Baron Blood (1972) (Blu-ray Review)
Director: Mario Bava
Where to get it: Kino Classics
After spending several years exploring more contemporary genres, director Mario Bava (BLACK SUNDAY) returned with BARON BLOOD to the gothic as a setting for a gruesome thriller. Working with producer Alfredo Leone, Bava crafted a film that is loyal to the bylaws of traditional horror, but is infused with a more modern visual style. An American professor (Antonio Cantafora) travels to the estate of his ancestor, the sadistic Baron Otto von Kleist, seeking the truth beneath his notorious reputation. When he and his assistant Eva (Elke Sommer) read aloud an ancient incantation, the Baron’s spirit is resurrected, leading to a series of violent deaths within the haunted castle.
Baron Blood was a return to that gothic environment for the legendary director Mario Bava. It was also a bit of a slasher/giallo type with it leaning way more towards the slasher genre than the other. That makes for a movie I can really appreciate. And I do believe that it is a film that makes for a cool and eerie atmosphere for what it is as well. I don’t think that we ever really connect to the characters we have to root for and the gore does go slightly lit in some places, but it is fun. And of course any fan of Mario Bava will enjoy what they get here. It isn’t Black Sunday, but then again what really is? This is a classic gothic tale that keeps you interested and guessing.
While the look of this Blu-ray starts off all grainy and a little less than appealing, I assure you that it quickly clears up after. Once we’ve reached the main portion of the film we get a very nice transfer that improves upon other versions of this film I have seen. I think the look is overall very fitting for mood presented in Baron Blood. They seem to nearly go hand in hand with other another and it’s a look that fans of old school horror films can greatly appreciate. Like most I respect Mario Bava and his work and this is another entry by the man that is well worth owning.
The Movie: (6.5/10)
The Transfer: (7/10)