Friday, 31 May 2013
Black Sabbath (Arrow Video Blu-Ray/2 DVD) review (1963).
Arrow Video have done it again! Not only do you get the amazing Black Sabbath (which is the name the film was given by American studio AIP upon it's release in the US), restored and remastered, but you also get the original (and in my opinion far superior) Italian version which is called I tre volti della paura. Both versions of the movie have many differences, such as the order of the stories, some of the stronger horror elements being removed from the US version, and differences in sound and music. Hopefully, this release, and the other Bava releases from Arrow Video will open up many new horror fans eyes to the master of Italian horror cinema, Mario Bava.
The three stories comprise of The Telephone (the first story in I tre volti della paura,was drastically changed for the US version, and was placed as the second story), which is a Giallo inspired tale, and in my opinion, the slowest of the stories. Second in I tre volti della paura comes The Wurdulak (this is the Third story in Black Sabbath), a dark and atmospheric tale of vampirism starring Boris Karloff, who also book ends I tre volti della paura, and in Black Sabbath, introduces each of the three stories. The final story is called A Drop of Water, and is certainly the most atmospheric and chilling story in the movie (in the US version, this is the first story), and features one of the most disturbing and eerie looking corpses I have ever witnessed in a horror movie.
Both versions of the movie show extensive re-mastering, and certainly attest to Arrow Video's commitment in giving you the best viewing experience they can. The colour is rich and deep, the sound amazingly clear and heavy, helping to create the perfect atmosphere, which is one of the main drawing points of any of Bava's movies.
The extras on the discs are extensive, informative and entertaining, and Arrow Video have certainly outdone themselves with this release. There is a commentary on I tre volti della paura by Bava biographer Tim Lucas, a documentary discussing the many differences between I tre volti della paura and Black Sabbath called Twice the Fear, an interview with Mark Damon, one of the films stars, an introduction to the movie by Argento biographer Alan Jones and various trailers. There is also a deluxe booklet (as with all Arrow Video releases) about the movies history written by critic David Cairns and AIP president, Samuel Arkoff.
Black Sabbath/I tre volti della paura really are incredible movies, and a testament to the talent that Bava possessed. Atmosphere creeps from every frame, drawing the viewer into the darkness on the screen and enveloping them in the creepy and disturbing goings on.
You can by the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack of Black Sabbath from Arrow Video by clicking HERE.
You can watch Black Sabbath: The Arrow Video Story by clicking HERE.