Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


BLACK SABBATH (aka I tre volti della paura/1963). Director: Mario Bava.

A trio of horror stories from the director of Blood and Black Lace. In "The Telephone" a young lady is bedeviled by an old boyfriend who escaped from jail, or is it really a woman friend [or lover] who is causing the turmoil behind the scenes? This segment is interesting but half-baked, bordering on stupid. In the best and second segment, "The Wurdalak," starring Boris Karloff and Mark Damon, a family must wonder if their returning patriarch has become a vampire. The best scene has a dead little boy crying out pathetically for his grieving mother. In the final sequence, "The Drop of Water," a woman steals a ring from a hideous corpse that haunts her. Like most of Bava's films, the art direction is excellent, but sometimes the garish color works against the film's atmosphere. Frankly, the first and third sections should have been dropped and the middle segment expanded into a full-length feature.

Verdict: One out of three ain't bad. **1/2.


dj Buddy Beaverhausen said...

Saw this at a drive-in as a kid & it scared the shit outta me, esp. the Karloff episode & the one about stealing the ring off the corpse. Very Euro, pretty much dated, but I'd play it at Halloween for camp value.

William said...

Aside from watching the DVD, I last saw it when my college film club showed it at our famous annual Halloween bash -- which always ended with out having to clean up the puke caused by some students' over-indulgence in our special spiked punch!