Anthologies are common in the horror genre, whether two or more directors band together on a project, or whether one director takes on several short stories alone. Usually the result is that at least one of the entries is pretty weak, but the strongest entry makes the film worthwhile. Once in a while, however, you get something like Mario Bava's Black Sabbath, which has three strong entries. Bava's secret is that he was never very strong on plot or story or character; he could direct the hell out of any old script with his astonishing use of colors, mood and atmosphere. The best thing about Black Sabbath -- which the distributor American International Pictures re-titled to cash in on the success of Bava's Black Sunday -- is that it actually does have some good stories. In the first one, "The Telephone," a woman gets a phone call and learns that a dangerous man from her past has been released from jail; the entire story is set in her apartment, and Bava makes you jump each time the phone rings.
categories Cinematical