Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Orrori del castello di Norimberga" or "Torture Chamber of Baron Blood")

 

directed by Mario Bava
Italy/Austria 1972

 

The plot, typical of this always narrative-challenged director, is just an excuse for a series of gorgeously fetishized set-pieces. It seems that Peter Kleist (Antonio Cantafora), the young descendant of Baron Otto von Kleist (a Vlad the Impaler style madman from 300 years ago), has finished his M.A. and come to Austria to look into his heritage. There he meets architecture student Eva Arnold (Elke Sommer), and the two of them decide to conjure up his ancestor. Happily, Peter brings along an ancient scroll telling him exactly how to resurrect this monster. Unhappily, the Baron indeed returns, wreaking havoc on the locals and trying to murder Peter and Eva, who unwittingly hold the secret to sending him back into the dustbin of history.

Bava’s murdering id-figures are always stylish, and the Baron, at least in the more evil of his two guises here, is no exception. When first resurrected, and intermittently throughout the film, he’s seen as a kind of hamburger-faced mock-Phantom of the Opera, with slouch hat and cape and rapid, elegant movements as he careens from victim to victim. (Visually he’s a twin of the masked, cloaked murderer of Blood and Black Lace.) Of course, he looks especially good next to "Alfred Becker" (Joseph Cotten), a mysterious cripple who’s in fact — in a point the film telegraphs instantly — the Baron. Cotten’s presence adds marquee value, in spite of a pretty dreadful, disengaged performance. Sommer, with her vinyl micro-minis and Carnaby Street hats, is one of the least convincing architecture students in cinema history; she spends most of the film running and screaming, which she admittedly does well. The other actors are mostly disposable and forgettable.

Excerpt from BrightLightsFilm located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 27 October 1972

Reviews                             More Reviews                            DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Raro - Region 2 - PAL vs. Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas and Gregory Meshman for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Raro - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Raro

Region 2 - PAL

Image Entertainment
Region 0 - NTSC
Anchor Bay
Region 1 - NTSC
Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:51 (4% PAL speedup) 1:37:42 1:37:39 1:38:12.459 1:37:48.762
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.20 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.77:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.80:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,810,796,513 bytes

Feature: 26,133,902,976 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 30.39 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,231,194,059 bytes

Feature: 24,181,555,200 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 27.56 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Raro

 

Bitrate:

 

Image Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2)

 

Bitrate: Kino Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Arrow Blu-ray

 

Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono); English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)

English (Dolby Digital 1.0 mono)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps
Subtitles Italian, English, none none none None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Raro

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Il Castello Dell'Orrore featurette [Italian with optional English subtitles] (16:20)
• Director's Filmography [Italian only]
• Director's Biography [Italian only]

DVD Release Date: 30 January 2005
Amaray

Chapters 10
 

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.77:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer
• Poster and Photo Gallery
• Cast Filmographies
• Mario Bava Biography/Filmography

 

DVD Release Date: December 7, 1999
Snapper Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.80:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Tim Lucas
• Theatrical Trailer
• Radio Spots

 

DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
Slimline

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Lorber

Aspect Ratio: 1.74:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,810,796,513 bytes

Feature: 26,133,902,976 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 30.39 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Tim Lucas

• Italian Title Sequences (Beginning - 2:28 and End - 2:05)
• Theatrical Trailers - Italian and English
• 3 Radio Spots

• 4 Mario Bava Trailers

Blu-ray Release Date: December 11th, 2012
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow Film

Aspect Ratio: 1.74:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,231,194,059 bytes

Feature: 24,181,555,200 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 27.56 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• 
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of three versions of the film: Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga with Italian opening and closing titles and Baron Blood with English opening and closing titles and the European English export version audio, and for the first time on home video, the AIP version with alternate score by Les Baxter
• Three audio versions: Optional Italian, European English and AIP English re-dub and re-score
• English SDH subtitles and a new English subtitle translation of the Italian audio
• Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas
• Introduction to Baron Blood by author and critic Alan Jones
• Trailers for Baron Blood
• Baron Blood Radio Spots
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
• Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Oliver James, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

Blu-ray Release Date:
April 29th, 2013
Custom Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow - Region 'B' Blu-ray - April 2013': Arrow goes above-and-beyond offering three version of the film in 1080P (seamlessly branched for 2 - AIP version looks like a separate encode - running time 1:30:30): Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga with Italian opening and closing titles and Baron Blood with English opening and closing titles and the European English export version audio, and for the first time on home video, the AIP version with alternate score by Les Baxter. Compared to the Kino - the image quality is very close - with a similar file-size and bitrate. Colors may be marginally richer on the US edition - but it is not significant.

They also include three audio versions: optional Italian, European English and AIP English re-dub and re-score as well as English SDH subtitles and a new and English subtitle translation of the Italian audio. Extras include the excellent Lucas audio commentary, a short introduction to Baron Blood by author and critic Alan Jones and trailers and Radio Spots for Baron Blood. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys and it contains a Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Oliver James, illustrated with original archive stills and posters. This is easily the definitive release of Bava's classic.

