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Mario Bava’s BLACK SUNDAY gets a 4K UHD disc (1 Viewer)

Dr. Lejos

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Now available, an Italian import 4K disc of La Maschera del Demonio aka Black Sunday, from the (Alfredo) Leone Film Group in Italy and apparently sourced from the camera negatives resulting in a significant upgrade from previous blu-ray releases.

The release includes an all-region 4K disc + region-B blu-ray disc, both with Italian + English audio options of the international (director’s) cut of the film. The main title credits are Italian only, unlike the “Mask of Satan” blu-rays which have been available domestically. The AIP Black Sunday main titles and revised soundtrack are not included.

Whether or not this 4K upgrade will get an official U.S. release is unknown at this point … but for those with 4K equipment, especially 4K projection, this all-region disc is pretty much everything you need. It can be ordered from Amazon’s Italy website, reasonably priced, tho of course shipping is actually more than the item itself.

I always appreciate when classic titles are upgraded to 4K UHD, but have gotten more selective as more titles become available, for both budgetary and discretionary reasons … some movies simply benefit more than others from the upgrade. Black Sunday’s cinematography is renowned … some say Bava never surpassed it. The b&w imagery is in a class by itself, so 4K had the potential to really make a difference, which happily proved the case for me. The 4K image is cleaner and very filmic, sharper and seems to get even better as the film progresses … I was drawn into the film as never before (and have had a long history with it, going back to late-show TV as a kid, 16mm and practically every video format). Don’t expect miracles … expect it to look like a low budget film made in 1960 … but of course its one of the BEST low budget films of its day, seen here in a truly optimal presentation … which is exactly what I hoped for.
 

Robert Harris

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I’d question what the difference is between a quality possible future Blu-ray from the new scan vs 4k at a NSD. While blacks will be affected in 4k, as noted - low-budget.
 

titch

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Practically guaranteed that Arrow Video UK will release this. It's one of their core titles - already released three times, since 2013. And they seem to be releasing everything they can, as a 4K UHD. I'll wait.
 

richardburton84

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This is the movie about the good year blimp crashing down in to the Super Bowl?

No, this movie revolves around a resurrected witch’s vengeance on her descendants. It was Barbara Steele’s first major film (my film professor at Community College has an autographed photo of her from this film, in makeup with the holes from the mask). The one involving the Super Bowl was directed by John Frankenheimer.

Edit: When I spoke to the aforementioned professor of my thoughts on the film the first time I saw it, he seemed to imply that Barbara Steele was dubbed in all of her films (even in Pit and the Pendulum). Can anyone confirm that this was indeed the case (I am aware that she was dubbed in this film)?
 

Dr. Lejos

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I think Arrow’s U.K. blu-ray release was the only one which offered both the AIP/Black Sunday and the slightly longer Mask of Satan version which are apparently separate copyrights. In the U.S., Kino distributed most of the Bava titles that were previously marketed by Anchor Bay on Dvd. But now they’re all “out of print”, which makes me wonder what the future holds for this title.

If there’s a new high quality Blu-ray in the works, I’d probably lean with Radiance/U.K., who’s been dipping into that terrain, and as noted on another thread, just put out a Region B upgrade of Bava’s Planet of the Vampires with both the U.S. and Italian cut which is quite an improvement.

Radiance also did Horrible Dr. Hichcock, which ended up over here with Vinegar Syndrome on 4K disc. As usual with these distributors, everything’s very hush-hush until they WANT us to know about it.

From what I understand, most if not all Italian films of this era were shot with the voice tracks added later … so even the Italian versions were “dubbed” so to speak. When I watch a Bava film, I generally prefer the English dub, cuz I’m more interested in the visuals and would rather concentrate on image rather than subtitles. As for Barbara, don’t know if her voice was never used for the English versions, but she certainly speaks English extremely well when interviewed in the supplements on many of her disc releases.
 

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