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Black Sunday / The Mask Of Satan [1968] [DVD]

4.5 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006UG69S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,306 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Region/format: Region 0 (all regions - suitable for UK DVD players) / EU Import / PAL
Audio options: English, French
Subtitles: French
Length: 98 minutes
Picture format: 4:3 (1.66)
Packacking: the item on sale here is a European DVD release with foreign writing on the box cover. The film can be watched in the original English language without any subtitles.

Description:In 17th Century Moldavia, the evil Princess Asa is condemned to death for witchcraft and vampirism, along with her brother, Prince Igor Javutich. Two hundred years later, two doctors en route to a medical convention discover her crypt and accidentally set her resurrection in motion! With the help of Javutich and others whom she enthralls with her cold, dead kiss, Asa sets her sights on her ultimate victim - Princess Katia, her own twin descendant.
Black Sunday , also known as The Mask of Satan, is a 1960 Italian horror film directed by Mario Bava, from a screenplay by Ennio de Concini and Mario Serandrei. The film stars Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Arturo Dominici, and Ivo Garrani. It was Bava's directorial debut, although he had completed several previous feature films without credit. Based very loosely on Nikolai Gogol's short story "Viy", the narrative concerns a vampire-witch who is put to death by her own brother, only to return 200 years later to feed on her descendants.
By the social standards of the 1960s, the film was considered unusually gruesome, and was banned in the UK until 1968 because of its violence. In the U.S., some of the gore was censored. Despite the censorship, Black Sunday was a worldwide critical and box office success - and launched the careers of director Mario Bava and movie star Barbara Steele. In 2004, one of its sequences was voted number 40 among the "100 Scariest Movie Moments", by the Bravo Channel.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This excellent serving of gothic horror was a real feast. The familiar vampire/witchcraft scenario was expertly crafted and shot by Mario Bava and we are brought back to a world of superstition and brutality in a story set in Moldavia in the 17th century and later into the 19th century.

As Barbara Steele said in a 1995 interview, the first ten minutes are very powerful as the fear is internalized. Princess Asa, a satanist, is condemned to death by her brother, an Inquisitor. She, and her servant, Vivoich are condemned to be burned but before that, they have the Mask of Satan banged on to their faces ; there is a close-up of the mask from the witch's viewpoint as she sees the spikes which will pierce her flesh. The mask fills the whole screen. They were due to be burnt at the stakes but the purifying flames are extinguished by a hard, (Satan's?) rainstorm.This is an important part of the plot's set-up because Asa and Vivoich's remains are extant.

Asa curses her brother and her family down through the generations and swears revenge. Asa is interred in the family chapel, eternally facing the Cross through a glass screen; Vivoich is buried unceremoniously in unconsecrated ground and thus the story unwinds on its own supernatural logic.Two centuries later, Asa's descendants still live in the same gloomy castle and we see that their world has become cold, rotten and ruinous. There is Katya, Asa's direct Christian relative, Constantine, her brother and her father the fearful holder of the principality with a small household consisting of servants like Ivan and young Boris. Near at hand is the village with its Church and the long-bearded Orthodox clergyman.

Two centuries of peace are disrupted on Black Sunday, St.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I only managed to catch up with this - on tape - a few years ago, and was distinctly impressed. This DVD issue is a feast for the fan (not unlike the BFI 'Phantom Of The Opera'), with plenty of extras.
Apparently based on a story by Gogol, it has a fairy tale quality to it that American and English movies have rarely managed to capture - the young girl watching the coach swirling through woodland, for example. It also has pace and a welcome lack of humour. It also has - need one say it - Barbara Steele. That amazing face! It must be high in the Top Ten post-war list (possibly even at Number One), together with 'City Of The Dead'/'Horror Hotel' and 'Brides Of Dracula'.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is the first time I have seen this film as "Black Sunday".Excellent Blu Ray copy,also Italian original,and Mask of Satan copy as can be found in the fabulous Bava collection dvds.In Jamaica,where I was born and raised,Black Sunday exhibited at the Regal in Kingston in 1960,but was banned in England for nine years.I first saw the film at the Academy in Brighton in 1969,under the title of "Revenge of the Vampire"(poster illustrations included in this wonderful Blu Ray collection)in a double bill with "Sting of Death"(try finding that one!!)This was the the first time the film appeared in England.I will allways remember this showing as an old lady stood up in the audience at the end of the film and shouted to the character of Asa,"Burn,you bitch!!"Charming.Excellent BluRay set,and I highly recommend it.Thank you,Amazon!Oh,and let's not forget the marvellous and seldom seen, "I Vampiri",also included in this extraordinary set!!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
There are quite some versions of Bava's masterpiece in circulation. So one should point out clearly to what edition he or she refers. In addition to the 3-disc Arrow version I own the German DVD "Die Stunde wenn Dracula kommt" and the Italian 2-disc edition from Ripley's. This review contains some objections I like to raise against the Arrow version. I refer to the original "Maschera del Demonio" or "Mask of Satan"-cut. For me the Italian soundtrack is the one to go for. First objection: the Arrow disc does not contain the original Italian credit sequence (unlike the Italian or the German disc). Second objection: occasionally the Italian soundtrack is slightly out of synch (watch the scene when Katia's father strikes a key on the piano or when Kruvajan lights a match). This doesn't occur on the Italian or the German disc. Third objection: the deleted scene with Katia and her father in the park is inserted in both the Italian and the German versions. There is a bonus feature on the Arrow disc that explains the omission, but in my opinion not entirely satisfying. The German disc has German subtitles. The Italian disc states that there are English subtitles but though there is a free subtitle track I haven't been able to activate it. I don't regret having bought the Arrow disc. Concerning the picture quality its version of "I Vampiri" is better than the one on the Image DVD. But I have to keep the Italian (for the docu "Mario Bava Maestro of the Macabre") and the German discs.
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By Max VINE VOICE on 9 July 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of classic cinema, or old horror films then this is a must. The Mask Of Satan (or Black Sunday) is Mario Bava's first film and it's an amazing debut. This is gothic horror at it's best, it just looks stunning. On such a tight budget Bava made a film that will stay in the memory long after it's watched. Barbara Steele looks so seductive and yet creepy at the same time and really gives this film that magical/mystical edge. I feel the original Italian version is the best, though the American International edit version will feel more familiar to American horror fans (Vincent price, Roger Corman stuff etc). Whatever version you watch this is just a classic of the horror genre that can still scare to this day.
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