Black Sabbath 

 

1963/2007

In this superb Italian horror anthology from atmospheric terror-meister Mario Bava, Boris Karloff hosts three unrelated, but fairly riveting tales for the price of one.

 

In one, a beautiful hooker is tormented by telephone calls from a dead lover. Another casts Karloff as an old vampire who preys upon his own family, including his wee grandson. While it takes too long to reach the climax, the ride is suspenseful.

 

Best of all, however, is the final segment, in which a greedy nurse steals a ring off a corpse, and pays for it dearly. In these roughly 20 minutes, we can see Bava's brilliance as a storyteller as he pulls out all the stops, terrorizing the nurse (and us) with flies, dripping water and "? most chilling "? the corpse itself, whose distorted face of evil anguish is tough to shake.

 

Few old movies can be called truly scary, but those who watch at least this segment late at night should find screams in spades.

 

Available on DVD before, this "Sabbath" is the one to rest on your shelf, being uncut and bearing the original score. Extras include an interview with well-aging actor Mark Damon, trailers and an audio commentary by Bava expert Tim Lucas. 

 

"?Rod Lott

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