in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 11

Black Sunday (1960)

Dir: Mario Bava
Cast: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Ivo Garrani, Arturo Dominici

(Warning: I’m Phoning it in!)
You’ve probably heard me say about a million times that the 30s was the golden age of horror, but for one little country shaped like a boot it was around the early sixties. The debut film from Italian filmmaker Mario Bava, (at least the first one credited) Black Sunday is a grisly thriller brimming with mystique. A film considered so gruesome and controversial that it was actually banned in the U.K. for eight years! But it’s not all blood and guts, Black Sunday is literally overflowing with ingenuity and impressive cinematography.

So to my memory it’s about this witch (Barbara Steele) who rises from the grave and wants to possess this beautiful woman who looks like her or something. Plot-wise I can’t recall much more except for the violent ending, which I’ll never forget. Though what I do remember is the great sets and visuals taking you all the way back to 1630.

I’ll have to keep this one brief as my memory is hazy. I just needed to fill out my 60s timeline and the sixties is kind of slim picking for great horror movies. Though Black Sunday is definitely an important film and worth mentioning, even if it was just a brief acknowledgment. I’m definitely going to have to read into this supposed “Golden Age” for Italian Horror, I mean I didn’t know there was a “Golden Age” until I wrote this review, so there in lies a possible mission this moody season.


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