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Black Sunday (1960)

La maschera del demonio (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror | 15 February 1961 (USA)
Trailer
3:27 | 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 »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barbara Steele ... Princess Asa Vajda / Katia 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 ... Constantine Vajda
Antonio Pierfederici Antonio Pierfederici ... Priest
Tino Bianchi Tino Bianchi ... Ivan - Manservant
Clara Bindi Clara Bindi ... Innkeeper
Mario Passante ... Nikita - Coachman
Renato Terra Renato Terra ... Boris - Stablehand
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

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

Only the third horror film produced in Italy in the sound era (Mussolini banned the genre during his dictatorship). 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

[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 »

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

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.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the three or four best horror movies ever made!
10 September 2002 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

'Black Sunday's reputation grows with every year that passes, and watching it it's no wonder why! It is not only one of the three or four best horror movies ever made, it is one of the most extraordinary movies of any genre I've ever seen. Mario Bava went on to direct several movies of note after this, but if he hadn't and this was the only movie he made, he would still be a legend. On a relatively small budget, but with buckets of talent, style and originality, Bava conjured up one of the most atmospheric and haunting movies of all time. He may not be the household name he deserves to be, but he is a film makers film maker with an enormous influence on not only subsequent Italian horror giants Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, but directors as diverse as Tim Burton (who rates this as an all time favourite) and even Martin Scorsese. 'Black Sunday' will also be remembered as one of Barbara Steele's most memorable roles. Steele is best known for her work in 60s European horror movies, but in her career worked with everyone from Fellini to Cronenberg. If she is to be remembered for only one movie it will be this one. Steele was one of the most beautiful actresses to ever set foot in front of a camera, and it is impossible to imagine anyone else in the lead (duel) role. The supporting cast is fine, and includes the fondly remembered John Richardson ('One Million Years B.C.'), but this is Steele's show all the way. 'Black Sunday' is still fresh and exciting over forty years after it was originally released. A landmark movie that deserves to be watched again and again!


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