Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Black Sabbath (1963)

Original title: I Tre Volti della Paura

Director: Mario Bava

Writers: Mario Bava, Alberto Bevilacqua, Ivan Checkhov, Marcello Fondato, F.G. Snyder, Aleksei Tolstoy

Composers: Les Baxter (US version), Roberto Nicolosi (European version)

Starring: Boris Karlof, Michele Mercier, Lidia Alfonsi, Mark Damon, Susy Andersen, Massimo Righi, Rika Dialina

More info: IMDb

Tagline: This is the night of the nightmare...

Plot: A trio of atmospheric horror tales about: A woman terrorized in her apartment by phone calls from an escaped prisoner from her past; a Russian count in the early 1800s who stumbles upon a family in the countryside trying to destroy a particularly vicious line of vampires; and a 1900-era nurse who makes a fateful decision while preparing the corpse of one of her patients - an elderly medium who died during a seance.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

If there's one thing you can generally say about Bava's pictures is that they look fantastic.  As a former cinematographer, he had a great eye.  I have a feeling that this horror anthology from Italy is going to be better the second time.  I'm almost ashamed that I've only just seen it for the first.  The first two tales are nice but really slow moving.  The third one is a real beaut.  They clearly saved the best for last, plus it's the one that features Karloff in the story and not just as the host who introduces them.  He plays a real bastard, too, making him loads of fun to watch.  The music is wonderful, giving each segment its own style and identity.  That's the Les Baxter score (I dig a lot of this guy's work).  I'd be keen to see the non-US version that has Nicolosi's score. 

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