The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

BLACK SUNDAY (1961) ****

Black Sunday is an unparalleled classic in Italian horror.  Mario Bava’s first and best film is pound for pound the most atmospheric movie ever made and features an incredible performance by Barbara Steele.  She plays two roles, the sexy and evil vampiric witch Asa, and her innocent descendant Katia.  The opening scene where Asa is branded, burned at the stake and gets a giant spiked mask hammered onto her face is still unsettling, even after 45 years.  Two centuries later two doctors unwittingly resurrect her and she sets out to kill and replace Katia.  Besides the brilliant opening scene, Bava offers several equally memorable images (Asa’s eyes slowly growing back into her sockets and Asa’s masked servant crawling out of his grave, just to name a few) and fills every inch of the frame with fog, fear and dread.  It was later remade by the director’s son, Lamberto.  

AKA:  The Mask of Satan.

Tags: b, bava, horror

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