When women turn up mysteriously murdered in the Austrian village of Holfen, a peculiar legend involving the local nobility comes to light. Centuries earlier, Baron Von Klaus tortured and killed a number of young women to satisfy his warped, wicked desires. This reign of terror lasted until the Baron himself perished in quicksand in the bog surrounding his castle. Periodically, over ensuing years more murders occurred. The Von Klaus family was always suspected; stories of a ghostly “swamp phantom” circulated among the locals. The villagers believed that the malignant spirit of the evil Baron lived on in each generation of his male descendants. Now, with new victims turning up, suspicion again turns to the denizens of Castle Von Klaus. There are only two remaining members of this noble line: Max (Women in Cellblock 9’s Howard Vernon), the current holder of the title, and his nephew Ludwig (Hugo Blanco), a young concert pianist recently engaged to pretty Karine (Paula Martel).
Smart-aleck journalist Karl Steiner (Fernando Delgado), reporter for the lurid “True Crime” tabloid Murder and Maidens, is dispatched to Holfen to snoop out a suitably juicy story. The provincial police commander, no-nonsense Commissioner Borowsky (Georges Rollin), isn’t the type to lend credence to old legends when it comes to investigating a homicide. Still, all the clues would seem to point straight to Castle Von Klaus. When a cabaret singer is stabbed to death after her performance at the local hotel, Max is brought in for questioning. Uncooperative, with no real alibi, the sinister-looking nobleman is arrested for murder. But is he really the killer? –eccentric-cinema.com
He was only 6 years old when he started composing music under the protection of his brother Enrique. After the Spanish Civil War, he was able to continue his studies at the Real Conservatorio de Madrid, where he finished piano and harmony. Being a Bachelor of Law and a easy-read novel writer (under the pseudonym David Khume), he signed on to enter the Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematográicas (IIEC), where he was only for two years, while he worked simultaneously as a director and theatre actor. Later, he went to Paris to study directing techniques at the I.D.H.E.C. (University of Sorbonne), where he used to go into seclusion during hours to watch films at the film archive. Back to Spain, he started his huge cinematographic work as a composer, with Cómicos (1954) and El hombre que viajaba despacito (1957), and later worked as an assistant director to Juan Antonio Bardem, León Klimovsky, Luis Saslavsky, Julio Bracho, Fernando Soler and Joaquín Luis Romero Marchent… read more
One of Franco's most technically accomplished efforts, however also one of his most conventionally plot-driven and therefore uninteresting. The 60s jazzy flavour he's added to the gothic horror proceedings is really unique but not enough to reach the same dizzying heights as his later fever dream masterpieces.