Black Sabbath (1963) Review

black sabbath reviewOriginal TitleI tre volti della paura

Synopsis: 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 review: Mario Bava’s Classic deserves to be called by its original title translation: “3 faces of fear” because the 3 segments show different genre of horror: The Giallo, a Vampire tale and a Ghost Story.

Black Sabbath starts slowly with a classic revenge story using all the code of the Giallo (leather gloves, pan and zoom shots, a slight touch of eroticism, bright red colors…) but “The Telephone” fails to create much emotion and feels more like a draft for Bava’s next masterpiece, “Blood and Black Lace”. On the other hand, you now know where “When a Stranger calls” got its inspiration from.

The second segment, “The Wurdalak” is the weakest of the bunch. Despite a good use of the sets and great cinematography, the story drags for too long and is not being helped by poor acting and a weak script.

Finally, “The drop of Water” ends this anthology on a very strong note with one of the scariest corpse/ghost ever shown on film. The face of the dead medium had probably haunted generation of moviegoers who watched this movie. For this creepy and really scary segment alone, the movie is worth a watch and deserves a place in the Horror Movies Hall of Fame.

My Rating: 6/10


Origin: Italy

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