Tag Archives: Famous directors

Really Awful Movies: Ep 208 – Black Sabbath

Mario Bava. Super Mario. Molto Mario. Mario the Magnificent. On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, your genial hosts talk about Black Sabbath, the early 60s horror film anthology that gave Ozzy’s band, Black Sabbath, its name.

Black Sabbath, aka, i tre volti della paura (The Three Faces of Fear) is a three-part flick that’s harmonious, and lush in color. And to introduce the segments, none other than the legendary Boris Karloff himself.

The original Italian language version of Black Sabbath features the installments in this order: The Telephone (a lady of the evening is tormented by threatening calls from a former pimp), The Wurdalak, a vampiric tale of woe set in a remote cottage in 18th century Eastern Europe, and finally, The Drop of Water, in which a nurse purloins jewelry from a deceased old lady, only to be tormented from beyond the grave.

In 1958, the founders of American International Pictures hired Flavio Lucisano (a talent agent) to look for Italian crossover films. In 1963, AIP made a deal to distribute a bunch of Ital co-productions. Black Sabbath was one of them. There was a trend to make anthology films to keep costs down. And Black Sabbath was no exception, a film that was an 8-week shoot.

While not exactly showered with praise upon release, Black Sabbath has certainly found more defenders than detractors. In fact, Quentin Tarantino was influenced by the story structure for his film, Pulp Fiction.

So…tune in to the Really Awful Movies Podcast as we break down each of the segments. While The Telephone is seen as the slightest (probably with good reason) it nonetheless has a lot going for it and should not be overlooked. The Wurkalak, while long, has enough trademark Bava touches to make it memorable…and for us, the standout is the exemplary, timeless, The Drop of Water – a master class in sensory Gothic Horror.

Really Awful Movies: Ep 205 – Frenzy

The Master. Alfred Hitchcock. It’s amazing it’s taken us this long to discuss a Hitchcock. We look at Hitch’s penultimate film, Frenzy.

Many people consider this “lesser Hitchcock.” But it’s a taut, exciting thriller with some gorgeous shots.

There’s a “necktie murderer” roaming the streets of London. It’s a lot like Jack the Ripper. And the murders of various women are pinned on one “Mr Blaney,” a down on his luck loser who has problems with the missus.

But really, Hitchcock plays his hand and actually reveals who the killer is right from the get-go. But there’s enough of a compelling narrative that Frenzy keeps viewers thoroughly interested right until the final frame.

Join us this week on the Really Awful Movies Podcast, as we hope to do justice to one of our faves. We love Hitch (that’s Alfred, though Christopher Hitchens is great too). Frenzy has a lot to offer, and Alfred was able to get a little more low-down and dirty with more permissive cultural mores.

Join us every week for genre film discussion on the Really Awful Movies Podcast!