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Italian horror cinema is known for its atmosphere, visual style and gory scenes, and The Mask of Satan first pioneered this approach. The beautiful witch Asa (Barbara Steele) rises from her grave to take revenge upon her enemies and posses her beautiful descendent Katia (also played by Steele) 200 years after being put to death by having a spiked mask hammered down upon down upon her face. Mario Bava’s awe-inspiring directorial debut is a rococo extension of Universal’s gothic horror aesthetic which adds strikingly modern sequences of violence.
Retitled Black Sunday upon its release in America, the film is presented here in its original English-language/European cut, known as The Mask of Satan (La maschera del demonio).