World Famous Comics: Black Sabbath |
| Black Sabbath |
|Starring: Michèle Mercier, Lidia Alfonsi, Boris Karloff, Mark Damon, Susy Andersen|
Directed By: Mario Bava
Average Rating: see reviews
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Items: 1
Publication Date: July 31, 2000
Release Date: August 01, 2000
Running Time: 92 minutes
Studio: Image Entertainment
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Experience Mario Bava's horror classic "Black Sabbath" (original Italian title: "Three Faces of Fear")--as it's never been seen in America before! A beautiful woman is terrorized by calls from an ex-lover who has escaped prison for the pleasure of killing her... A family becomes a feeding ground when their father returns home wounded after ridding the countryside of a hideous vampire... A nurse is haunted by reproaches from the Beyond after stealing a ring from the finger of a dead medium! Join Boris Karloff as he hosts (and stars in) this trilogy of terror tales--presented in its original aspect ratio and in Italian with English subtitles, with every shock intact!
When American audiences first saw Mario Bava's 1963 horror trilogy, it wasn't the same film he had made in Italy. Finding it too terrifying for kids (imagine that!), AIP pictures trimmed it of violence and intensity, rescored it, and renamed it in order to cash in on the success of Black Sunday. New tongue-in-cheek introductions with costar Boris Karloff were added, the segments were rearranged, and one segment was completely rewritten in the dubbing. It was a good film even in its butchered form, but the original Italian version is excellent. The correctly ordered stories begin with "The Telephone," a gripping, ornate thriller that anticipates Bava's later "giallo" horror classics such as Blood and Black Lace. (In the American version, lesbian overtones were removed and the escaped criminal killer was turned into a vengeful ghost.) Karloff stars as a demonic, wild-haired patriarch in the eerie "The Wurdulak," a gorgeous vampire tale shot on misty, menacing sets. The masterpiece of the collection is "The Drop of Water," a chilling ghost story with shiver inducing imagery: the piercing dead eyes of the restless corpse will haunt you long after the film is over. Bava's original framing sequence ends with a playful tribute to the magic of moviemaking and storytelling, a sweet coda to remind us that it's only a movie.
The print suffers slightly from wear and tear and water damage but the colors are sharp and vivid. It's a bit disconcerting to hear Karloff dubbed in Italian, but that's a small price to pay for seeing the film in its original, uncut form. The DVD also features an extensive gallery of production and promotional stills, biographies, and liner notes by Bava historian Tim Lucas. --Sean Axmaker
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