DER HUND VON BLACKWOOD CASTLE (1968)
aka The Hound of Blackwood Castle, Horror of Blackwood Castle
Article 4376 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Alfred Vohrer
Featuring Heinz Drache, Karin Baal, Horst Tappert
Country: West Germany
What it is: Krimi
Visitors to Blackwood Castle are killed by a mysterious hound. Could this have anything to do with the death of the owner… and the fact that a hidden fortune may be found there?
It strikes me that it’s pretty tricky to make a good krimi. The plot has to be convoluted enough that it’s fun to follow, but not so convoluted that you get totally lost. There has to be enough characters to make for an involving mystery, but not so many that it becomes too easy to lose track of them. Furthermore, it helps if the comic relief is actually funny, and there’s always the chance that substandard dubbing may damage the presentation. Fortunately, this is one of the krimis that actually does all these things right; there’s enough intrigue in the story to keep you interested, just the right number of characters, the humor is actually funny, and the dubbing is well enough to get by. It’s also one of the most light-hearted krimis I’ve seen, which was apparent from the comically bizarre theme song that plays during the opening credits. There’s also plenty of horror content, what with the “Hound of the Baskervilles” thrust of the plot, some “old dark house” antics and visitations from the dead. Of course, being a krimi, there are logical explanations for all of it, but since krimis are mysteries rather than horror movies per se, that’s to be expected. This one is a lot of fun.