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Black Sunday

     A midnight series of Italian horror movies begins, as it should, with ex-cinematographer Mario Bava's ambient, sick-sabbath classic – forty years old next year – about a devil-worshipping witch who won't die. Instead, she comes back each several hundred years or so to wreak satanic havoc on the good citizenry of Moldavia, and on the dour inhabitants of a mouldy castle. The plot creaks, the script is dumb, the actors third-rate, but who cares? There's gothic atmosphere galore; and the heinous witch and a look-alike princess are both played by the supercult British actress, Barbara Steele. With her elongated dark eyebrows, skeletal bone structure, haughty nostrils, Poe-esque snowy bosom, and jet-black Addams Family hair, she's a trip and a treat, a Betty Page from the crypt.

GERALD PEARY
(October, 2000)

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