A shockingly violent and stunningly accomplished tale of murder and revenge from Korean genre master Jee-woon Kim (The Good, The Bad, The Weird and A Tale of Two Sisters). It transcends the police procedural and serial killer genres in surprising and thrilling new ways. In Korean with English subtitles. TICKETS.
The English-language voices on the A.I.P. re-cut had that distracting Sons of Hercules vibe. Seeing Sabbath with English subtitles is a real plus when trying to interest non-initiates. The only regret is that Boris Karloff is re-voiced in Italian with the rest of the international cast. It is possible that the whole show was filmed with the actors phonetically voicing English: Ms. Mercier and Pierreux in particular seem not to be speaking Italian under their dub jobs.
Everybody wants to be an editor in circumstances like this one. My idea of a great compromise disc of Black Sabbath would be to retain the Italian picture, music, and episode order. The interstitial introductions by Boris Karloff would be from the A.I.P. cut, in English of course. And then in The Wurdulak, Karloff would be allowed to speak in his own voice, with the subtitled Italian voices retained around him. Sounds like a solution to me, even if it scrambles film history.
If the film is worth seeing for any reason at all, it's to enjoy the sweet and somewhat sentimental scenery-chewing of John Phillip Law, who gets to play a range of characters in a range of dramatic modes. As Dr. Peter Price, he seems to be reprising the "old man" disguise he wore as Diabolik while reclaiming the emerald pendants from the crematorium; elsewhere, he can be found effectively underplaying in "L'Anello della Luna" and chortling his way wildly over the top in classic Grade Z mad scientist tradition in the final moments of "Un Viso Perfetto" (which recalls his work in Sergio Bergonzelli's insane BLOOD SACRIFICE. Even more to the picture's credit is a well-done stop-motion animation sequence (supervised by Fabrizio Lazzeretti and Gaetano Polizzi) involving a sea monster that briefly harkens back to the Harryhausen and Danforth fantasies of the early 1960s, a spirit which should have infected this enterprise a bit more.As previously noted, I 3 VOLTI DEL TERRORE was shot on digital video and it looks here about the same as many 1980s Italian efforts shot in 16mm or Super 16mm; the lighting is a trifle glaring at times, the color is adequate, and the picture quality is a bit soft with occasional haloing. It's viewable in Italian with optional English subtitles or in English, which plays more awkwardly but at least preserves the vocal performances given onset by Law and his co-stars. The Italian track is playable in Dolby Digital 5.1 (an impressive mix) and 2.0 surround, while the English track is presented only in Dolby Stereo. The English subtitles are an oddity, punctuated with several instances of transcribed Italian muttered (ad libbed?) onscreen. The copy under review also evinced quite a few audio glitches on the English track.
No fewer than three different editions of the film are available on import DVD, including a single-disc no-frills edition, a single-disc edition loaded with extras, and a three-disc edition containing a second disc of even more bonus materials and a CD of the musical score; all three are available from Xploited Cinema. The disc under review here is the single disc with extras, which already seems like much ado about fairly little. The bonus materials include deleted scenes, an unsubtitled 13m behind-the-scenes featurette, two trailers (the English one is a charmer, including original footage of Law in character), various photo galleries, an audio commentary by Stivaletti and Tentori (in Italian, without subtitles), and more.I thought Stivaletti's earlier WAX MASK showed promise, but it was a real movie; I 3 VOLTI DEL TERRORE seems less an actual feature than a Digicam lark made on weekends by fans who happen to be professionals. I wish I liked this concoction better, but I can only recommend it -- with reservations -- to Italian horror buffs interested in checking in with John Phillip Law's career. And if an Italian horror booster like myself can find so little joy in it, I can't commend it to the attention of anyone whose genre interests may be more tempered.
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of two versions of the film; I tre volti della paura the European version with score by Roberto Nicolosi & Black Sabbath the re-edited and re-dubbed AIP version with Les Baxter scoreEnglish SDH subtitles for English Audio and a new English subtitle translation of the Italian audioAudio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim LucasTwice the Fear, A comparison of the different versions of the film
Black Sabbath was a commercial failure upon release in Italy, and America. One could say it is the prejudice of some even today not to want to read subtitles. I found the film to be interesting in the use of sets, colour particularly the exteriors with the moving camera and fog banks. The actors do their best and for the most part, are effective in not in thankless roles. The failure of the film caused American International to lose interest in further work with Mario Bava. The rest is history. 041b061a72