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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Black Sunday" or "Le masque du démon" or "Revenge of the Vampire" or "Mask of the Demon" )

directed by Mario Bava
Italy 1960

Secluded castles, musty hallways, tree branches that reach like hands, mist-shrouded forests, stranded travelers, duplicitous lovers who conspire to murder, secret passageways that descend to deteriorating crypts--this is the stuff of Italian gothic horror, one of the most exciting and atmospheric sub-genres of film, and Mario Bava was one of its greatest practitioners.

Bava's career as a director got started only with the assistance of director Riccardo Freda. After Freda left the set of I vampiri (American title: The Devil's Commandment) due to a disagreement with the producers, Bava completed the final days of filming. Until I vampiri (1957) presented the opportunity for him to take the director's seat, Bava was content as a cinematographer and special effects artist. He may have lacked the ambition to become a director on his own, but Freda suspected Bava needed a little extra push. When Freda signed on to direct Caltiki: The Immortal Monster (1959), he insisted upon Bava as his cinematographer. Midway into the production, Freda left again, turning over the direction to Bava. The resulting movie looks much more like Bava's movie than Freda's.

Excerpt of Gary Johnson's review located on Image Movie Journal HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 11 August 1960 - Italy

Reviews                       More Reviews                           DVD Reviews

Recommended Books on Italian and Giallo Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Comparison:

Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Ripley's Home Video (Edizione Speciale) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Image - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL vs. Lorber Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks toEric Cotenas, Gregory Meshman and Ole Kofoed for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP LEFT

2) Ripley's Home Video (Edizione Speciale) - Region 0 - PAL TOP RIGHT

3) Image - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM LEFTD

4) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM SECOND

5) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM THIRD

6) Arrow - Region 'B'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Ripley's Home Video
Region 0 - PAL

       

Image

Region 1 - NTSC

Films sans Frontières
Region 0 - PAL
Lorber Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Ripley's Home Video
Region 0 - PAL

Image

Region 1 - NTSC

Films sans Frontières
Region 0 - PAL
Lorber Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:26:43 1:24:48 (4% PAL speedup) 1:26:33 1:24:27 (4% PAL speedup) 1:26:51.863

The Mask of Satan: 1:26:30.602

Black Sunday: 1:23:04.646

Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.23 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

 
1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.53 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.89 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.17 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,275,675,544 bytes

Feature: 20,087,447,232 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,705,742,600 bytes

The Mask of Satan:

22,623,418,368 bytes

Black Sunday:

16,814,548,992 bytes

Video Bitrate:

27.99 Mbps / 24.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Anchor Bay

Bitrate:


Ripley's Home Video (Edizione Speciale)

Bitrate:

Image

 

Bitrate:

 

Films sans Frontières

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1); Italian (Dolby Digital mono 1.0); English (Dolby Digital 5.1); English (Dolby Digital mono 1.0) English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono , French DD 2.0 mono.

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

The Mask of Satan:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Black Sunday:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles None Italian, none None French or none. None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by film historian Tim Lucas
• Theatrical trailers (International and U.S.)
• Poster & Still gallery
• Talent Bios
• Trailers for other Bava movies

DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
Slimcase in a boxset

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Ripley's Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1



Edition Details:
• "Mario Bava, Maestro of the Macabre", documentary (60min) (with
interventions of Joe Dante, John Carpenter, Tim Burton Lamberto Bava
and many more)
• Interview with Barbara Steele (8 min)
• "Homage of Camillo Mastrocinque" featurette
• Ciak from the set
• Photo gallery
• Note to the Italian edition
• Cast & crew biographies
• Italian Theatrical trailer
• English Theatrical trailer
• Collectable booklet (in Italian)

DVD Release Date: December 2004
Amaray
Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Image
Entertainment

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by film historian Tim Lucas
• Theatrical trailer
• Liner notes by Mario Bava scholar and Video Watchdog publisher Tim Lucas
• Photo and poster gallery
• Mario Bava biography and filmography
• Barbara Steele filmography

DVD Release Date: December 14, 1999
Snapper Case

Chapters 14

Release Information:
Studio: Films sans Frontières

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• History of the movie (Text in French)
• Mario Bava biography and filmography (In French)
• Out of print

 

DVD Release Date: ?
Keep Case

Chapters 5

Release Information:
Studio: Kino /
Lorber

Aspect Ratio: 1.6875:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,275,675,544 bytes

Feature: 20,087,447,232 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of
Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark
• US Trailer (2:06)

• International Trailer (3:27)

