The Sadistic Baron von Klaus (1962)

aka La mano de un hombre muerto, Hand of a Dead Man
Article 3375 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-28-2010
Posting Date: 11-10-2010
Directed by Jesus Franco
Featuring Howard Vernon, Hugo Blanco, Gogo Rojo
Country: Spain
What it is: Evil from beyond the grave

The Von Klaus family is under a curse; an evil ancestor returns as a ghost and possesses one of his descendants to go on a sadistic murder spree.

Here we have another of Franco’s earlier films; in fact, it may be the earliest film I’ve seen from his oeuvre. It’s one of his better films, but I wouldn’t rank it with his best; this one is pretty slow out of the gate and doesn’t really get moving until the latter half of the movie. It was also rather daring for its time, so much so that a dungeon scene of torture and nudity was censored, though my copy has the scene restored. It seems that several of the films that I’ve seen of his recently all deal with sadism, and they all come across as some of his better work; there’s no doubt that the subject interested him. As usual, Howard Vernon is quite memorable. The ending is also very good.


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