Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Black Sunday / La maschera del demonio


Dir: Mario Bava (Black Sabbath)
Source Material: Short story "The Viy" by Nikolai Gogol
Cast: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani, Arturo Dominici, Enrico Olivieri
Italy, 1960

Seen: September 26, 2009

Reason to Review: Vampathon: Vampire Film Marathon *

Gems like Black Sunday are the exact reason I do marathons and to see films lists, because you never know when you are going to uncover a truly fantastic film. I had preconception of the film other than noting it placed high on a vampire film list. In terms of a vampire film I would say that is stretching the definition a little bit as there are elements of vampirism but overall the film is more in a religious good & evil vein. And yes, I still liked it. Loved it in fact.

It's in beautiful black & white, has a creepy undertone and impressive effects for 1960. There were even moments that grossed me out which I wasn't expecting. Barbara Steele is absolutely fantastic in the film bringing complete and total evilness alive on the screen. Her performance is captivating and steals the show every time she appears. Even thought this was the first time seeing the film, I felt nostalgic about it given the extremely straight forward characters and motivations, the classic settings and it also had a strong adventurous spirit to it which we don't always see in horror. A great film to watch on a Sunday afternoon with a big bowl of popcorn and the curtains drawn.

Also called The Mask of Satan

Shannon's Overall View:
I love it
I own it
I'd recommend to fans of classic & horror films

Return to Film Reviews, See all Vampire Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2009

* Vampathon is a 16 week marathon explore vampire films from Nosferatu (1922) up to the upcoming release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon


Bob Turnbull said...

It's a beauty isn't it? I watched it for the first time last October and was kicking myself for waiting so long. It's really a beautiful looking film and the story is so much better than it really even needs to be...

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

"The story is so much better than it really even needs to be..."

Exactly! I totally expected something sorta fluffy or simple but it had a great story! And acting! And atmosphere! I loved it.

Francisco Gonzalez said...

Okay, that review just made me want to buy this movie right away! Ive always wanted to see it..but now more.

It will be my first Bava film...I dont think it will dissapoint!

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