I’ll say right off the bat, without having seen this movie, I already hate it just based on the title.
Baron Blood? It sounds like a creepy monster name from a kids’ show like Scooby Doo. I picture a phantom red Baron!
Also I should note that I went into this movie and review with the idea that I was about to watch a movie with zombies in it. It’s more of an undead killer with some supernatural evil mixed in. Certainly a rotted horror but not a zombie in the true sense. In that way it is closely akin to a lot of the Fulci movies I’ve seen. The big pay off with the “zombies” comes at the very end, but here again, they aren’t zombies in the true sense so much as enchanted corpses.
I’ll admit I like the poster. It has a feel to it that is really indicative of moves of the time (70’s.) It’s basically a collage of images from the movie put together in such a way as to keep our eye moving around the poster and teasing at what’s to come. It’s satisfying because you keep finding interesting little things about it like the ghostly appearance of the eye, and how it lines up with the other eye of the zombie face. The corpse and the town in the lower right. It makes us wonder who these people are and what they are doing. Like why is that woman in the cage and what is the man in the upper left looking at that has him so scared. It doesn’t really stand out from other posters for cheap movies at the time but it doesn’t really need to.
The plot revolves around an American who travels to Austria and is sort of obsessed with an ancestor of his who is rumored to have been horrible figure like Vlad Tempes who Dracula was based on. The Baron was cursed years ago but an incantation exists which can bring him back. You can see where this is going. The incantation gets read and he comes back, death and horror ensue. No surprises there, it’s pretty standard horror fare. (That’s not really a statement of what’s good in the movie so much as a plot summary I know. There isn’t much good to say about it except that the woman playing Eva is extremely attractive.)
– There’s a scene early on that embodies the cheap. It’s a stock shot looking out a window of a moving car with the actors’ voices dubbed over. It’s just saturated with cheap. Throughout the movie we get a lot of that sort of thing. We have a story that was made rather cheaply and instead of showing us the horrors they hint at them. Strangely I would normally rave about that sort of thing. I love economy of story telling and imagery if it actually works towards building a mood or atmosphere or adds to the story telling. In this movie it didn’t. I felt the entire time that I was being led through a fairly predictable little horror story that would have been better served as a thirty minute episode of the Twilight Zone rather than a full-length movie.
– The music is INCREDIBLY BAD! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good 70’s tune but this is just horrifying. It reminds me of driving around with my grandfather as a kid and the music he played on the radio. Since that was 30+ years ago it actually made sense. For modern viewers it could be pretty hard to stand.
Some of the makeup effects for the zombies and the Baron himself were pretty gruesome but not really anything to write home about.
All in all the horrors this movie hints at are mostly a tease and you can save yourself the torture of watching it by not.