Italia – 1960 – 35mm – b/n – 87’
Direction: Mario Bava
Screenplay: Ennio De Concini, Mario Serandrei, based on the short story Il Vij di by Nikolaj Gogol
Photography: Mario Bava
Editing: Mario Serandrei
Set design: Giorgio Giovannini
Music: Roberto Nicolosi
Costumes: Tina Loriedo Grani
Cast: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani, Arturo Dominici
Producers: Massimo De Rita
Production: Galatea, Jolly Film
In seventeenth-century Moldavia, witch Asa Vajda is put to death by her own brother, an inquisitor, together with her lover Igor Yavutich: as a black mark, the mask of Satan is hammered into her face. Before dying, the witch puts a curse on the entire Vajda’s descendants throughout the centuries. Two centuries later, the doctor Kruvajan and his young colleague Andrej Gorobek, traveling through those areas, without being aware, bring back to life the witch. To put into effects his revenge, Asa resuscitates Yavutich and tries with his help to take possession of the body of her descendant Katya. They are as like as two peas in a pod. But Andrej, who fell in love with the girl, tries to stop the witch’s plan.
“Bava creates a wonderful world whose laws are independent, by drawing inspiration from Gogol not so much for its story but as for its striking details, which are able to create a sui generis atmosphere (…). Besides ambiguity and allusive evocations, Black Sunday is also a film that represents the fantastic and the horror with a great tangible concreteness (…). But within the blood performance, shock is never an end in itself, supported as it is by a precise poetics: horror vision is ambivalent and is always a terrible beauty, able to attract and repel, as Asa did”.