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Bava's Black Sabbath


classiccinemafan
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I watched the Italian and U.S. versions last night. One right after the other. Three hours ! I never got up to go use the toilet or make myself a sandwich. I spent three hours in a dark room. My verdict :

 

Italian version

I liked : the order of the stories. I felt the 1st story (Telefono) was out of place, but was a good interesting story. But still a little silly.The American version of the Telephone story sucked and made no sense at all. The Italian dubbing didn't bother me. Some of you already know I'm a fan of Italian cinema.

 

I disliked the ending. It broke the mood of the whole movie. It seemed out of place and silly. The fact that Karloff's voice in Italian didn't bother me. In the future , I hope to see a DVD/Bluray release of both versions like the UK has right now.

 

NOW THE AMERICAN VERSION

I liked : the score of Les Baxter. The drop of water story is scarier in this one with Les Baxter's score. A lot may disagree. But this is the version I grew up watching as a kid. I liked the color in this one better than the Italian cut. I found Karloff's scenes between stories to be funny and silly. But I never gave it a thought as a kid. I just enjoyed it for what it was.

 

I disliked : the telephone story. It made no sense at all and seemed pointless. I didn't like the order of the stories in this one. In the italian cut , Bava has them in a order that builds up the fear in the audience. Each story gets scarier as it goes on.

 

In the American cut , they put the telephone story in between the ghost and vampire stories so that people won't leave the theatre. So they'll have to sit through the phone story to wait for the karloff vampire tale.

 

I enjoyed both versions. I liked the American version a little more. It sucks that the U.S. is stuck with watching the italian cut. Both versions should be available to the U.S. I'm disappointed in kino. Give us both versions !

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I'd love to respond, but I've not seen the American version since 1968 and I haven't seen the Italian cut at all. I'll try to change that soon as I see that it's on Netflix streaming.

 

I do recall that I enjoyed Karloff's segment as well as "A Drop of Water" but the one about the telephone had me unimpressed. That may change given that AIP did some alterations, so I hope to be pleasantly surprised with the original.

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