Black Sabbath

The modalities are Chekhov, Maupassant and Tolstoy.

Conscience that condemns is the first face of fear. A nurse takes a ring from the hand of a dead medium, who haunts her into suicide. A neighbor calls the police, having filched the ring from the dead nurse’s hand.

A different fear defines the second. A girl has turned her lover in to the police, he’s dead. Threatening phone calls from him prompt her to call a lady friend, who spends the night. The lover kills this friend, and dies with a knife she’d put out for the two girls’ protection. His voice is still on the telephone, forever. (The Italian version, I tre volti della paura, of which this is trumps, varies the one about the two impecunious college girls touring Europe, sharing a bed in cheap hotels. One meets a boy, says, “I’ll be frank,” the other contests this.)

Lastly, an eternal negation, as the English title suggests. A Russian family celebrating their victory over a Turkish bandit are one by one turned into vampires (wurdulaks), who draw the daughter in. She embraces the Count who loves her, he perishes as well.

Criticism has rarely if ever noted all three.

Les Baxter’s fine score and the excellent dubbing adorn the American version.


La frusta e il corpo

What is the English title corresponding to a good dub minus Lee and with the director given as John M. Old. Jack Clayton’s The Innocents and Ken Russell’s Lady Chatterley share the theme in various ways, also there is Michael Winner’s The Nightcomers, Jacques Tourneur’s I Walked with a Zombie, etc.

The feminine whip and masculine body give an idea of the ewig-Weibliche, all that matters is the lesson should be imparted to a curiously lackadaisical and subservient heir.

The amusing portraiture is led off by two extremely fine performances (Daliah Lavi, Christopher Lee).


Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs

Security Intelligence Command can’t believe Dr. Goldfoot is alive and slaughtering NATO generals with his girl robots in gold bikinis and boots, now fitted with proximity fuses.

“You think it’s easy, taking over the world?” He says this to the camera in a wonderfully chummy sequence. Power is shared with Red China in Dr. Goldfoot’s vision of a postwar world, after he’s dropped an H-bomb on Moscow from the B-52 of a liquidated American general whom he resembles, a stutterer.

A SIC agent ousted for philandering takes the case on, abetted by two new recruits, formerly doormen at The Bang Club.

Fabian, Laura Antonelli, Franco and Ciccio pursue the evil doctor through a fairground and by hot air balloon to the bomber and beyond.


La casa dell’esorcismo

Tourist sees fresco of the devil carrying people off, stays in house full of people going slowly mad, getting “carried away”.

The butler’s as gaga as the rest, making manikins that resemble this or that person, it’s always bonkers or bloody or worse, but when the tourist finally flees to the airport and catches a plane, who’s aboard and who’s “carrying them off”?