Black Sunday

(1960)

also known as: La maschera del demonio | The Mask of Satan

directed by Mario Bava, 86 minutes

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In one of the most auspicious directorial debuts in movie history, Mario Bava bridged the gap between the gothic horror picture and the European art film with BLACK SUNDAY (aka LA MASCHERA DEL DEMONIO or THE MASK OF SATAN). Made in 1960 and now considered a cult classic, it continues to reverberate through the cinema, inspiring and influencing new generations of filmmakers. In an absolutely mesmerizing performance, BLACK SUNDAY stars Barbara Steele as Asa Vajda, a beautiful woman tortured and executed as a witch, but not before pronouncing a curse upon those who have condemned her, a curse that is fulfilled some 200 years later.

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TOP REVIEWER
1 member found this review helpful Created 9 days ago.

B A V A ! ! ! It's a bit ironic that this master of vivid color cinematography launched his directorial career with a black and white movie, and yet the color seems abundant in this gothic-goes-to-the-Drive-In opus. Bava creates a tapestry of shadows, layer after layer of dark images from a palette that ranges from thick walls black to opaque shades of pale grey. This creates a weird pseudo-3D effect that makes the backgrounds seem to reach out beyond the screen. Add the haunting beauty of a 23 year-old actress named Barbara Steele and you have one of the true classics among horror films.

Created 12 months ago.

If you are in the mood for a period horror film this is fun. The cinematography is very fine.

Top-reviewer
TOP REVIEWER
Created 4 days ago.

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.

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