organization Art Promotion

Black Sabbath


Italia – 1963 – 35mm – color – 92’


Direction: Mario Bava
Screenplay: Marcello Fondato, Alberto Bevilacqua, Mario Bava ( free adaptation based on three storie by Čechov, Tolstòj, Maupassant)
Photography: Ubaldo Terzano
Editing: Mario Serandrei
Set design: Riccardo Dominici
Music: Roberto Nicolosi
Costumes: Tina Grani
Cast: Michèle Mercier, Lydia Alfonsi, Boris Karloff, Suzy Andersen, Mark Damon, Jacqueline Pierreux
Producers: Salvatore Billitteri, Paolo Mercuri
Production: Emmepi Cinematografica, Lyre Cinematographique, Galatea



This film is centered on three episodes which are introduced by Boris Karloff. In the first, The Telephone, the young Rosy is at home alone, and threatened by telephone by a maniac and asks for help her friend Mary. In the second, The Wurdalak, Wladimiro D’urfé during his trip stops at the aged Gorka’s family, with the intention of hunting The Wurdalak, or rather the vampires infesting the area. But the man was bitten and the whole family will suffer most. In the third, The Drop of Water, the nurse Miss Chester is called to keep vigil over a passed away patient. The woman takes the opportunity to steal her ring, but the spirit of the deceased, or maybe just the suggestion, have begun to torment her.



Bava leads by example when building atmospheres by using light and colors (cobalt blue is used to depict the apparitions of the Vampires), allowing wisely the expectations to increase in order to deliver the fatal blow with moderate masterly skills. Boris Karloff gives us a memorable performance, on his terrible mask the passage of his opposing emotions, is readable: from an old loving grandfather to a bloodthirsty beast. The seventy-seven year old actor (…) doesn稚 confine itself to fish among the many characters of his repertoire a routine monster  (…), but he seems rather highly amused and happy (…) to act in a film based on Tolst, he who bestowed upon himself a Russian name. (Daniela Catelli, Ciak si trema, Theoria, Roma-Napoli, 1996)