IMDb > Black Sunday (1960)
La maschera del demonio
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Black Sunday (1960) More at IMDbPro »La maschera del demonio (original title)

Photos (See all 8 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Black Sunday -- US Theatrical Trailer from Paralta

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   7,397 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Ennio De Concini (screenplay) &
Mario Serandrei (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Black Sunday on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 February 1961 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
STARE INTO THESE EYES... discover deep within them the unspeakable terrifying secret of BLACK SUNDAY... it will paralyze you with fright! See more »
Plot:
A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess... See more » | Full synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(115 articles)
The Definitive Foreign Language Horror Films: 30-21
 (From SoundOnSight. 22 July 2014, 5:53 PM, PDT)

A Destitute Waif
 (From MUBI. 30 June 2014, 6:32 AM, PDT)

Win The Pit and the Pendulum on Blu-ray Steelbook
 (From HeyUGuys. 14 May 2014, 11:24 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Vintage Bava See more (99 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Barbara Steele ... Katia Vajda / Princess Asa Vajda (as Barbara Steel)

John Richardson ... Dr. Andre Gorobec
Andrea Checchi ... Dr. Thomas Kruvajan
Ivo Garrani ... Prince Vajda
Arturo Dominici ... Igor Javutich / Javuto
Enrico Olivieri ... Prince Constantine Vajda
Antonio Pierfederici ... Priest
Tino Bianchi ... Ivan
Clara Bindi ... Inn Keeper
Mario Passante ... Nikita, the Coachman
Renato Terra ... Boris
Germana Dominici ... Sonya, the Innkeeper's Daughter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Gonneau ... English language narration (uncredited)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Mario Bava 
 
Writing credits
Ennio De Concini (screenplay) &
Mario Serandrei (screenplay)

Nikolai Gogol (short story) (as Nikolaj Gogol)

Mario Bava  uncredited
Marcello Coscia  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... executive producer (U.S. version)
Massimo De Rita .... producer
Lou Rusoff .... producer (US version)
 
Original Music by
Les Baxter (US version)
Roberto Nicolosi 
 
Cinematography by
Mario Bava 
 
Film Editing by
Mario Serandrei 
 
Production Design by
Giorgio Giovannini 
 
Set Decoration by
Nedo Azzini 
 
Costume Design by
Tina Grani  (as Tina Loriedo Grani)
 
Production Management
Paolo Mercuri .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Vana Caruso .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Robert Sherwood .... sound: US version
 
Special Effects by
Eugenio Bava .... sculptor: masks and faces (uncredited)
Mario Bava .... matte paintings (uncredited)
Mario Bava .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ubaldo Terzano .... camera operator
 
Music Department
Al Simms .... music coordinator (US version)
Luigi Urbini .... conductor (as Pierluigi Urbini)
 
Other crew
Armando Govoni .... production secretary
George Higgins .... dialogue director: US version (as George Higgins III)
Flaminia Jandolo .... voice dubbing: Clara Bindi
Lee Kresel .... dubbing director (US version)
Bona Magrini .... script supervisor
Lidia Simoneschi .... voice dubbing: Barbara Steele (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"La maschera del demonio" - Italy (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
87 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:18 | Australia:MA | Australia:M (TV rating) | Finland:(Banned) (1963) (original rating) | Finland:K-18 (1963) (re-rating) | France:U | Italy:VM18 | Italy:T (DVD) | Sweden:15 | UK:15 (1986) | UK:(Banned) (1961) | USA:Unrated
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The U.S. version released by American International has a replacement score by Les Baxter. Although Baxter is given sole credit, his score actually contains themes from Roberto Nicolosi's original score.See more »
Goofs:
Miscellaneous: In the opening credits, Barbara Steele's name is misspelled as Barbara Steel.See more »
Quotes:
[Andre expresses regret that he and superior, Dr. Kruvajan, will be late and miss the opening address at a medical conference in St. Petersburg]
Dr. Thomas Kruvajan:My son, how long have you been a doctor?
Dr. Andre Gorobec:Three years. I've been with you for two.
Dr. Thomas Kruvajan:When you've been in this business as long as I have, you'll learn to take the speeches at all of these medical conferences with a grain of salt.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Girl Ghouls (1996) (V)See more »

FAQ

How is Asa awakened?
Is 'Black Sunday' based on a book?
Is 'Viy' available to read online?
See more »
22 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Vintage Bava, 14 January 2007
Author: Camera Obscura from The Dutch Mountains

BLACK Sunday (Mario Bava - Italy 1960).

Mario Bava's first feature as a director (although he did uncredited directorial work before), this classic and extremely influential piece of Gothic horror really showed his cinematographic talent in creating a haunting and stylishly shot film. "Black Sunday" also catapulted Barbara Steele to horror stardom and would make her into the undisputed horror queen of the sixties. Bava based "Mask of Satan", as the film was originally titled, on the short story "Vij" by the Russian author Gogol, which he adapted into a homage to the early Universal horror pictures he loved so much. Barbara Steele is the beautiful 17th century witch princess Asa, who is a vampire, and her lover Juvato (Arturo Dominici), are put to death by her vengeful brother. He has iron masks with spikes on the inside placed on both their faces and then sledgehammered home (the brutal opening scene). Two hundred years later, blood is accidentally spilled on Asa's face and she rises from the dead along with Juvato to wreak revenge on the descendants of those who executed her - including her look-alike Katia, also played by Barbara Steele.

Beautifully shot in black and white by Bava himself, "Black Sunday" is a perfect showcase of his masterful control of light and shade, of colour and movement (yes, one can play with "shades of colour" in black and white) and playful camera angles, it's a feast for the eye. At heart Bava would always remain the cinematographer he always was and in all his films he took an active role in the design of each image by setting up the lighting, the optical effects, the filters etc. The film abounds in old-fashioned horror atmosphere and in that department, it even manages to top the atmosphere of the Universal horror classics it was based on with gnarled tree branches, fogbound sets, a decaying castle, a dark foreboding crypt and much more.

Of course, Bava's is well known for letting stylistic innovations take precedent over storytelling and most other things involved, like acting. Much of the script was reworked during shooting and even in post-production. Barbara Steele reportedly never even saw a script and got some pages every day of shooting. Variations of the story has been told many times in one way or another and there are more than a few echoes of Murnau's Nosferatu here. Much of the story is too derivative to begin with, and has become too formularised in subsequent years to retain much of its original power, just as the film's capacity to scare or excite audiences has probably worn out a little over the years. It doesn't really matter, because the film was chopped to pieces for over four decades and the habit of Italian filmmakers of post-synchronizing all the voices (even for Italian versions) made anything in that department a pretty dire affair anyway.

What Bava added however was some substantially more explicit violence and gore, laced with sexual connotations. The opening scene in which the mask is sledgehammered to Barbara Steele's face still packs quite a wallop, not to mention the effect it must have had on audiences back then. Still, horror fans can't really afford to miss this quintessential Bava piece, but watch it for the splendid cinematography and Bava's unique ways of visual wizardry.

Camera Obscura --- 7/10

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (99 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Black Sunday (1960)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Is this the movie........(POSSIBL E SPOILER ALERT!) necoleman
Other recommendations? istvitusi
I felt like I was watching something from MST3K... ActJef1077
Favorite scariest scene marilynn25
the ageing effect A-Guna14
At one time, Tim Burton wanted to remake this tribblechomper
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The City of the Dead The Bloodstained Shadow The Brothers Grimm Short Night of Glass Dolls Ghost Stories
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Horror section IMDb Italy section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.