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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 May 2013
Black Sabbath is a stunning horror anthology from Mario Bava (Black Sunday).

Boris Karloff presents three stories of the macabre which are all shot in luscious colour with beautiful set and costume design.
'Telephone' is a tense giallo thriller where a call girl is hounded by threatening calls from her ex pimp. This is a scary economic thriller with a good twist.
'Wuldavak' is an excellent twist on the vampire genre with Karloff at his most menacing. The photography is beautiful and the horror is really melodramatic in this one. It's lovely.
'Drop of Water' is about a nurse who tries to steal the ring off a dead witch's finger. This is scary and nicely builds to a shocking climax.

Arrow's release has 3 discs: 1 blu-ray and 2 DVDs.

On the blu-ray: Italian and rare American versions of the film both in 1080 HD. They look brilliant, much better than ever before. LPCM mono, optional English subtitles. Audio commentary by Tim Lucas and half hour featurette on the differences between the two films.

On the DVDs: all of the above plus interview with co star Mark Damon, trailers and introduction by Alan Jones.

Also includes double sided cover and collector booklet with archive interviews.

A superb purchase for any horror fan.

Blu-ray is region B. DVDs are region 2.
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on 5 March 2004
Black Sabbath is a magnificent film, whether dubbed or subtitled, and I can't disagree more with the other reviewer. The DVD transfer is astonishingly detailed, and adds far more than it detracts: the film is shown in the correct sequence for one thing, and the (new) opening story is uncut and finally makes sense. Perhaps best of all is the newly restored versions of 'The Wurdalak' and 'The Drop of Water', each of which throw up more shadows and atmosphere than in almost any other colour horror film. Bava himself often spoke of this as his masterpiece and it is easy to see why. The issue of subtitling is, of course, one of personal taste but it's only fair to point out that originally only one of the three stories was filmed in English, and therefore the original GB theatrical release suffered from appalling dubbing, which (to my mind) can be just as annoying. Admittedly it's a bit strange to hear Boris Karloff spouting Italian but, that aside, the subtitles don't make too much of a difference. Black Sabbath really is a masterful film, even the English language version is good (and has some extra Karloff introductions) but the picture quality is nowhere near as detailed. The DVD version is truly like looking at a new film. If you don't mind subtitles (in fact even if you do) you should treat yourself to this astonishing collection of horror.
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on 16 May 2013
What a quality film!!! Three stories The Telephone, Wurdalak and Drop of Water. Arrow here present a glorious hd master of two versions of the film, The Italian version with English subs and the American International Pictures dubbed release. The stories run in different order depending on which version of the film you watch, with different introductions by Karloff, different editing, different scores (as usual Les Baxter takes the helm on the AIP release), also with the story "The Telephone" the versions differ in the sense that the AIP version offers a more supernatural take as opposed to the more giallo flavour of the Italian version. There are also different colour gradings on each of the versions which were undertaken by the studios themselves. I cant recommend this film (and edition) enough. The extras here are good also, although not a comprehensive list are split over 3 discs which is a little annoying but I understand why that is done. The best of these imo is the side by side comparison of the two versions of the film. Its easy to see what the differences are and believe me there are plenty. The "Telephone" and "Drop of Water" work very well as short stories, but its "the Wurdalak" a Russian vampire tale by Tolstoy which would have deserved to have been a film to itself. I loved it. Arrow presents the bd/hd with an extremely good hd master, the Italian version slightly better in terms of clean up as the AIP has a few specks and scratches occasionally. Reversible sleeve art too. Overall another excellent release by Arrow.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 October 2015
This is a brilliant release from Arrow. You get three discs, a nice little booklet plus a revisable cover.

Black Sabbath is about three story's which are introduced by the legend Boris Karloff. The first story is about a haunting which was very good, the second is about a stalker, and to be honest with you this was the poorest story of the three, but the last story which did star Boris Karloff was the best which was about vampires.

And what I loved about the first and third story's was the creepy colourful sets which makes the Blu-ray very nice, it gets a 4/5 from me. All in all a nice release from Arrow and anything with the legend Boris Karloff in ticks my box.
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on 21 September 2013
what do you get when you have a movie made with three story a few actors and no blood the answer is a fantastic one at least when mario bava makes it.this movie was made very soon after black sunday and called black sabbath in the states to cash in on sundays box office hit.what we have here is a 3 disc set which is full of extras other companys take note and both the american and italian version.i saw this movie just after it came out in the 60s and have loved it ever since and have it on dvd italian version only of course. but after this arrow release will be getting rid of the dvd .this blu-ray shows bava fantastic use of light and color and its a must for horror fans.please arrow can we have bava planet of the vampires lets hope so keep up the good work arrow
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on 29 November 2014
I grew up with the AIP (US) version of this film and loved it. The Italian version isn't bad but I couldn't stand losing the great voice of Boris Karloff. The Arrow version supplies both releases and it was my first non USA blu ray purchase. It was the release of the year for me. Thank you Arrow!
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on 19 June 2013
Once again, as previously stated in my other reviews, I seen this film when I was little but the memory is still haunting and lingers on, hence when it is available in Blu-ray I have no hesitation but to add this Mario Bava's trilogy film to my collection. The transfer is ok taking into account that this film is over 40 year old! The film looked dated, however the 2 main features Wurdulak and The Drop of Water are watchable and atmospheric. Brilliant for its time. I may be wrong but I could have sworn that a scene when Boris Karloff was walking in the surreal countryside carrying 3 decapitated heads(in Wurdulak)is missing! Maybe my childhood memory is playing tricks, then maybe there was such a scene. And don't forget you get 3 dics in the package. Only negative point is the art cover .......... cheap and awful.
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on 12 June 2013
I am very impressed with what video review sites have said about the Arrow presentations of both Black Sabbath and Black Sunday, and they are first-rate transfers, along with a generous amount of extras. Now, if only those of us in the States can get these fine titles from Arrow in a region-free release, as apparently they have some region-free titles in their catalog. I e-mailed Arrow with no response on that query. Would consider investing in a region-free blu-ray player, but there are but few that I need a player of that sort for Region "B" locked as is Black Sabbath. Will hope that this will perhaps be carried by a US distributor that offers that in our region code.
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on 28 November 2013
I believe Mario Bava is one of the most important directors to have ever graced film- and as far as I am concerned Boris Karloff is the numero uno when it comes to horror icon- even greater than Peter Cushing. And I adore horror films and all films from this time period- easily over what we have to endure with now. So just so you know, I am not criticising Black Sabbath because I need gore or torture porn, I am criticising it because in my opinion, having watched and owned thousands of horror films- Black Sabbath doesn't quite cut it.

We have 3 stories here, all introduced delightfully by Boris Karloff. The first is called The Telephone- great plot in which a woman keeps receiving threatening phone calls- and that is it. A very bland segment- though the light used in this is incredibly rich giving almost a Disneyesque quality to the story. Poor story though.

The Drop of Water is more like it- a little chilling in places and this segment is by far the best of the three. I would have thought that when this was released the dead corpse would have terrified cinemagoers. Now, this isn't really the case, but it's a good enough story- though I couldn't help thinking that the dead corpse was a dead ringer for Steve Buscemi.

The final story depending on what version you have watched is The Wurdalak- a great premise and a Hammeresque gothic vampire segment. Though the acting isn't really there- only Karloff stands out here- what an actor he was. And I'm afraid the story drags on at least ten minutes too long.

All in all I found Black Sabbath to be competent enough- but hardly a classic. Dead of Night is better and though Amicus certainly had hit and misses with their anthologie series, they had a couple namely, Asylum and Tales from the Crypt, that would put Black Sabbath to bed.
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on 14 September 2013
Many people argue over which version of this film is better the English or the European . This set has both versions restored on Blu-ray so you can decide for yourself. I have an all region blu-ray player and live in the US. I love being able to watch and own both versions. If you like films of this era and genre you can't go wrong. This is the best I have seen this film ever look and I have watched it many times. Films like this is the reason I invested in a region free player.
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