In the village of Holfen, a number of young women are found stabbed to death by what is determined to be an ancient dagger with a curved and rusty blade. The superstitious locals believe the murders to be the fulfillment o... more »f a curse placed on them in the 17th century by Baron Von Klaus, a sadistic libertine who killed many women before dying in the swamps surrounding his castle. The Baron's spirit is said to live on in his male descendants, but von Klaus heir Ludwig (Hugo Blanco) doesn't arrive in town until the day after the latest murder. He is entrusted with a key to his ancestor's torture dungeon and begged to bring an end to the family curse by visiting it, destroying it, and leaving the castle, never to return again. But will he have the willpower to resist the lure of his horrific heritage? Never before released in America, The Sadistic Baron von Klaus is a stylish, black & white, Gothic whodunit from horror maverick Jess Franco.« less
A traditional and excellent gothic horror film from Franco!
frankenberry | 11/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jess Franco is known primarily for his "who cares?" approach to film-making, which is exemplified in such works as "Succubus" (1969) and "Vampyros Lesbos" (1970), where attention to such details as a coherent plot, good acting, and photography are sacrificed in favour of a disconnected, yet erotically charged, atmosphere of dissolution and dark despair."Baron von Klaus"(1962), by contrast, is a traditional gothic horror movie. The genuinely eerie mood of the film results from a relatively tight screenplay, decent acting, good cinematography and inspired direction."Baron von Klaus" bears considerable resemblance to the equally engaging "Doctor Orlof" (1964). Both are filmed in highly effective black-and-white, both tell stories of reclusive madmen, and both feature the creepy, bug-eyed Howard Vernon.The DVD release is as excellent as the film itself. IMAGE adds another solid entry in its EUROSHOCK series. The film reproduction is first class, with sharp detail and minimal print damage in evidence throughout."
Put off watching a Franco film- don't delay!
Richard J. Oravitz | 11/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those of you who have put off watching a Franco film- don't delay watch this film! This is one of his most atmospheric, scary, and obsessed films. There are echoes of H.P. Lovecraft here: the young heir falling under the influence of his evil ancestor "Charles Dexter Ward". "The Music of Erich Zann" comes to mind when Hugo Blanco states "My grandfather was a great musician and a murderer". Older reviews state this was a mediocrity, I disagree. There are many tense moments to be found in this mystery. This print features the uncensored torture scene, but does not have the pre-credit murder sequence that I have read exists. The image is beautiful and crisp. The soundtrack is noisy with an ever present hiss, but this is not terribly intrusive. The alternate footage is hardly worth having; it being a shortened version of the explicit torture sequence. The music is virtually non stop, changing mood according to what the scene requires. A "Take Five" variant is just one of the highlights."
Slow but worthwhile early euro horror from Franco
frankenberry | Los Angeles, CA USA | 10/28/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This early 1960's Jess Franco film never had a US release (until this new DVD from Image) and it's kind of easy to see why. Not that it's bad...it's not. It's just that it's pretty old-fashioned, talky and slow going for the first hour. And when it finally picks up, we are subjected to a deliriously out-of-place torture-rape-bondage-nudity sequence that surely would have shocked any American audience at the time. I'm not complaing --- but I can just see American distributors watching this at the time and scratching their heads saying "Whoaaa!!" The scene is just so out of context with the rest of the film which feels like something out of the 30's. And if they trimmed out the sequence, nothing would be left except for a very average mystery thriller without much of a payoff. Still, it definitely has appeal for euro-horror buffs and giallo fans with it's crisp B&W photography, excellent use of the 2.35:1 frame, and other ethereal qualities. A few unintentional chuckles add to the fun. This is Franco in his earlier period before he became ... and he handles all the technical aspects with care and skill. The script is just not as compelling as his Dr. Orloff thrillers, unfortunately.The only extras are an alternate "softer" sequence of the rape scene (still contains minor nudity, though) and the original french trailer. If you're a serious euro-buff or Franco fan, you'll probably want to check it out. Otherwise, there's a lot of better stuff out there for the more casual viewer. Image should be applauded, though, for releasing such limited appeal titles. This will be looked back on as another "golden" period for home video so enjoy it while it's happening. These titles will surely not be "in print" forever.
CLASSIC ARTSY EURO-SLEEZE FROM FRANCO!
Richard J. Oravitz | 04/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So many sexy woman always manage to walk alone at night along sinister streets and alleyways when a mad rapist/killer is on the loose! They're just asking for it...and Franco films it all with stylish camera angles among gothic German locations! Great little horror mystery with a tight script and fine acting. Is the ghost of the sadistic Baron Von Klaus really reponsible for the gruesome killings or is it someone more human? The killer appears to have stepped out of Bava's BLOOD AND BLACK LACE, only Franco's film was made years earlier! The winter location shooting adds a nice touch, there's a rough nudi torture/murder scene and it all manages to come off as a stylistic art film. An absolute must-have for Jess Franco fans and lovers of b&w Euro horror of the 1950's-60's. Highly recommended!"
Jess Franco Classic Finally available!!!
Kevin P. Coon | Twin Falls, Idaho USA | 01/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Howard Vernon stars in this classic Jess Franco film about a man who inherits his family's sadistic habits. This disc contains the often missing dungeon/torture sequence that is a real eye opener. The widescreen transfer is perfect and this is in french with english subtitles. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for Franco fans and horror fans in general."