7.1/10
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112 user 120 critic

Black Sabbath (1963)

I tre volti della paura (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror | 6 May 1964 (USA)
Boris Karloff hosts a trio of horror stories concerning a stalked call girl, a vampire-like monster who preys on his family, and a nurse who is haunted by her ring's rightful owner.

Director:

Mario Bava

Writers:

Anton Chekhov (freely adapted from three stories by) (as Cechov), Aleksei Tolstoy (freely adapted from three stories by) (as Tolstoi) | 4 more credits »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Michèle Mercier ... Rosy (segment "Il telefono")
Lidia Alfonsi ... Mary (segment "Il telefono") (as Lydia Alfonsi)
Boris Karloff ... Gorca (segment "I Wurdalak")
Mark Damon ... Vladimir D'Urfe (segment "I Wurdalak")
Susy Andersen ... Sdenka (segment "I Wurdalak")
Massimo Righi ... Pietro (segment "I Wurdalak")
Rika Dialyna ... Maria (segment "I Wurdalak") (as Rica Dialina)
Glauco Onorato ... Giorgio (segment "I Wurdalak")
Jacqueline Pierreux ... Helen Chester (segment "La goccia d'acqua")
Milly ... The Maid (segment "La goccia d'acqua") (as Milly Monti)
Harriet Medin ... Neighbor (segment "La goccia d'acqua")
Gustavo De Nardo ... Police Inspector (segment "La goccia d'acqua")
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Storyline

A trio of atmospheric horror tales about: A woman terrorized in her apartment by phone calls from an escaped prisoner from her past; a Russian count in the early 1800s who stumbles upon a family in the countryside trying to destroy a particularly vicious line of vampires; and a 1900-era nurse who makes a fateful decision while preparing the corpse of one of her patients - an elderly medium who died during a seance. Written by scgary66

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most gruesome day in the calendar! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Telephone" segment is one of the earliest example of a Giallo, a thriller/horror sub genre that were to be popularized by Dario Argento's "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage". See more »

Goofs

When Vladimir suggests to Sdenka that they sleep in the convent, the shot ends with him smiling, but the next shot there is no smile on his face. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boris Karloff: Come closer, please! I've something to tell you. Ladies and gentlemen, how do you do? This is BLACK SABBATH. You are about to see three tales of terror... and the supernatural. I do hope you haven't come alone. As you will see from one of our tales, vampires - wurdulaks - abound everywhere. Is that one, sitting behind you now? You can't be too careful, you know. They look perfectly normal, and indeed they are. Except... they only drink the blood of those whom they love the best. Ah...
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Alternate Versions

As documented by Tim Lucas (in Video Watchdog #5), the order of the segments was rearranged by AIP for the English-language release. The original ordering was: "The Telephone," "The Wurdalak," and "The Drop of Water." In addition, "The Telephone" was re-dubbed and slightly re-cut by Bava at AIP's request to create a supernatural angle and disguise the lesbian overtones of the story. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dark Dimensions See more »

User Reviews

 
Great, atmospheric horror anthology. A must for Italian horror buffs.
18 February 2005 | by capkronosSee all my reviews

Originally titled I TRE VOLTI DELLA PAURA (THREE FACES OF FEAR), this horror anthology made it to the U.S. with a new title to remind viewers of how good Bava's BLACK Sunday (1960) was. It also gained an excellent Les Baxter soundtrack and Boris Karloff as a host, though the tales were reversed in order and the strong lesbian subtext of one segment and some violence were omitted, but that's good ole' American censorship for you (both have since been restored, anyway). In any case, this anthology is a classic of its kind.

"Drop of Water" (based on a story by Checkov) is a chilling tale of a nurse (Jacqueline Pierreux) who gets her just desserts after stealing a diamond ring from the hideous-looking corpse of a psychic. "The Telephone" (based on a story by F.G.Snyder) was the least satisfying of the bunch for me personally, yet is still above average. In it, a lascivious, unstable and bisexual young beauty (Michele Mercier) receives threatening phone calls that seem to be coming from a man who has a personal vendetta against her. Final tale is "The Wurdalak," which was based on a Tolstoy. Boris Karloff stars as Gorca, a man turned into a vampire by the curse of Wurdalak, which makes him attack and kill only those he loves (namely his extended family, including child). It's astonishing to look at and very suspenseful. All three are colorfully, creatively done, drenched in Bava's trademark rich atmosphere and bring something a little different to the table. "Drop" (last in the Italian version) has the most chilling central image, "Wurdulak" (middle in the Italian version) has the boldest color palette and most vivid art direction and "Telephone" (first in the Italian version) is a very early giallo. Horror regulars Mark Damon (from Corman's HOUSE OF USHER), Massimo Righi and Harriet White Medin (usually typecast as a stern housekeeper in Italian horror films) co-star in this one.

Score: 8 out of 10 (only because I'm reserving a point until I get to watch the original Italian version).


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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

6 May 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Sabbath See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (Pathécolor: US version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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