Sunday, May 25, 2008

Black Sunday

La Maschera del Demonio (1960)

Directed by: Mario Bava
Written by: Ennio De Concini & Mario Serandrei based on The Viy by Nikolai Gogol
Starring: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Enrico Olivieri, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani, Arturo Dominici

Famous horror pic about a noblewoman who is killed for practicing witchcraft and is resurrected two hundred years later to exact vengeance upon the descendants of those who killed her.

I was raised outside the church, so to speak (in other words, I don't believe in Satan), which tends to make Satan-oriented films a little less interesting. Inferior films such as The Omen and that space one with Sam Neill pretty much fail entirely.

However, this film actually has some other shit going on. It's not just 'woo, it's scary coz it's Satan'. There's vampirism and zombification and all sorts of other nasty things happening.

Such as a woman getting the Mask of Satan (hence the title (Maschera del Demonio, not Black Sunday)) nailed to her face. Fuck. That's still kinda weirding me out a bit.

Bits of the film do seem a little ridiculous to an atheist, but generally they make up for it with the spooky locations, beautiful black and white photography and Barbara Steele.

Holy shit, she's creepy though. She gets to play both the evil vampire witch woman (girl power!) and the innocent young love interest, both of which she does quite well.

She's almost like vampire lady role model. She owns.

Good for her. Since I watched this and Werewolf vs. Vampire Whatever back to back, my mind was drawn somewhat to the vague similarities (undead vampire witch coming back to life to do Satanic shit), and how vastly superior this film is.

Just thought I might mention it, seeing as I get so much satisfaction from ragging on Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman.

Anyway, nice classic-gothic-vampire-witch-Satan type horror movie, which, in my mind, would be groovy on a double bill with, say Dracula (preferably the '31, but any version would do, really).


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