December 22nd, 2008

THE SADISTIC BARON VON KLAUS (1962) *

A young man returns home to see his dying mother who informs him of the family curse where all the men are supposed to turn into sadistic killers.  Pretty soon, women start turning up dead and his creepy uncle, the Baron (Howard Vernon) is the prime suspect.   

 

In all honesty, this really should have been called The Sadistic Jess Franco.  The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus is basically a less fantastic and more generic version of his The Awful Dr. Orloff except that it’s slow moving, boring and on the whole, pretty stupid.  The title is also a cheat as the Baron is obviously just a red herring.

 

What really sends this movie into the crapper is that there is way too much time spent on the snooping reporter and the pompous police inspector trying to solve the murders.  Hardly any screen time at all is devoted to the murders themselves.  To add insult to injury, there is ONE decent “sadistic” scene where the murderer rips off a chick’s clothes and whips her.  Even then, Franco makes us wait 75 minutes to see it and by the time we get around to it, it’s not really worth it.

 

The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus was filmed back in the day when Franco actually gave a shit about the look of his films, so at least it’s nice to look at.  The movie is handsomely mounted and the shots of the empty town are atmospheric.  It’s just a shame that it’s so damn dull and the sleaze quotient is pitifully low.