The Mask of Satan Review

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A witch executed for her craft returns to possess the body of one of her descendants in a gory fashion, it is up to her brother and a local doctor to save her.


Also released as Revenge Of The Vampire and Black Sunday, and based on a Russian folk legend, it is a beguiling fairytale about a young doctor (Richardson) who ventures into a haunted Moldavian community and fails for an heiress (Steele) whose body is being possessed by her executed-for-witchcraft ancestress (Steele again).

The plot is the usual mix of secret passages, family curses and sudden deaths, but Bava crams every frame with fascinating, horrid detail. It opens with a marvellously grotesque execution as spiked demon masks are hammered onto the skulls of the witches, and features many unforgettably eerie images as the vampires crawl from their graves to persecute the living

Spectacularly gory, this is the greatest gothic horror movie ever made in Italy.