Sunday, September 09, 2007

September 9, 1967 Schedule: "Black Sabbath" (1964) 11:15PM

Wow Lots and Lots of Mario Bava here on my Bob Wilkins Blog. Last week, it was "Black Sunday" and now it is my personal favorite "Black Sabbath" (1963). This was Bob's second showing of this classic. He first showed it on KCRA Channel 3 on February 25, 1967. The first time I watched Black Sabbath was on Bob's KTXL TV 40 Saturday Night Show. In fact this was my first Mario Bava film that I ever watched and it is still my all time favorite ( Black Sunday being my second favorite Bava Movie). Boris Karloff really spooked me in that episode of "The Wurdulak". I might be wrong, but I think this was Boris Karloff's only vampire movie? (correct me if I am wrong?) In 2000, Image Entertainment released it in the Italian Version, which had the segments in different order (Italian Version: 1: The Telephone, 2: The Wurdulak, 3: The Drop Of Water. AIP English Dubbed Version: 1: The Drop Of Water, 2: The Telephone, 3: The Wurdulak). Personally I like the Boris Karloff episode ending the movie. Also AIP altered The Telephone episode by eliminating the lesbian subplot and removing scenes and changing the dialogue. Also in the Italian Version was an ingenious comic coda at the end. AIP also dropped Roberto Nicolosi's effective music score with that of Les Baxter. This movie has had several video releases. The AIP version was released on VHS by both "Thorn-EMI HBO as well as United Home Video ( A subsidiary of VCI). Image Entertainment also released the Thorn-EMI HBO Version on Laserdisc with another AIP chiller "Queen Of Blood". On DVD, only the Italian Version was released legit, first in 2000 by Image Entertainment and in 2007 by Anchor Bay Entertainment. I personally prefer the Anchor Bay version as the color is brighter and there are more extras including a Tim Lucas Audio Commentary. Originally, it was announced that the AIP English Dub was also included but was not. Too bad, as you miss Boris Karloff's wonderful voice. I have a grey market bootleg with liner notes by Blackbeard :-) The cover is interesting, It has the cover of the AIP poster with a headless horseman holding a head, and it slightly mimics the Image DVD cover. On both it says "The Mario Bava Collection" while on the bottom of the Image cover says "Widescreen European Version" while the bootleg says "Fullscreen American Version". This bootleg was derived from the Image/HBO Laserdisc. The information in the back says this: "BLACK SABBATH 000004DVD, Program Content: probably copyright 2003 MGM, Liner Notes: copyright Blackbeard, DVD Package Design: originally copyrighted MM Image(modified copyright MMIII), DVD-R format, Thanks to Image, Orion, & HBO for the original LD." Interesting to say the least. In my opinion, the picture quality is great for a bootleg. At least they dubbed it from a Laserdisc rather than VHS, so you wouldn't have the tracking lines. Let's hope that MGM or some other company will release a legit widescreen version of the AIP cut! Between this as well as Tim Lucas wonderful book, MARIO BAVA ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, it is a lot of Bava. Also, I made some changes to my blog. I now list the title of the movie as well as its starting time at the very top. Easier for researchers in my opinion. This has been Bob Wilkins full year at KCRA Channel 3. His first show was on KCRA on September 10, 1966. Ialso need to acknowlege Tim Lucas as I reference the Black sabbath info from the Image DVD liner notes. Tim is the leading Mario Bava Expert!


Anonymous said...

I had originally had the VCI Home Video release of "Black Sabbath," aka "Three Faces of Fear." This was the AIP edit, with the alternate Karloff intros in English. But then I bought the recent box set which includes the Italian version, in widescreen no less!!! The clarity and color were painstakingly restored; it looks absolutely wonderful. To me, this alone was worth the price of the set, and a real treat. I loved the original Karloff ending not included in the AIP version.

I originally had heard about Mario Bava on, back in the late '90s. They gave "Black Sunday" a great review, so I picked it up one day at a store in San Jose. I've been watching Bava films ever since, and it's great to see that Bob Wilkins appreciated his films--the host who basically hooked me on horror on Channel 2 during the early '70s!!!!

Anonymous said...

It would be really nice to have the AIP edit of "Black Sabbath" released on DVD. Eventhough "The Telephone" doesn't really make any sense in that version. I consider Karloff's contribution to that film one of his best ever.