Our own Eric Cotenas has written this about the extras: "As with the Arrow’s other Bava releases, the disc opens with an introduction by Alan Jones. He mentions that producer Alfredo Leone wanted Vincent Price for the lead, but Price declined because of his disastrous experience with Bava shooting DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE GIRL BOMBS. He also points out the influence of Val Lewton’s works on BARON BLOOD (although not HOUSE OF WAX which surely inspired the Baron stalking Eva through the fog), and the effects work of Carlo Rambaldi (the clips in the introduction are derived from the older SD master and are not indicative of the feature presentation quality of either the Blu or the included DVD edition). Tim Lucas’ commentary from the second Anchor Bay Bava box set is carried over to this edition. He has no shortage of production details and background (including Bava vetoing the use of the castle from WHERE EAGLES DARE because it was unfurnished and it was impractical to run cables up to it). He points out visual references to Bava’s previous horror films as well as hommages to other directors’ works like Jacques Tourneur’s THE LEOPARD MAN (and also mentions that the titular character of the Joe Dante-directed “Shadow Man” episode of the eighties version of THE TWILIGHT ZONE was based on the baron’s look in this film), and gives background information on all of the cast members and crew members, including the whereabouts of the surviving members (apparently Nicoletta Elmi is now a dentist), as well as American scripter Vincent Fotre. Lucas also muses on some unexplored threads of the plot, like a more sinister interpretation of the protagonist’s desire to get back to his roots.

The American International Pictures edit of BARON BLOOD on this release is a reconstruction using the European HD master. The American version was mostly cut for pacing and had Stelvio Cipriani’s more diverse score replaced with a spookier-though-bomastic accompaniment by AIP’s in-house composer Les Baxter (who also rescored Bava’s
BLACK SUNDAY, BLACK SABBATH, and THE EVIL EYE). The reconstruction is not total, however, as it does not include the alternate take of Dr. Hesse’s death (the AIP version had the doctor’s collar occluding the camera’s view of his throat wound) which can be seen in the American trailer on the disc; but it’s of little consequence when one considers that the reason most will want this version is for the Baxter score. Since it is a reconstruction, it is framed in the same 1.74:1 ratio (presumably chosen based on the hard-matting of the title sequences) while the AIP version was projected at 1.85:1.

Italian horror director Ruggero Deodato is on hand for a featurette not on BARON BLOOD specifically, but on Bava himself (Deodato did not work with Bava, but Lamberto Bava had served as an assistant on several of Deodato’s commercials and early feature films), accompanied by clips from several of Bava’s films. It’s not really a substantial piece at all, but hopefully Arrow will remember to grab Deodato again if they release an Antonio Margheriti film since Deodato got his start in features working under that director who also contributed some major Italian gothics. The American trailer and radio spots are carried over from the Anchor Bay release, but Arrow adds a fascinating Italian trailer that includes psychedelic opticals not unlike the ones seen in the trailer for A BAY OF BLOOD (it also includes some of the same illustrations). There’s no dialogue, but there is a lot of screaming and a mix of different Cipriani tracks from the score (as well as some cool onscreen splashes of the Italian title). “Bava at Work” is a montage of rare behind-the-scenes stills. The combo (which splits the versions and extras between two DVDs) includes a reversible cover with vintage poster art on the back, as well as an illustrated booklet with an essay by James Oliver, which astutely points out that the film – despite its Italian director, cast, crew, and German locations – is actually an American production. The background provided in the essay will be nothing new if you’ve already heard the commentary (or read Lucas’ twelve-pound Bava book), but Oliver’s reappraisal makes a fitting introduction to newbies."

***

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' Blu-ray - December 2012': Solid - the new 1080P transfer improves with tighter detail, bolder colors (check out the fire and Elke's red shawl), and less artifacts. It is a solid upgrade - dual layered with a high bitrate. Grain is a shade blotchy but I think most Bava fans will be quite pleased with the 1.74:1 appearance.

Audio goes lossless via a linear PCM track that also sounds better to my ear. Effects can be piercing with some depth. English only. No subtitles are offered on the region 'A'-locked disc.

Supplements also eclipse  - nudging ahead of the Anchor Bay. The excellent commentary is still there from Tim Lucas. We also get the Italian title sequences (Opening and End), Italian and English trailers, 3 Radio Spots and 4 other Mario Bava trailers. A good release - one we can recommend to fans of the genre.

***

ON THE DVDs: While Raro's disc of BARON BLOOD was an improvement over the non-anamorphic Image DVD (16:9 enhancement, featurette, slightly better sound), Anchor Bay's DVD is the best this title has seen with improved color, clearer audio, and an informative commentary by Tim Lucas (not the best of the set but even he has stated that he would have rather commented on FIVE DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON but AB wanted him to do BARON BLOOD).

Unlike the Italian version of BAY OF BLOOD, the Italian dialogue of BARON BLOOD is not as smart as that of the English version as the subtitle sample from the Raro disc bares out (the script for BARON BLOOD originated with an American writer) so the English track is the superior option (even better would be the American International Picture's track which features the same dubbing but replaces Stelvio Cipriani's travelogue score with one by Les Baxter that really hammers home the scares).

 - Eric Cotenas

 


Menus
(Raro - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

 

   
 

 

Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE BELOW TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Raro - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Subtitle sample (no subs on Anchor Bay)


1) Raro - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Raro - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Raro - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Raro - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Raro - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Raro - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection Volume 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Kino Blu-ray

More Arrow Blu-ray


 

        Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Arrow Blu-ray

 
 Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Raro

Region 2 - PAL

Image Entertainment
Region 0 - NTSC
Anchor Bay
Region 1 - NTSC
Kino / Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 





 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!