La Maschera del demonio (Black Sunday) (House of Fright) (Mask of the Demon) (1960)
Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 19
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 3
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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 6,270
Generally considered to be the foremost example of Italian Gothic horror, this darkly atmospheric black-and-white chiller put director Mario Bava on the international map and made the bewitching Barbara Steele a star. Steele plays Princess Asa, a high priestess of Satan who is gruesomely executed in 1600s Moldavia by having a spiked mask hammered into her face. Before she dies, Asa vows revenge on the family who killed her and returns from the grave two centuries later to keep her promise. In a
Dec 31, 1960 Wide
Dec 14, 1999
American International Picture
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The visual style still impresses, but the story beneath it has become too formularised for the film to retain all its original power.
It will leave its audiences yearning for that quiet, sunny little motel in Psycho.
A tremendous start to what would end up being one of the most brilliant careers in all of horror.
Bava's sumptuous visuals remain, with the director innovative in his employment of multiple side lights to give scenes a luminous quality and make playful use of shadows.
Bava and his crew's employment of unique camera angles, heavily atmospheric sets and startling moments of violence combine to create a trendsetting picture that has influenced generations of filmmakers (including Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton).
Although Italian director Bava is somewhat overrated, this is his one undisputed masterpiece.
...a melodramatic, thoroughly overwrought horror flick that's aged incredibly poorly in the years since its 1960 release.
Though shot in black-and-white, it demonstrates Bava's extraordinary skill with light and motion and shadow, used to suggest unholy things.
The most influential figure in Italian exploitation horror movies would never again match the success of this venture.
The gorgeous black-and-white imagery is so remarkable that it overrides the bad acting, barely coherent story and the awful dialogue.
Visually stunning, black and white creeper.
Audience Reviews for La Maschera del demonio (Black Sunday) (House of Fright) (Mask of the Demon)
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