Sunday, April 26, 2009

Black Sunday (1960)

Bava's finest cinematic achievement combines beautiful and dark Gothic settings, impressive camera techniques, and unforgettable imagery and visual storytelling. A vampiress vows revenge after being killed by the Inquisition, only to be revived two centuries later to seek revenge! Though Bava would go on to develop even more impressive filming techniques in his later films, none recapture the perfect blend of atmosphere, acting, and set design quite like Black Sunday. Barbara Steele is haunting as the vampire Asia, and equally stunning as the princess Katia, drawing the audience in with her seducing gaze. Easily my favorite Bava film, setting the bar for all genre films to follow and rivaling even Hitchcock in style and design.

Rating: 10/10.

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  1. Nice review Carl. I've never seen this but I want to.

  2. Thank you! I love this movie; I don't think I have ever found anyone else that loved it like you do. The atmosphere is perfect; I have watched it more times than I want to admit :)

    Ah, you made my morning :)

  3. From what little of Bava's work I've seen, I've already become a fan. I've heard really good things about this movie so I'm looking forward to checking it out one day.

  4. I was completely unaware of Mario Bava until I sought him out after discovering Argento. The two Anchor Bay box sets are the absolute best buys in the world, DeepDiscount usually runs B1G1F specials for DVDs which includes the box sets so you can typically get both for $35, and it is the best money you will ever spend. Although I love Bava's slashers Blood and Black Lace and Bay of Blood for initiating the subgenre along with Psycho, and the use of explicit color from Baron Blood, Planet of the Vampires, and again in Blood and Black Lace are amazing trend setters that were later adopted by Argento, the gorgeous black and white settings in Black Sunday have always stood out the most for me. The film definitely has the most epic appeal of all of his films.

  5. I gotta agree with you, probably the most beautiful looking Black & White film I have seen. A great film, with so many stand out moments. Defo my favorite Bava flick too.

  6. I've been putting this movie off...being afraid that the film quality would be hard to sit through. Guess I'll have to check it out!

  7. Tower Farm (Billy or JM), don't let the quality put you off. It's great.

    Nice to see a classic review up. I have one of the Bava box sets and it's all quite enjoyable, though this is by far one of his best.

    i found the opening scene most impressive :)


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