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.
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
STARE INTO THESE EYES... discover deep within them the unspeakable terrifying secret of BLACK SUNDAY... it will paralyze you with fright!
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Did You Know?
was a big fan of Nikolay Gogol
's short story, "Viy," on which this film's plot and characters are based. Bava recounted that he often used to read the story to his children and that the tale scared them so much that they insisted on sleeping in bed with their father. Bava so admired the horror elements of "Viy" that when was given the chance to choose the material for a film he was to direct, he immediately selected Gogol's story in order to make this film. See more
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
Dr. Andre Gorobec
You must always have faith, in yourself, in life.
Princess Asa Vajda
In life? What is my life? Sadness and grief. Something that destroys itself day by day, and no one can rebuild it. Here is the very image of my life. Look at it. It's being consumed hour by hour like this garden, abandoned to a purposeless existence.
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
This film has been shown in the United States in four (five counting the TV version) different versions.
- BLACK SUNDAY (84 minutes)distributed by American International Pictures. This U.S. version features a more dramatic dubbing job recorded in the U.S. and a new score by Les Baxter to replace the original score. Further edits to this version were used to create the 16mm U.S. television syndication version.
- REVENGE OF THE VAMPIRE The long delayed British version is a different cut that features the original English language dubbing recorded in Italy and the original Italian score by Roberto Nicolosi.
- THE MASK OF SATAN (87 minutes) The complete version of the film featuring the original English language dubbing recorded in Italy and the original Italian score by Roberto Nicolosi. This is usually referred to as the "European Version."
- LA MASCHERA DEL DEMONIO (85 minutes) Not the original Italian version as you might expect from the title. The main title is video generated (in bright red) and superimposed over the black and white film. The film uses the original English language dubbing recored in Italy. The score is a mixture of both the original Italian (Roberto Nicolosi) and U. S. (Les Baxter) scores.