“I don’t know what to think of this project Minion’s taken on. Is she in need mental aid?” the Stegosaurus wondered. “After last week’s crazy Aussie innkeeper killers, I think I’d rather be deaf than listen to more ham acting. No offense.”
“None could possibly be taken,” Cow replied, feeling pained. “Ham comes from pigs.”
Minion always came home from work with several DVDs and Cow was tired of hearing Stegosaurus grumble about the quality of them. She didn’t like Minion’s taste in entertainment either, but it did no good to complain. And besides, what could they do about it anyway? They were squeaky toys Minion picked up at a Dollar store for goodness’ sake.
“So, what is it this time?” asked Stegasaurus.
“Why do you even ask me?” Cow replied, testily. “You know I can’t read.”
“Yeah, yeah, sorry,” Stegosaurus said without a hint of sincerity. “You know what I meant. It was a retro oracle question.”
Cow thought about that for a moment, then rolled her eyes. “You mean rhetorical.”
“I mean whatever. What are we in for?”
“I think I remember Minion saying it was a movie about a crazy Austrian castle killer this time,” Cow supplied.
“More Aussie crap?”
Cow let out an exasperated sigh. “Austria and Australia are two different places.”
“Positive. Now, would you shut up? Minion’s ready to start watching Baron Blood.”
“I don’t like the sound of that,” Stegosaurus whispered.
Peter arrives in Austria with the intention of visiting relatives and learning more about his ancestor known as the Bloody Baron. It’s not hard to see parallels to Vlad related tales, but the story actually carries itself well enough to brush that aside.
Get ready to hate the castle renovation woman, Eva, though. If you don’t after the first scream, you will by the 22nd, I assure you. All the running she does in that castle, that torturer’s castle filled with torture implements, and it never once occurs to her to grab something pointy? At least make the effort to save your own damn self once in a while, lady. But anyway…
Peter has a document he found at Granddad’s years ago, written by a witch the Baron later burned. It’s an incantation that has the power to revive him from death, just so he can be killed and revived and killed again and again until he’d suffered a hundred times worse than any of his victims. Peter tells his uncle that he brought it along hoping “to scare up a little family history” — hardy har yar. You will, Peter. You will…
The uncle is skeptical but superstitious enough to be wary of all things witchy though Eva’s game to try reading the incantation (do they not watch these kinds of movies?!) even though it means finding the room where he died. And guess who’s overheard all that occult planning.
Peter’s cousin, Gretchen. What’s her deal, nosy kid, or something far more sinister? Earlier she claimed to have seen the tall gaunt Baron at the castle, but nobody believed her so we’ll have to see if that leads to anything.
In the castle later, Peter chants, fog rises, bells toll, and Eva gets cold feet. Doesn’t matter anyway, next day it doesn’t look like anything actually happened. Peter thinks they were in the wrong room so they try again using a map he has that includes a hidden chamber. The spell works but then the parchment burns in a fire and Eva does a lot more screaming. Please Baron, please kill her off. There’s nothing worse than a woman who can’t keep her head in a crisis…
The newly resurrected creature goes on something of a killing spree, attacking people in and around his castle, like the caretaker, shown in frightful agony here.
What will this mean for the poor wheelchair bound guy who just bought the place at auction? Eva feels compelled to confess to the new owner what they did, then gets another chance to run around unarmed and screaming and Peter gets his chance to run around like a headless chicken, too, while trying to find the room that Eva’s passed out in. She’s an ocean of calm by the time he gets her home so they kiss each other like dreamy lovers and have a nice pointless “you’re all that matters” moment together. Talk about shoehorning. But soon she’s off and running again because that bloody Baron somehow beat her home. She manages to escape to the uncle’s place where she can scream some more.
The uncle’s getting convinced by Eva’s ravings by this point and suggests they involve a clairvoyant he knows who can channel the witch and get answers to their questions. The witch seems content to leave the Baron alive and suffering, though, so that’s a bust. She says they already have a way to kill him but leaves it up to them to figure out. And then the Baron kills the retro oracle since he seems to be after anyone connected to the castle or the curse. Then everyone belatedly realizes that this makes young Gretchen a target, too.
They catch up with her on the way past the castle where she’s just had a brush with the Baron but appears to be fine. They decide it’s high time to warn the new owner again but he laughs off all their dire warnings. Gretchen thinks that he’s the ghost and this leads everyone else to get suspicious of him. He’s new in town and nobody knows where he got the money. (The Baron did hightail it up to his secret room before that auction to see if his box of jewelry was still there…) And Gretchen’s listening in again, that sneaky kid. Another trek to the castle makes them even more sure the Herr is the Baron, especially after he overpowers every one of them and ties the guys up in his fully functional dungeon. Scream scream panic panic, who’s left to save the day?
Apparently it’s the caretaker that the Baron stabbed with an iron maiden earlier in the show. Eva drops an amulet on the dead guy by accident and now the Baron’s writhing in agony and the dead guy is coming back to life, as are all the rest. And it turns out Eva actually knows how to untie knots and winds up rescuing the boys. Will wonders never cease. She’s full of tears and screams again as soon as the boys are free, though, so I guess it was too good to be true. We hear the Baron screaming, too, as the undead torture him with his own devices and the useless “heroes” carry Eva away.
All in all, not a bad picture. I’ll bet the actress who played Eva every day went home hoarse a lot of the time. I’m glad we’ve gotten to a point in film where women aren’t all hysterical idiots. I found myself wishing Ripley or Buffy could pop in and solve their problems. It sure wasn’t looking like they knew how.
So, check back tomorrow night. I’m planning to open…Doctor Blood’s Coffin!
edit Oct 29, 2009 – just found a nifty website ClassicHorror.com and Brandt Sponsellor has a nice rundown of this movie.