• TV Spot (:21)
• Original trailers of other Bava films (Hatchet, Baron Blood, Lisa and the Devil, The House of Exorcism)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Standard Blu-ray cover

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

Aspect Ratio: 1.6895:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,705,742,600 bytes

The Mask of Satan:

22,623,418,368 bytes

Black Sunday:

16,814,548,992 bytes

Video Bitrate:

27.99 Mbps / 24.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of two versions of the film; ‘The Mask of Satan’ – the European version with score by Roberto Nicolosi & ‘Black Sunday’ – the re-edited and re-dubbed AIP version with Les Baxter score, on home video for the first time
• Three audio versions: Optional Italian, European English and AIP English re-dub and re-score
• English SDH subtitles for both English versions and a new English subtitle translation of the Italian audio
• Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas
• Introduction to the film by author and critic Alan Jones (2:52)
• Interview with star and horror icon Barbara Steele (8:44)
• Deleted Scene from the Italian version with notes by Tim Lucas (3:32)
• International Trailer (3:35)
• US Trailer (2:12)
• Italian Trailer (3:27)
- TV Spot (:22)
• I Vampiri (1956) – Italy’s first sound horror film directed by Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava (1:21:18)
• US I Vampiri Trailer ‘The Devil’s Commandment’
• Trailer reel – trailers of all the major works by Mario Bava
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
• Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by Matt Bailey and Alan Jones, illustrated with original archive stills and posters
 

Blu-ray Release Date: February 4th, 2013
Transparent Blu-ray cover

Chapters 12

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (February 2013): Supplementing Eric's comments directly below - It looks like the new Arrow has a slight technical edge with the longer version having a superior bitrate. The image is a shade brighter and has more detail. The same source as the US version but a minutely more robust 1080P transfer. As advertised it includes three versions - all lossless audio - and plenty of extras including Mario Bava's first sound horror film directed by Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava; I Vampiri (1956.) It also has the Lucas commentary, deleted scenes etc. etc. I think this is easy to determine that this is the ultimate 'Black Sunday' package. Bava fans should be ecstatic!

Gary Tooze

BLACK SUNDAY cut as an extra but the cut did not make the final product. The AIP version has been reconstructed here using the MASK OF SATAN master with the footage specific to the AIP cut newly telecined in HD from a fine grain 35mm element provided by MGM (who retain the rights and materials to AIP product through their acquisition of the Orion catalog). A quality shift is evident with the MGM material generally looking cleaner (and darker) than the export master (very noticeable in the first shot after the AIP credits). The commentary by Video Watchdog editor Tim Lucas – recorded for the 1999 Image Entertainment DVD – is included on the export version, and is still a valuable resource (even though it precedes the completion of Lucas’ mammoth Bava book ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK) detailing the shoot, the source story, and pointing out Bava’s seamless glass mattes and in-camera effects. Alan Jones provides an introduction, mentioning that Bava completed not only Riccardo Freda’s I VAMPIRI (as is commonly known), but also Pierto Francisi’s HERCULES and HERCULES UNCHAINED, as well as Freda’s CALTIKI THE IMMORTAL MONSTER. He also mentions that former cameraman Bava disliked the “pretentious” term cinematographer. Actress Barbara Steele’s interview appears to actually be the interview from the Italian Ripley’s Home Video DVD along with the deleted scene: a mood-shattering dialogue scene present only in the Italian version (it has not appeared on any of the US releases, but a transcription of the dialogue was present as a text extra on the Image DVD). Also included are the international MASK OF SATAN trailer (interlaced), the US trailer, the subtitled Italian trailer (pretty much the same as international trailer but the Italian audio is in terrible condition), and a US TV spot.

The second and third disc (both dual-layer DVDs) present both versions of the feature as well as all of the extras in standard definition PAL. Disc Three includes I VAMPIRI (1957) – in standard definition – an early example of Italian horror started by director Riccardo Freda (MURDER OBSESSION) but finished by Mario Bava (who had also served as the film’s cinematographer) after a disagreement with the producers. The film is presented in Italian with English subtitles; the film was heavily modified for its US theatrical version THE DEVIL’S COMMANDMENT (the trailer of which is also included here) – including additional footage featuring THE MUNSTERS’ Al Lewis doubling for Paul Muller to attack some additional victims – while the original English export version seems to be lost (a rare print of it reportedly played at an American Bava retrospective in the nineties). Twenty-two trailers (some in English, others in Italian, some digitally recreated) are also included, as well as an illustrated booklet featuring an essay on the film by Matt Bailey, an interview with Barbara Steele (conducted by Calum Waddell), a piece on I VAMPIRI by Alan Jones which describes its troubled shoot, and a statement about the film by Freda (who does not mention walking off the production, but does mention his next collaboration with Bava on CALTIKI). The standard
Blu-ray/DVD combo version includes a reversible cover with alternate original artwork, while the 1000-piece limited slipcase edition features an insert with four alternate cover images (viewable through the slipcase window while the standard version’s back cover descriptive matter is included on the back of the slipcase).

