Black Sunday
Black Sunday

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- 73/100 based on 11,230 votes
  • Released: 1960
  • Runtime: 87 mins
  • Director:
  • Studio: Alta Vista Productions
  • Genres: Horror

A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.... (Full plot summary below)

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Full Plot Details

A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant, with only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor standing in her way.

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Movie Reviews

Combustible Celluloid - 9/10 by Jeffrey M. AndersonThough shot in black-and-white, it demonstrates Bava's extraordinary skill with light and motion and shadow, used to suggest unholy things.
Espinof - 9/10 by Alberto AbuínBava's cinematography and Serandrei's montage make this one of the best paced films ever. [Full review in Spanish]
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) - 8/10 by Ken HankeThe gorgeous black-and-white imagery is so remarkable that it overrides the bad acting, barely coherent story and the awful dialogue.
Eye for Film - 8/10 by Jennie KermodeBava'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.
Lessons of Darkness - 7/10 by Nick SchagerOne of the cinema's preeminent examples of gothic horror.
Reel Film Reviews - 5/10 by David Nusair...a melodramatic, thoroughly overwrought horror flick that's aged incredibly poorly in the years since its 1960 release.
Time Out - 4/10 by Derek AdamsThe visual style still impresses, but the story beneath it has become too formularised for the film to retain all its original power.
User Review - 10/10 by Ryan BBar none the most absolutely beautifully photographed film I've ever seen. Director Mario Bava uses black-and-white masterfully to create the haunting, fog-swept landscape of an Eastern Europe full of ancient ruins, haunted castles, and two hundred year old blood feuds carried out from beyond the grave. Barbara Steele is magnificently alluring as an evil princess condemned in the 17th century for vampirism and witchcraft, unknowingly resurrected two hundred years later by a pair of doctors on their way to a medical conference. This film looks like the best of Tim Burton's black-and-white renderings, but the story is pure pulp horror, without Burton's frilly sentiment and overwrought outcast sensibility. Really a glorious, glorious film.
User Review - 10/10 by Jonny BA landmark in Italian cinema, and horror cinema in general, 'Black Sunday' is a slow moving ride of hallucinations, thick fog, gothic set pieces and setting, half-baked legends of dead witches (Italians and witches, never a bad pairing), awkward camera angles, and I dare say no one can move the camera suddenly to get a jolt like Bava can. Just the look of this masterpiece is the foundation for everything every Hot Topic shopping, Burton-loving teen parades around with on clothing and unnecessary products. It's as though a great work of the macabre was literally stolen from your childhood memory to be destroyed, almost, by consumerism and hacks like Burton who owe more than their career to this movie. Bitterness aside, this is a masterpiece of gothic horror cinema and as always the Italians do it best.
User Review - 10/10 by Greg VOne of my favorite movies! Who knew open sores and exposed entrails could be so seductive! The sets hammer home the gothic veil that drapes every nook. Pace and tone drip smoothly like an I V bag filled with dread.

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