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Black Sunday (1960)

La maschera del demonio (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror | 15 February 1961 (USA)
Trailer
3:28 | Trailer

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A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.

Director:

Mario Bava

Writers:

Ennio De Concini (screenplay), Mario Serandrei (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barbara Steele ... Katia Vajda / Princess Asa Vajda (as Barbara Steel)
John Richardson ... Dr. Andrej Gorobec / Dr. Andreas Gorobec
Andrea Checchi ... Dr. Choma Kruvajan / Dr. Thomas Kruvajan
Ivo Garrani Ivo Garrani ... Prince Vajda
Arturo Dominici ... Igor Javutich / Javuto
Enrico Olivieri Enrico Olivieri ... Prince Constantine Vajda
Antonio Pierfederici Antonio Pierfederici ... Priest
Tino Bianchi Tino Bianchi ... Ivan
Clara Bindi Clara Bindi ... Innkeeper
Mario Passante ... Nikita - Coachman
Renato Terra Renato Terra ... Boris
Germana Dominici Germana Dominici ... Sonya - Innkeeper's Daughter
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Storyline

In the Seventeenth Century, in Maldavia, Princess Asa Vajda and her lover Javutich (Arturo Dominici) are killed by the local population, accused of witchcraft. A mask of Satan is attached to their faces. Princess Asa curses her brother, promising revenge to his descents. The body of Javutich is buried outside the cemetery, and the coffin of Princess Asa is placed in the family's tomb with a cross over it for protection. Two hundred years later, Professor Thomas Kruvajan and his assistant, Dr. Andre Gorobec, are going to a congress in Russia and they accidentally find the tomb. Dr. Thomas breaks the cross, releasing the evil witch. When they are leaving the place, Dr. Andre meets Princess Katia Vajda, descendant of Princess Asa, and falls in love with her. Meanwhile, Katia is threatened by the witch, who wants to use her body to live again. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Once every 100 years the undead of hell terrorize the world in an orgy of stark horror See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

15 February 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Sunday See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Galatea Film, Jolly Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was re-released in Barcelona in 2005 (Cinemes Meliés) and Madrid in 2014 (Artistic Metropol) -1 day-. Only in subtitled version. See more »

Goofs

Andre and the priest struggle to open the graveyard gate, when they could have just gotten in by the barn where there was no fence. See more »

Quotes

Princess Asa Vajda: You did not know that you were born for this moment. You did not know that your life had been consecrated to me by Satan. But you sensed it, didn't you? You sensed it... That's why my portrait was such a temptation to you, while frightened you. You felt like your life and your body were mine. You felt like me because you were destined to become me... a useless body without life.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For "The Mask of Satan," the English language version prepared in Italy, Barbara Steele's name is listed as "Barbara Steel" on the trailer and on the credits of the film itself. See more »

Alternate Versions

La Maschera del Demonio in its Italian form has been shown on Italian television. This is the only complete, uncut version of the film which includes a scene between Ivo Garrani & Barbara Steele in an outdoor setting. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Urban Gothic (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Atmosphere so rich you can taste it
1 November 2005 | by FrankensteinsDaughterSee all my reviews

For some unknown reason, here recently I've been in the mood to watch a lot of vintage 1960s-70s Italian horror movies. Hardly any other film comes as highly recommended as Black Sunday and after viewing this incredibly moody effort, I can easily see why. It's by far one of the most beautifully photographed films I've seen of any genre. It's also one of the most atmospheric; a sense of horror and dread hang over every frame, and yet it is a film whose power does not lie entirely in the narrative. It's hidden somewhere, pretty much everywhere... in dark corners, in secret crypts, in fog, in shadows... The shots in this film are brilliantly composed. It is a true triumph for director and cinematographer Mario Bava, who provides such rich, dream-like technical depth that (pardon the cliché) this film truly does transport viewers somewhere else in time.

Even though this movie is best appreciated as an exercise in style and technique, the plot line (witch who is executed and returns centuries later to get revenge on the descendants of her executioners) is also enjoyable. So is Barbara Steele, who is ideally cast in a dual role as both the evil witch and the pure heroine. She's an actress who can switch from innocent and ravishing to hideous and horrific with the flick of an eyelash. No wonder she's considered the queen of horror. She deserves to be.


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