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The Mario Bava Collection: Volume One (Black Sunday / Black Sabbath / The Girl Who Knew Too Much / Kill Baby Kill / Knives of the Avenger) (1964)

Barbara Steele , John Richardson , Mario Bava  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani, Arturo Dominici
  • Directors: Mario Bava
  • Writers: Alberto Bevilacqua, Alberto Liberati, Aleksei Tolstoy, Eliana De Sabata, Ennio De Concini
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 430 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MV8ABI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,312 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Mario Bava Collection: Volume One (Black Sunday / Black Sabbath / The Girl Who Knew Too Much / Kill Baby Kill / Knives of the Avenger)" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Five of Mario Bava's best films are included in this box set, minus his forays into eroticism, like Blood and Black Lace. Still, the lines between sexual pathos and violence blur in these selections that influenced not only other famed directors of Giallo, such as Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, but also spawned the American golden age in horror, led by directors such as John Carpenter. Three black and white films here exemplify Bava's trademark use of chiaroscuro mixed with suspense-building cinematography first developed in early horror classics like Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. In the Hitchcock-inspired Evil Eye (1963), tourist Nora Davis (Leticia Roman) witnesses a murder but can't convince police of the crime. Kill Baby Kill! (1966) is the prototype for all little girl-ghost films. Dr. Paul Eswai (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) is recruited to solve the mystery of Villa Graps, where Baroness Graps (Giana Vivaldi) reanimates her dead daughter, Melissa, by killing innocent villagers. In Black Sunday (1960), the witch Princess Asa Vajda comes back from the dead to inhabit her look-alike, Katia, both played by Barbara Steele, the original femme fatale to which all brunette vamps, like Soledad Miranda (Vampyros Lesbos) and Elvira, are indebted.

In Technicolor, Bava's fantastically rainbow-lit films underpin the director's fascination with connections between our world and those imagined. Black Sabbath (1963) is a trilogy hosted by Boris Karloff, who also stars as a Russian vampire in its segment, "The Wurdalak." "The Telephone," and "The Drop of Water," in which a nurse, Helen Correy (Jacqueline Pierreux), steals a ring then fears that her dead medium patient seeks revenge, are acute studies of guilt and paranoia. The Viking saga, Knives of the Avenger (1966), like Bava's Hercules in the Haunted World, spawned several sword and sorcery films, while protagonist Rurik's (Cameron Mitchell's) knife-throwing is indeed entertaining. Screened back to back, these films provide evidence of Bava's influence in the horror genre. Moreover, they reveal Bava's deep understanding of horror's many facets, whether sexually, psychologically, or physically based. —Trinie Dalton

Product Description

More than a quarter of a century after his death, director Mario Bava remains one of international cinema’s most controversial icons. Today his influence — marked by stunning visuals, daring sexuality and shocking violence — can still be seen in the works of Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Tim Burton, Dario Argento and countless others in a legacy that extends far beyond the horror genre. This collection brings together 5 landmark movies from the first half of Bava’s career — encompassing the original giallo, a bold Viking epic, and his three gothic horror masterpieces — featuring new transfers, original European versions, and exclusive featurettes to create the definitive celebration of one of the most important filmmakers of all time.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bava, Bava, Bava February 5, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Mario Bava was one of the most underrated filmmakers of the 20th century -- not to mention the most versatile, turning out giallo thrillers, gothic horror, Viking action, Hercules, a Western, and even a Swinging Sixties crime caper. Five of these brilliant movies are brought together in the "Mario Bava Collection Volume 1," including one of his most famous horror movies ever.

The poorly-named "Kill Baby Kill" opens when a young woman leaps onto an iron fence. Dr. Eswai (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) is called in to do an autopsy, with the help of beautiful Monica (Erica Blanc). He finds a coin in the girl's heart, and none of the townspeople will tell him -- because if they do, they will suffer a similar fate.

He's even more annoyed when local sorceress Ruth (Fabienne Dali) begins using her powers to protect a young girl from a childlike specter -- little dead aristocrat Melissa Graps. But as the bodies pile up, and Monica is plagued by bizarre nightmares, Eswai must accept Ruth's help to save Monica from the ghost, and an evil baroness.

"Black Sunday (The Mask of Satan)" is a bizarre tale of vampirism -- evil princess Asa (Barbare Steele) and her servant were executed centuries ago, for serving the devil and all-around nastiness. As usual, she places an evil curse on the Vadja family, and vows to return one day to get revenge on them, just before being impaled by the "devil's mask," a spiked mask that kills the wearer.

