Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Black Sabbath (1963)

Black Sabbath (originally "I tre volti della paura", or "The three faces of fear") is three separate stories of terror, introduced by Boris Karloff. The first is "The Drop of Water".

Just as she is retiring for the evening, a chubby MILF nurse (Jacqueline Pierreux) gets a frantic call. The elderly medium who she is nursemaid for has passed away and the housekeeper wants nothing to do with preparing the body, what with her strange ways and all. So, she goes back to take care of things. While changing the clothes on the corpse, she notices a nice ring. No harm in taking a souvenir from the dead, is there? Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Part two is called "The Telephone". Hot chick (Michèle Mercier) returns home and starts receiving threatening calls from a man she knows is dead. She calls a friend she is estranged from for comfort. The friend comes over and gives her a tranquilizer to help her sleep. Dead guy pays them a visit.

Part three is "The Wurdalak", where a traveller (Mark Damon) finds a headless horseman (like on the poster, except he was very dead), removes a knife from his back (thus contaminating the crime scene), and visits a local inn. There he learns all about the terrible wurdalak (or "vampire") that has been terrorizing the village. Dad (Boris, again) went out to kill him (apparently successfully) but warned that if he returned even a minute past 10 PM on the fifth day that he too would be a wurdalak. So, pops returns a minute past 10 on the fifth day and is acting strange. Our traveller has other things on his mind, principally hot sister Sdenka (Susy Andersen).

There are differences between the American version and the original Italian. In "The Telephone", for "a man she knows is dead" substitute "a man she thinks is in jail", for "friend she is estranged from" substitute "lesbian lover", and "hot chick" you can substitute "whore". Really makes no difference to the story, agree? Must protect our delicate American sensibilities.

Karloff's introductions were rather comedic in nature and apparently were much longer when filmed, but AIP decided to cut them. The metal band got their name from this movie's title because there were more people in line to see it than their show. The American title itself was an homage to Black Sunday, Mario Bava's masterpiece. I'm just thankful they didn't title it Black, Sabbath, Black.

Not bad. Atmospheric and good looking, and the segments weren't long enough to become tedious. One more interesting piece of trivia: This is the only film where Boris Karloff appears as a vampire (or "Wurdalak"). AMRU 3.
"What's the matter, woman? Can't I fondle my own grandson?"

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