Oh Lamberto Bava…here we go again.
A group of skiers on the Swiss Alps fall into a chasm opened during an avalanche, which kills one of them named Bebo, played by Michel Soavi, who can’t seem to get away from any movies in the Demons series. Soon, they find a metal mask — whoops, this happens so often in Demons movies — and discover a body buried between the ice. Digging around, it causes them to get buried deeper in the snow, so deep that they discover an underground city where a witch was executed. And that witch? Well, she decides that this group of skiers would make the perfect instruments of her revenge.
Lamberto decided that if he was going to make another movie in the Demons saga, why not also remake his father’s Black Sunday while he was at it?
That movie was filmed because the elder Bava was a big fan of Nikolay Gogol’s short story Viy, often reading it to his children. When he was allowed to choose the storyline for a movie he wanted to direct, he chose Gogol’s story, which also inspired the 1967 Russian film.
Sadly, Lamberto is no Mario. He tries, he really does. And this film is pretty entertaining. But Black Sunday is the kind of film that’s going to live forever.
Davide is the de facto leader of this group and his girlfriend Sabina (Debora Caprioglio, using the last name of her fiancee Klaus Kinski here) breaks her leg and it’s instantly healed. Is it any wonder that she’s soon possessed by the dead witch Anibas, who has the same name as her only reversed? What kind of coincidence is that?
There’s also a blind priest that everyone adores making fun, which makes you wish for the entire cast to be killed. Well, you get what you want, trust me. Mary Sellers from Stagefright is in this, as is Eva Grimaldi from Ratman as the demonic form of Anibas.
Man, what a demonic form it is. After she begins seducing our hero, her young breasts instantly transform into withered old tears and her feet and hands are replaced with chicken claws while she spits white fluid all over him. Oh yeah — she also has the facial scars that Barbara Steele wore in Mario’s vastly superior film.
I don’t want to make Lamberto feel bad. He has some fun visuals and effects here, plenty of gore and some great music from Simon Boswell and gooey effects from Sergio Stivaletti, who directed The Wax Mask and did the effects for Demons, Hands of Steel, Demons 2, The Church, The Sect and Cemetery Man.
It even has the same title as Black Sunday in Italy: La Maschera del Demonio. There’s also plenty of nudity and a scene where the witch’s tongue comes so far out of her mouth that she starts choking Davide and he’s like, well, alright, I guess I’ll have sex with her now.