But in the modern day, two doctors on their way to a convention accidentally reopen her grave, and awaken her with a drop of blood. Turns out that Asa isn't QUITE dead -- and now gaining new power, as she discovers that her distant descendent Katia Vadja is a dead ringer for her.
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50 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AAAAAAAAAGH! THE HORROR! NO US VERSIONS!!! April 2, 2007
Format:DVD
Well...........in case you didn't hear, don't have frequent Net access, or whatever. This new Bava set, cool as it is, is now no longer going to have the AIP/US cut of BLACK SABBATH. All the Net reviews of pre-release copies I have seen as of this date (4/2/07) confirm the prints on both the BLACK SABBATH & BLACK SUNDAY are cleaner prints, but essentially the same as the Image releases. I don't want to knock Anchor's restoration, but it's the same ol' same ol'....what was gonna make this set pop was the release of both versions of the films. I know there is an audio distinction to BLACK SUNDAY, but it escapes me at this second. So buyers who were looking for the OTHER variants to these specific titles like I was (I already own the original Image releases and am a semi-CASUAL Bava fan I suppose...these two films being my favorites of his), make sure you do your homework to see if the upgrade is worth it to you. Luckily, the price is somewhat cheap enough depending on where you get it (cheapest here, so far). But I was expecting to run out and get this the day of release, then saw the reviews and that basically put the fire out of my little shopping purchase. This can wait.
And before anyone screams at me for not having this in hand and 'reviewing': Hey. a lot of people were expecting BOTH versions to these films to be included, and now they're not, so this might be helpful and save some disappointment. I sure was going to be ticked off.

And the film companies wonder why the bootleg market flourishes....lol
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet Box Set April 8, 2007
Format:DVD
It's great to have all of these Mario Bava titles in one set. The transfers are really beautiful, and a revelation to those of us with memories of grainy 16mm TV prints. "Black Sunday's" monochrome atmosphere looks particularly lush in this set. "Kill Baby Kill" is a major upgrade to the crummy, desaturated DVD I have from Image.

But they really SHOULD have included BOTH US and Italian versions of the star attraction, "Black Sabbbath". Or at least cut in Karloff's actual voice to the Italian version! Why not re-edit the way it should be? I still rushed out to buy this set, but cannot give it five stars due to the pre-release publicity which stated BOTH Black Sabbath versions would be in the box set. Anchor Bay owes all of us an apology or a free DVD of the English version.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Have Knives--Will Travel ! April 16, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Unlike the other reviewers, I am not an expert on Bava's oeuvre, although I know that horror film fans respect him highly. However, I have always enjoyed the Italian "spear and sandal" epics that were popular in the late 50s and early 60s, even when the setting moved north to Scandinavia and the heroes and villains were Vikings. Of course, this is what we have here.
I really enjoyed this movie. The simple plot is very familiar--one reviewer mentioned "Shane"--Clint Eastwood's "Man-With-No-Name" persona also comes to mind. Instead of bullets, we have blades. Cameron Mitchell--not always a great actor--is very effective here as the world-weary "avenger", searching for the man who destroyed his family. The otherwise Italian cast is adequate, although--given this type of movie--the villain could have been a bit more "hissable". The action scenes are well staged, and our hero's knife-throwing prowess certainly gets the viewer's attention.
What impressed me the most ? This film has a great "look"--it is beautifully photographed, which I understand is a Bava trademark.
The DVD exhibits a gorgeous picture, and it is widescreen, both of which add much to the viewer's enjoyment. I have seen other Italian action pictures of the same vintage on DVD that did not exhibit such quality.
This movie is not in the same league as "The Vikings" or even "The Long Ships" ( The latter is due for release on DVD in June 2003--great news ! ) Nevertheless, with a much more modest budget and story, "Knives" is entertaining and--kudos to Mr. Bava and the people at Image--beautiful to watch.
So put on the popcorn, break out the beer, and enjoy it !
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie that inspired the great band
If you like macabre, and suspense, mixed with some sci-fi and horror, definitely check out this movie....Just don't purchase the DVD for $9. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Gregory A. Vandeventer
5.0 out of 5 stars the band black Sabbath is named after this movie
the band black Sabbath is named after this movie
Published 19 days ago by D. Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Technicolor Cheeseball Scares!
Loved this trilogy of stories presented by and featuring one of the Grand Dons of Horror, Boris Karloff. Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. S. Nash
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
Seriously, the only reason to watch this is to see Boris Karloff. No kidding, the only reason to watch this is to see Boris Karloff. Read more
Published 3 months ago by charoh
4.0 out of 5 stars Trilogy of films directed by Mario Bava
"Black Sabbath" is an anthology of films directed by Mario Bava. There are three films in all and contain an introduction by horror actor Boris Karloff, who also concludes... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Z Hayes
4.0 out of 5 stars At Long Last
Have wanted this movie in the original English Version. Has yet to materialize n DVD form. You presented the download version... It is everything I have been looking for. Read more
Published 3 months ago by saenzcat
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the Italian Horror movie box to get
Great Italian Horror movies, some of them starring Barbara Steele. Not always scary, but definitely creepy, weird, and occasionally shocking.
Published 4 months ago by Chihiro
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic horror
Classic horror anthology that relys less on gore and guts and more on being creepy. For fans of old school horror there's a lot to like here and you won't be disappointed.
Published 4 months ago by Michael
4.0 out of 5 stars Oldie but goodie
Wow I just realized that this movie was the the reason of band Black Sabbath took their name. What a great movie for an early horror movie. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Chuck
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Film
I love good, classic horror films where over-the-top special effects aren't needed. If you are fan of Boris Karloff, then you will enjoy this movie. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C I DavisWilliams
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