Image
Baron Blood is one of my favorite Mario Bava chillers. I saw it during its initial theatrical release and was impressed with Joseph Cotten's performance. It was the first time that I saw Cotten in a villainous role. I could easily imagine Vincent Price as "Alfred Becker/Otto Von Kleist/Baron Blood." But, Price, I think, might have portrayed The Baron with his characteristic flamboyance and knowing tongue-in-cheek drollness. Cotten, IMO, successfully blended charm and malevolence. He did not condescend to the fantastic story and, for me, was effectively and genuinely scary as the sadistic "Baron Blood" menacing enticing, mini-skirted Elke Sommer.

Maestro Bava reliably applied his macabre flair and cinematographic artistry to consummately create a mood and "nightmare world" of terror replete with foreboding shadows and creeping fogs. If he recycled images from his arguable masterpiece La maschera del demonio (AKA Black Sunday), I, for one, welcomed -- indeed relished -- the encore.

Among the cast was Nicoletta Elmi (as "Gretchen"), who made her mark in several Italian horror films. I found her a creepy looking kid, but she blossomed into a stunning beauty as can be seen in her final movie Demons, produced by Dario Argento and directed by Mario Bava's son Lamberto.

The grim demise of "The Bloody Baron," for me, evoked the similarly nasty fate of Dr. Moreau in Island of Lost Souls.

The garishly gorgeous (or gorgeously garish) movie poster for Baron Blood is one of my prized possessions.
"Start every day off with a smile and get it over with." -- W.C. Fields
User avatar
Masha
Posts: 1016
Joined: January 16th, 2015, 10:22 am

Re: Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972)

Post by Masha »

LiamCasey wrote: January 22nd, 2023, 6:35 pm Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972) - Tubi

[...]

And, of course, the aforementioned student just happens to have a parchment from that same witch which would allow the baron to be brought back to life (A concept that logically appears to me to be beyond the beyond.).

[...]
I have not watched this movie and so can not provide a definite answer but there are possibilities.

The most obvious is that the writers simply did not envision anyone ever thinking about this handy plot device.

She may have prepared the incantation for a price prior to his revealing his plans to kill her. Think of it as a simplified form of the: Horcruxes prepared by: Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series so that his death would not be permanent.

It is possible that it belongs to a magic system which requires balance. A witch may heal only by transferring the wound or disease to some other person. A witch may make it rain only by taking the rain from some other place. A witch does not have the power to pull death from a person fated to die nor can she create life to balance a death but she can provide a means for the victim to return to life. This could be said to: 'balance the books'.

It is possible that the witch created the incantation so that she could kill him, bring him back to life, kill him again, bring him back to life again ... ad infinitum ad nauseam. I can think offhand of no magic-fantasy stories which use this but there are episodes of: Firefly (2002) and: Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007) in which a character is tortured to death, revived, tortured to death ... as revenge for their actions.
Avatar: Vera Vasilyevna Kholodnaya
User avatar
LiamCasey
Posts: 76
Joined: October 22nd, 2022, 1:02 pm

Re: Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972)

Post by LiamCasey »

EP Millstone wrote: January 22nd, 2023, 8:58 pm
LiamCasey wrote: January 22nd, 2023, 6:35 pm Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972) - Tubi
Image
Baron Blood is one of my favorite Mario Bava chillers. I saw it during its initial theatrical release and was impressed with Joseph Cotten's performance. It was the first time that I saw Cotten in a villainous role. I could easily imagine Vincent Price as "Alfred Becker/Otto Von Kleist/Baron Blood." But, Price, I think, might have portrayed The Baron with his characteristic flamboyance and knowing tongue-in-cheek drollness. Cotten, IMO, successfully blended charm and malevolence. He did not condescend to the fantastic story and, for me, was effectively and genuinely scary as the sadistic "Baron Blood" menacing enticing, mini-skirted Elke Sommer.

Maestro Bava reliably applied his macabre flair and cinematographic artistry to consummately create a mood and "nightmare world" of terror replete with foreboding shadows and creeping fogs. If he recycled images from his arguable masterpiece La maschera del demonio (AKA Black Sunday), I, for one, welcomed -- indeed relished -- the encore.

Among the cast was Nicoletta Elmi (as "Gretchen"), who made her mark in several Italian horror films. I found her a creepy looking kid, but she blossomed into a stunning beauty as can be seen in her final movie Demons, produced by Dario Argento and directed by Mario Bava's son Lamberto.

The grim demise of "The Bloody Baron," for me, evoked the similarly nasty fate of Dr. Moreau in Island of Lost Souls.

The garishly gorgeous (or gorgeously garish) movie poster for Baron Blood is one of my prized possessions.
1) Accordingly, both Vincent Price and Ray Milland were offered the title role prior to Joseph Cotten.

Considering that my earlier reference to Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) could just as easily have been one to House of Wax (1953), the thought that Mr. Price was their first choice is not surprising at all. And you're right, he definitely would have played it differently than Mr. Cotten. Definitely would have been campy. And I bet it would still have definitely been worth seeing.

As for Mr. Milland, I don't have a feel for how this movie would have been with him in that role.

2) The comparison of the ending to Island of Lost Souls (1932) is an apt one. But in my case, I flashbacked to The Mummy (1932) when I watched this one. Two movies where the nominal hero (Antonio Cantafora and David Manners) and his older professorial companion (Massimo Girotti and Edward Van Sloan) failed to save the day.

3) "Garishly gorgeous" or "gorgeously garish"? Now that's a conundrum! Either way, it is a heck of a poster. But wasn't that always the American International Pictures way?
User avatar
LiamCasey
Posts: 76
Joined: October 22nd, 2022, 1:02 pm

Re: Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972)

Post by LiamCasey »

Masha wrote: January 22nd, 2023, 9:34 pm The most obvious is that the writers simply did not envision anyone ever thinking about this handy plot device.
My money is on this one! The bigger question, though, is why am I looking for logic in these types of movies. :roll:
User avatar
EP Millstone
Posts: 619
Joined: October 20th, 2022, 9:40 am
Location: The Western Hemisphere

Re: Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972)

Post by EP Millstone »

LiamCasey wrote: January 23rd, 2023, 5:09 pm . . . The bigger question, though, is why am I looking for logic in these types of movies. :roll:
Precisely!

Don't overthink movies (any movies)! They're just movies . . . as far as I'm concerned!
"Start every day off with a smile and get it over with." -- W.C. Fields
User avatar
EP Millstone
Posts: 619
Joined: October 20th, 2022, 9:40 am
Location: The Western Hemisphere

Re: Baron Blood (aka Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga) (1972)

Post by EP Millstone »

LiamCasey wrote: January 23rd, 2023, 4:46 pm 1) Accordingly, both Vincent Price and Ray Milland were offered the title role prior to Joseph Cotten.

. . . As for Mr. Milland, I don't have a feel for how this movie would have been with him in that role.
Thanks for info! I did not know that Price and Milland had been offered the role of Baron Blood.

Milland, I think, could have pulled off playing Otto Von Kleist. He always excelled as a heavy, for my money. I found him effectively menacing in Alias Nick Beal, Dial M for Murder, and The Premature Burial.
"Start every day off with a smile and get it over with." -- W.C. Fields
Post Reply