7.1/10
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97 user 125 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 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 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:

A story that goes beyond the boundaries of the Supernatural to the half-world of the living dead... Where a woman's soul inhabits a fly's body... where vampires suck only the blood of those they love dearest. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | USA

Language:

Italian | English

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)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the only film in which horror icon Boris Karloff plays a vampire. See more »

Goofs

In the AIP version of "The Telephone" segment, when the ghost letter is being written, you see 2 fingers holding the paper. When it cuts to Rosy's reaction, she is holding the letter with both hands. 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...
See more »

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

Featured in A Life in Film (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Horror classic full of thrills, chills, and suspenseful by the master Mario Bava
12 December 2008 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This terrifying film plenty of vampires,weird deeds and murders is formed by three stories proceeded in some memorably horrific set-pieces: 1) The telephone by author Snyder : A prostitute(Michele Mercier) terrorized in her flat by phone calls from a broken-out inmate(Milo Quesada) receives visit her lover(Lidia Alfonsi). 2)The Wurdalak by Aleksey Tolstoi: In a night of nightmare during the early 1800s, a Russian noble(Mark Damon, usual in Spaghetti Western)and a family(exceptional Boris Karloff, a gorgeous Susy Andersen, and Massimo Roghi) stumble a vampires who must kill those love and go after their descendants; the undead vampires of hell terrorize the house in a orgy of stark horror. 3)The drop of water by Chekhov: In the early 1900s, a nurse(Jacqueline Pierreux, mother of actor Jean Pierre Leaud, 400 blows) steals a ring from a medium dead and she seeks avenge, then a ghastly specter arises, exacting cruel revenge for past robbery.

Bava's second great hit(the first was Black Sunday or Mask of the demon) surprisingly realized with startling visual content and well scripted by Marcello Fondato and Albert Bevilacqua. This omnibus terror is plenty of thrills and chills in glimmer color in lurid paste with sensational results. This genuinely creepy tale is photographed by Ubaldo Terzano and Bava with magentas , shades of ochre,translucently pale turquoises and deep orange-red reflecting paleness the victims. Eerie and suspenseful musical score by Roberto Nicolisi, though in American version is composed by Lex Baxter, Corman's usual.The motion picture is stylishly and strikingly shot by Bava, filmed in parallel orbit to those Roger Corman( Edgar Allan Poe cycle) and produced by American International(James H. Nicholson, Samuel Z. Arkoff). He along with Riccardo Freda are fundamental masters of Italian horror, in fact collaborated deeply among them, as Bava terminated two films of Freda, ¨Il Vampiri and Caltiki¨and they created the Giallo sub-genre. Rating: Good, acceptable atmospheric direction from genre master Bava, this is one more compelling horror ventures in which his camera stalks in sinister style throughout a tale with extraordinaries visual skills.A must see for terror buffs.


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