Friday, 10 August 2007
Black Sunday, 1960
From Mario Bava, the man who brought us the first ever giallo film (The Girl Who Knew Too Much, 1963), the first ever slasher movie (Bay of Blood, 1971) and the film on which Alien is based (Planet of the Vampires, 1965) - apart from this fine example of gothic horror. He was also one of the major influences on and mentors of Dario Argento.
Indeed, Bava was reported to be behind the impressive underwater scene in Inferno (1980) where Irene Miracle tries to retrieve her dropped keys from a flooded ballroom only to 'stumble across' the painting of the one of the three mothers and then her frenzied escape from a corpse that stubbornly pursues her despite its dismembered, disintegrating state.
The red and blue lighting in the cellar that leads to the underwater ballroom is so very Mario Bava as well. Black Sunday, despite its monochrome, boasts some of the most beautiful low budget lighting ever seen. Truly haunting.
Balck Sunday is also apparently Tim Burton's favourite film. A gothic horror masterpiece.