When the owner of Blackwood Castle, Captain Wilson (Otto Stern), dies his daughter Jane (Karin Baal) is called to the castle by Wilson’s solicitor, Anwalt Jackson (Hans Sohnker). Jackson tells her that she is the only heir but that the Captain’s estate consists of only the rundown castle. He also advises her to sell the worthless building and he is willing to buy it from her for 10,000 pounds. As he stands there with pen in hand and a bill of sale ready she tells him she wants to think about it overnight.
Shortly after that a man named Baldwin (Kurd Pieritz) shows up wanting to buy the castle. He is willing to pay 20,000 pounds for it. Jackson tells him the castle isn’t for sale. Jane overhears everything Jackson and Baldwin are saying. She decides to stay and has the Captain’s servant, Grimsby (Arthur Binder), bring in her luggage. All that night Jane hears strange noises and sees strange things going on in the castle.
Meanwhile, at the local inn, people begin showing up looking for rooms. The inn is run by Lord Henry Beverton (Tilo von Berlepsch) and his sister Lady Agathy Beverton (Agnes Windeck). A man named Humphrey Connery (Heinz Drache) is already at the inn when Baldwin shows up looking for a room. Later that night Baldwin is sneaking around the castle and is killed by a large dog. By some trickery his body ends up sitting in a chair in the castle. Scotland Yard is called. Sir John (Siegfried Schurenberg) and his assistant Mabel Finley (Ilse Page) head over to the castle to investigate.
It’s not long before more people show up interested in the castle and end up dead. Cause of death is either a dog bite or poison. It’s hard to tell since the bodies keep disappearing. After some investigating it is discovered that, on the Captain’s last voyage, a collection of jewels worth a million pounds went missing. It is believed that the Captain and some of his former crew are responsible for the theft and that the jewels are somewhere in the castle.
“The Hound of Blackwood Castle” AKA “Der Hund von Blackwood Castle” AKA “The Monster of Blackwood Castle” was released in 1968 and was directed by Alfred Vohrer. It is a West German crime film and a krimi. The movie is supposed to be based on an Edgar Wallace story, which story is never mentioned anywhere, but it seems to draw more from Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1902 story “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. It also has a lot of comedy running through it.
The pace and the tone of the film give it a light farcical feeling which is not a bad thing. The sheer number of people that get killed, instead of being tragic, adds to the comic elements. If they’re not being poisoned by a dog with vampire fangs then they are sucked down by quicksand or being shot or a number of other lethal accidents. In addition the ending is the usual lightning round of quick explanations and reveals. It’s reminiscent of the wind up in comedy films like “Clue” 1985. And making Scotland Yard look like airheads must be a West German thing.
The story title focuses on the hound that is a weapon to kill people but not all the murders are committed by the dog. Still there is plenty of action and a few plot twists here and there. As for red herrings, there aren’t quite as many as in most krimis. Probably because a lot of the suspects get knocked off as soon as they are introduced. It’s a quick moving and fun addition to the genre.