Halloween Countdown – October 28

We’re in the final stretch…

Mario Bava and his muse/star Barbara Steele arguably did more to advance horror in the 1960s than Roger Corman- they set the stage, he aped the design. As he should- AIP distributed the film.

Universal had done their elegant, gentle-person vampire movies. Hammer had added some blood, but kept a certain drawing room gentility. From the shot of that crypt being blown apart by pure malignant will- Bava’s Black Sunday was opening a new chapter for undead horror. This 1960 film (banned in the UK for it’s violence) was to gothic horror what Night of the Living Dead was for siege movies.

Black Sunday. Mostly unknown by today’s horror fans- except as a source for Barbara Steele gifs. But what a trailer! From the atmospheric shots of the Inquisition-like torment, to the fantastic crypt sequence, kinetic action, terrible imagery- and looming over it all, the horrible concept of faces half-melted and pulled by fiendish iron masks, and Barbara Steele’s luminous anime eyes…

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