Everything you could want in a gothic witch hunt tale. Dripping with dark atmosphere, so many gorgeous shots, a plot that doesn't pull any fantastic revelations but keeps to traditional story without feeling trite or boring. Almost defines atmospheric horror, each frame so artistically informed.
[Cinémathèque PT: 35mm] A quote from Johnny Sack comes to mind: "I mean what happened to this thing...? (pause) For god sake, we bend more rules than the Catholic church!". And that was precisely what was going thru my mind whilst i sat thru this amazing film screening - what ever happened to the horror/fantastic genre...? Where did it go?
Good classic horror from Bava, and one of his first works too. It deals with both witchcraft & vampirism - more like RKO/Universal style except Italian way. This film is beautifully well-made and does features some creepy moments Bava would continued exploring in his next few works. Keep an eye out for Ms. Steele as well. This won't be the last of Bava's films I'll be seeing since SHOCK being my first.
I am not a fan of horror films. I find corpses rising from their coffins and flesh-eating zombies to be as juvenile as the most insipid Disney products. Truly horrifying, to me, is Ingmar Bergman's THE SERPENT'S EGG; the real evil that men do is truly horrifying. That said, BLACK SUNDAY has beautiful cinematography,mood and atmosphere, and Barbara Steele is enchanting and versatile. 3.8 stars.
The Mask of Satan uncut print. Wonderfully atmospheric Italian horror film and the debut feature by Mario Bava. Well scripted and performed but its the photography by Bava himself that elevates this one to horror classic status. Barbara Steele is great in dual roles here especially as a two century dead witch destined for revenge. Not overly bloody, like the later giallo films, but chilling and suspenseful.
Amazingly creepy and spirited film. Bava has such an eye for deep, black and white composition, and he frames and moves his camera in really elegant ways. I'm just baffled as to why this precision and sophistication evaporates in some of his later, less successful films.
The nightmarish imagery is outstanding. A fever dream of phantoms and the horrors of the shadows. Pity the dubbing and the characters are straight out of an MST3K b-movie. The truly awful mixed with the truly frightening.