Black Sabbath / I tre volti della paura (1963)

4.0 out of 5

Boris Karloff presents a triptych of horror stories in this stylish portmanteau film. The first feature a tense giallo type story featuring a slasher style stalking by telephone and a number of fiendish twists, the second a Gothic vampire tale featuring Karloff that visually reminds of Black Sunday and the third soaked in rich gels and features a ghost that seems to be the template for the spectre in The Woman In Black. All three tales are atmospheric but the horror is a little tame by modern standards.

An extremely creepy corpse in the final segment is a convincing dummy sculpted by director Mario Bava's father and the title of the film provided the inspiration for the naming of a rock band.

This old school horror ends on a humorous note in the studio as the curtain is pulled back to reveal one of the tricks involved in creating the feature. Sadly films like this are no longer made, not since the golden age of Hammer or Amicus.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics