Mario Bava Horror Classics Come To Blu-Ray And DVD

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Black Sunday and Lisa and The Devil get the deluxe treatment.

Posted 7th January 2013, 1:00pm in TV


The fabulous folk at Arrow Video have announced two exciting new deluxe edition Blu-ray & DVD releases from the one and only godfather of Italian horror, Mario Bava.

Released on Monday January 28th, the Bava classics Black Sunday and Lisa and The Devil will both get the ‘Arrow’ treatment, including never-before-seen versions of each film, a wealth of special features and bonus material (including interviews, introductions, deleted scenes, trailers, audio commentaries and collectors booklets) and exclusive interchangeable artwork. Horror fans will think it's Christmas again already.

This will be the first time that these two staples of Italian cult cinema will be available on Blu-ray in the UK. Strictly limited Slipbox editions of each title (only 1000 will be made) are available to pre-order exclusively from the Arrow store - http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk. The Slipbox editions will feature a 4-panel reversible sleeve, comprised of 3 original posters and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys. Mario Bava is widely credited as the man who kick-started the golden age of Italian horror, never before had international audiences witnessed such slick, stylised production combined with brutal and supernatural imagery.

Legendary Scream Queen Barbara Steele (Shivers, Caged Heat) stars in Black Sunday, a classic slice of gothic terror in which a beautiful witch is sentenced to death for her evil deeds by her own brother, condemned to die by having a metal mask hammered onto her face, before being burnt at the stake. As she passes and the spikes of the death mask pierce her flesh, she puts a terrible curse on all her future descendants. But, when two unwitting travellers discover her final resting place and worse, drip blood on her resting corpse, they unleash her once again in all her stunningly beautiful, terrifying glory. Banned in the UK on its release, Black Sunday is a groundbreaking film that opened the door for Spaghetti horror in all its gory glory.

In addition to the original European version of the film, the deluxe edition release of Black Sunday features the worldwide debut of the American version. This alternate version of the film, by American International Pictures, has never been available before. Also included in the set is I Vampiri, the very first sound-era Italian horror film, by Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava. Freda wagered he could finish the film in 12 days but stormed off the set after 10, leaving cameraman Bava to finesse the story, finish shooting and complete the film within the remaining two days.

Special Features include:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of two versions of the film; The Mask of Satan – the European version with score by Roberto Nicolosi & Black Sunday – the re-edited and re-dubbed AIP version with Les Baxter score, on home video for the first time anywhere in the world

Three audio versions: Optional Italian, European English and AIP English re-dub and re-score

English SDH subtitles for both English versions and a new English subtitle translation of the Italian audio

Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas

Introduction to the film by author and critic Alan Jones

Interview with Black Sunday star and horror icon Barbara Steele

Deleted Scene from the Italian version with notes by Tim Lucas

International Trailer

US Trailer

Italian Trailer

TV Spot

I Vampiri (1956) – Italy’s first ever sound-era horror film directed by Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava

US I Vampiri Trailer – ‘The Devil’s Commandment’

Trailer reel – trailers of all the major works by Mario Bava

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by Matt Bailey and Alan Jones, as well as a statement by Riccardo Freda on I vampiri and Bava, translated from the original Italian for the first time, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

Lisa and The Devil revolves around Lisa (Elke Sommer), an American tourist travelling in Spain. When Lisa loses her tour party she seeks refuge in the tumbledown mansion of a blind countess after being guided there by the distinctly satanic butler of the house, Leandro (Telly Savalas – Horror Express, Kojak). The Son of the Countess notices Lisa’s striking resemblance to his dead lover, and pursues her as a night of murder, strange eroticism and dark hallucinations begins.

Re-cut in the US to cash in on the popularity of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist and released as The House of Exorcism (included in this special edition) the original Lisa and the Devil is Bava at his abstract and delirious best, delivering a 70s horror classic and a masterclass in cinema as feverish nightmare.

Special features include:

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of both versions of the film: Lisa and the Devil and The House of Exorcism producer’s cut

Optional English and Italian audio on Lisa and the Devil

English SDH subtitles on both features and a new English subtitle translation of the Italian Audio of Lisa and The Devil

Audio Commentary on Lisa and The Devil by Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas

Audio Commentary on The House of Exorcism by producer Alfredo Leone and star Elke Sommer

Introductions to both films by author and critic Alan Jones

The Exorcism of Lisa – Assistant Director Lamberto Bava, screenwriter Roberto Natale, Roy Bava and Alberto Pezzotta discuss the making of both versions of the film

Deleted Scene

Original trailers

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Stephen Thrower, an interview with Bava from 1976, translated from the original Italian for the first time, illustrated with original stills and archive posters.
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