Here, a mother figure, moving in dream like reverse recalls the long-haired wraiths predominant in modern Japanese horror cinema or ‘J’ Horror. A memory distorted through slow motion, black and white and ambient dread foreshadow the works of many a stylistic acolyte; Tarkovskys’ traces that appear in the future works of David Lynch and Lars Von Trier, specifically in scenes from The Elephant Man (1980) and Anti-Christ (2009).
Summer’s End. All Hallow’s Eve. Samhain. Yes, Halloween is upon us going and yet again, as a sensible grown adult (supposedly) I am denied the right to dress up in a ridiculous costume and get drunk. This is mostly due to a lack of long-term planning and general poverty thus I can only blame myself. But rather than flagellate myself with a leather belt or piss and moan like a little girly-man – my usual default mode when I don’t get my way- I will instead spend an evening appreciating cinema that is mainly horrific in tone.
What is it that is making French actress Jacqueline Pierreux (pictured above) gasp in terror? That would be telling now wouldn’t it? I suddenly feel a sadistic compulsion to withhold this information from you dear reader and instead will direct you to the origin of said image, namely from a supremely creepy morality story entitled ‘The Drop of Water’ which features in the 1963 horror anthology Black Sabbath from the great genre master, Italy’s Mario Bava.
The film is composed of three horror stories and features horror icon Boris Karloff as a narrator – he also portrays a character in the middle chapter film ‘The Wurdulak’- and is a stylish, superbly atmospheric collection of spine tingling tales with the ‘The Drop of Water’ being the pick of the ghoulish bunch which sustains a level of old school creepiness throughout and where the source of Miss Pierreux’s terror is fully revealed.
As luck would have it, Black Sabbath is available to view in its entireity on You Tube in Italian . If you want to get into the spirit of the evening, ‘I Tre Volte Della Paura ‘ can be viewed by clicking here.