I'm almost ashamed to admit that I never saw 'Black Sunday' (or 'The Mask of' Satan' depending on which region of the world you are in apparantly), especially since this is considered to be Mario Bava's debut film. Luckily it was available at a dutch horror movie channel so....about time I made up.
The story in itself is quite simple - a witch, Asa Vajda, and her consort Javutich are being sentenced to death by her brother, but not before vowing revenge and placing a curse on her own lineage. Afterwards both get a mask (awesome design btw) hammered into their face, before being buried. Forward 200 years and the witch is accidently awoken by Dr. Kruvajan, who is travelling with his colleague Dr. Gorobec, while their coachdriver is fixing the wheel of their transport. Obviously this spells much doom & gloom for the current lineage of the witches heir who now live in a nearby castle, the doctors and the entire village.
What is really amazing is how well they managed to restore this movie to current standards. Everything is in black & white but the contrast is perfect and the image quality (save for the odd scratch here and there) absolutely stunning. Which brings me to the second thing I loved, namely the scenery - from old, dusty crypts to castle hallways or even the village itself - it all still looks great and often more intriguing than modern depictions of these ages and buildings. And three? Yup. No guesses. Barbara Steele as both the witch and her current incarnation Princess Asa. She pulls off both innocent and sad as well as evil and manages to be attractive in both of her roles for different reasons.
Well...I'm glad to finally have seen the movie and it's quite amazing how well it holds up, even 60 years after release. I'd say definitely another classic.
#blacksunday #themaskofsatan #lamascheradeldemonio #mariobava #horrormovies #horror #barbarasteele - 8 days ago