23 April 2014

The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus (1962)
95 min.
Directed by Jess Franco.
With Howard Vernon, Hugo Blanco, Gogó Rojo, Fernando Delgado, Paula Martel, Ana Castor, Turia Nelson, Georges Rollin.
Rather tepid and often obvious, this 1962 horror from genre director Franco (The Awful Dr. Orloff) lacks much punch.

The small German village of Holfen has a killer in its midst, a psycho who roams the swamps and murders local women.

The superstitious natives lay the blame on the ghost of old Baron Von Klaus, a 17th century madman who used a curved dagger to brutally off young ladies and then who disappeared one day without a trace.

Could Max Von Klaus (Vernon), the Baron's present-day descendant, be carrying on the family's gruesome history of slaughter?

Or how about his nephew Ludwig (Blanco)?

Although adequately plotted and nicely shot, this mild-mannered continental terror can't seem to muster much enthusiasm for itself; moments of suspense are too few and far between, and the cast never really gels (with the lone exception of Vernon, a menacing presence).

Not the pits by any means, but primarily for eurohorror diehards or Franco buffs.

Spanish: La mano de un hombre muerto.

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