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Black Sunday: Remastered Edition


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Black Sunday
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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Steele
  • Directors: Mario Bava
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Black & White, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2012
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008BWFOXM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,698 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In Mario Bava's gothic horror masterpiece steeped in rich atmosphere, condemned witch Princess Asa (Barbara Steele) returns from the dead two centuries after her execution and wreaks vengeance on her killers' family. Possessing the body of a descendant who happens to look just like her, Asa pulls out all the stops to exact her revenge. This is Bava's credited directorial debut, and it catapulted Steele and him to stardom.

Customer Reviews

This film is one of the best horror films I have ever watched.
A. Onofrey
This is a true horror movie with a gothic atmosphere that Bava's later color films lacked.
Christopher Joyce
All this makes one wonder exactly how much time went into this?
A Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on October 26, 2003
Format: DVD
Italian director Mario Bava exploded onto the horror scene with the wonderful black and white film "Black Sunday," also known as "The Mask of Satan" (a title I prefer because it does such a better job describing the movie). This picture borrows heavily from a Nikolai Gogol short story called "The Vij," and while I am not familiar with the story, the movie succeeds fantastically at conveying a bleak atmosphere of horror. "The Mask of Satan" was Bava's official directorial debut, giving viewers a chance to see the genius that was to come from this excellent filmmaker. Bava didn't merely direct films, however. He also worked on all aspects of movie making during his long career. The director even helped his son cut his teeth in the business immediately before his death in 1980. Fans will miss Bava terribly after viewing just a few of his films, as he was one of those rare Italian horror directors who could truly deliver the goods.
"Black Sunday," set in Romania, opens at an unspecified date in the seventeenth century. Some of the local nobles decide to get together and roast a couple of Satan's followers, but this barbecue bears a special meaning for the House of Vajda because one of its own is on the spit. The beautiful Princess Asa Vajda fell under the evil spell of the dark one, along with her unseemly lover Javutich, and both now face a painful execution. In order to insure that these two sullied creatures wear the mark of their crimes, Asa's own brother orders a metal mask of Satan nailed to their faces. Unfortunately for the Vajda family, Asa casts a curse on the family immediately before her execution, promising to come back from the dead and plague her relatives throughout the centuries.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2000
Format: DVD
Black Sunday is an engrossing, well-crafted, and suprisingly beautiful horror film. This DVD is testament to that fact and a sharp back-handed slap at those who automatically dismiss genre movies as trash. The respect Black Sunday and director Mario Bava are given is long overdue.
I won't bore you with tedious plot summarys. All I will tell you is that if you haven't seen Black Sunday, you must, and that if you have seen it, you must see it again in this presentation (because you've been missing plenty both in content and quality).
Presented in its origanal 1:66:1 theatrical aspect ratio, viewers for the first time can see this classic in ALL its macabre glory. The image quality is absolutely astounding when one compares it to the VHS editions floating around. The audio is also presented in pristine condition gaurenteed to sound excellent in any stereo thanks to the various formats.
All this makes one wonder exactly how much time went into this? If Video Watchdog editor/publisher Tim Lucas's liner notes and commentary are any indication, then the answer has to be a lot! Both are well-informed and thorougly entertaining.
It is a wonderful feeling to know that someone took the time to give you your money's worth -- that is exactly what the people behind this gorgeous DVD have done.
As an avid fan of the writings of Tim Lucas, I would like to strongly encourage fans of Mario Bava and like-minded artists to check out his magazine, Video Watchdog and his post-modernistic vampire novel, Throat Sprockets.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By chad edwards on October 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Italy produced many creepy horror efforts of the '60's, but this is the most effective by far. From its ominous opening to its fiery finish, BLACK SUNDAY is a terrifying cinematic experience. The hauntingly beautiful Barbara Steele, who went on to become Italy's foremost Scream Queen, plays a dual role: a lovely virginal princess, and a wicked witch who returns from the grave to seek vengeance on the descendants of those who burned her at the stake over a hundred years before. Steele is strikingly effective in both roles, and the mysterious Gothic atmosphere is both sinister and beautiful. The film was shot in gorgeous black and white, and it just wouldn't look right any other way. This was also the directorial debut of Mario Bava who, like Steele, would become a crucial name in '60's Italian scare flicks. Horror fans just won't be able to do any better than this!
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Paul Kesler on May 18, 2000
Format: DVD
Actually, my rating for this DVD version of "Black Sunday" would be 5 stars for the video transfer, 5 stars for Bava's cinematography (seen here like never before), 2 stars for the audio transfer, and 3 stars for the overall quality of the film itself. Bava was not a great director, and didn't like to be called a "cinematographer," but this film really is a painting in motion: every scene is a paradigm of Gothicism -- the cinematic equivalent of Gustave Dore. Like other
reviewers, I was floored by the print used for this disc: it looks, almost literally, like it was shot yesterday, and it's almost impossible to believe the film is almost 40 years old. If there are other films from this era that look this pristine, I haven't seen them. My only quarrel with the disc has to do with the dubbing. In all honesty, I feel this film sports one of the worst American dubbing jobs ever performed on a film, and the big question (which neither Tim Lucas nor anyone else seems to have raised)is this: WHERE is the original Italian-language version of "Black Sunday," and why wasn't an attempt made to give us the original dialogue with OPTIONAL English subtitles? Mr. Lucas would have us believe that this DVD was the original version, but obviously the entire cast is speaking Italian (duhhh - why else would you have to dub in English?). So, yes, I'm thrilled to have this beautiful print, but hopefully in the future we'll get the original Italian dialogue and not have to endure the abominable dubbing...
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