“There’s no fooling around with ghosts, because they take revenge!”
Boris Karloff introduces a trio of horror stories about a woman (Michele Mercier) seeking solace from an estranged friend (Lydia Alfonsi) while she’s menaced by an ex-lover threatening to kill her; a patriarch (Boris Karloff) returning to his family home and bringing a dreaded curse with him; and a nurse (Jacqueline Pierreux) who foolishly steals a special ring from a corpse.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Boris Karloff Films
- Episodic Films
- Horror Films
- Mario Bava Films
Mario Bava’s seventh credited directorial effort was this omnibus of horror shorts, retitled from “The Three Faces of Fear” for American audiences to bank on his beloved debut film Black Sunday (1960). Black Sabbath (yes, the band took direct naming inspiration from this movie) offers plenty of spooky, atmospheric visuals tied to simple yet tight storylines that serve their purpose — but it’s the visuals that really linger. DVD Savant, a huge Bava fan, describes the unique quality of Bava’s lighting style:
It’s difficult to properly express the ‘special’ quality of Mario Bava’s artistic lighting… Favoring bright primary hues, sets are bathed in washes of color that can only be called hallucinatory. Electric greens and crimson reds, steely blues and deep purples give the screen depth and character. The heroines are bathed in warm golds and lit in non-traditional ways that make them look lusciously alive (Mercier) or nervously cold (Pierreux)… The fact that Bava’s lighting makes frequent use of unmotivated, un-sourced colored lights only adds to the feeling of fantasy. Images disturb precisely because their lighting is so ‘impossible’.
Film fanatics should enjoy checking out this cult favorite, though it’s only must-see for Bava fans.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Highly atmospheric cinematography and sets
No, but it’s worth a look as a solid set of short films by a master director.