Eric Cotenas

***

ADDITION: Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (September 2012): Significant upgrade although still missing roll 15b. Very pleasing to have Bava's Black Sunday in the new format - especially looking so superior to the SD editions. Contrast is notably more layered - the black levels have really benefitted from the improved resolution. Some scenes lean to moiring but never quite achieve it. Detail improves - there is a bit of gloss here and there but I don't suspect any digital manipulation. It is close to the 1.66: aspect ratio - a shade off. Speckles still exist.  Really - the film will never look perfect - but, I think, this is a giant step forward in home theater presentations for Black Sunday.

Audio goes lossless the sync'ing is still funky but that is accurate. The linear PCM 2.0 channel has some umphff. Not a ton but devout Bava fans will notice the upgrade. No subtitles.

Like the other Bava Blu-rays - we get the 4 Trailers (Hatchet.., Baron Blood, Lisa and the Devil, The House of Exorcism) and the old audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark. There are also two trailers included for Black Sunday (US and International) and a TV Spot.

This is very pleasing and bodes well for other releases from the director to show the same impressive a/v improvement via Blu-ray. I doubt too many Bava fans will want to miss this package.

Gary Tooze

***

ADDITION: Anchor Bay - April 07':

The disc is a slight improvement over Image Entertainment disc. Unfortunately, roll 15b is still missing from this disc, so RHV disc from Italy still has points over it. All the extras are carried over from Image disc except the liner notes and text info about deleted scene.

 - Gregory Meshman

***

OLDER COMMENTS:

ADDITION - Ripley Home Video - PAL - January 2005 - This is not a bad issue of the film, with less damage than the Image Entertainment edition. It has good boosted audio options and decent extras, but no commentary.

Marco Forneir says: "The Image DVD (that I also have) is slightly cropped horizontally compared to the RHV one, and is missing a few moments compared to the RHV edition. Technically the Image edition is not cut, but RHV managed to discover an additional part of the film (roll 15b) that was never before included in any home video edition. Hence the true uncut version is only the RHV one."

*****

COMMENTS MADE IN 2000: The Image Entertainment edition with its anamorphic picture quality is by far the superior release when it comes to the image (even with the flagrant damage marks), the Extras and even the menus. That is about all there is to say here. With an unusual running time the Films sans Frontieres PAL edition was shown to be taken from a NTSC source and has 'ghosting'. One might wonder which is the appropriate title for the film (both are shown above). For those keen on this Bava film, the Image DVD is the obvious route to go.

 Gary Tooze

NOTE (Thanks Annie!) - having bought the Italian DVD edition of Mario Bava's Black Sunday I was surprised to see that this edition in particular is the first one on home video that restores a scene to its rightful place in the film.

The scene I'm talking about is the one where the Barbara Steele character is talking with her father outside the house where they live. Before, this was intercut between the one where a little girl reluctantly goes milking a cow. Now, the outside scene segues into that wonderful set piece where Steele is playing a wonderful melody on the piano while her brother cleans his shot gun and their father is sitting by the fireplace.

According to the extra feature that explains all this, we get to know that this change was made according to the original script sequence and for this reason alone I think you should change your final verdict on your comparison.


Menus

 

Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC
 



(Ripley's Home Video (Edizione Speciale) - Region 0 - PAL LEFT vs. Image - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Arrow - Region 'B'- Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920 X 1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Ripley's Home Video (Edizione Speciale) - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 


1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Ripley's Home Video (Edizione Speciale) - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Ripley's Home Video (Edizione Speciale) - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Ripley's Home Video (Edizione Speciale) - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Ripley's Home Video (Edizione Speciale) - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay (Mario Bava Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Ripley's Home Video (Edizione Speciale) - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Image - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - FOURTH

5) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Lorber - Region 'A'- Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B'- Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray (Arrow slight advantage)

Sound:

Blu-rays

Extras:

Arrow Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Ripley's Home Video
Region 0 - PAL

       

Image

Region 1 - NTSC

Films sans Frontières
Region 0 - PAL
Lorber Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...