Mario Bava's Italian horror anthology "I tre volti dell paura," which translates to "The Three Faces of Evil," was released in England in 1963 under the title "Black Sabbath." It alleged to be where the classic rock group got its name. The episodes within the film are The Telephone, The Wurdulak, and The Drop of Water.
The film, now restored in the original Italian version which is the most complete, has been released on DVD and blu ray by Kino-Lorber's classics division. It is considered to be filmmaker Bava's crowning achievement in cinema.
Bava used black and white so brilliantly, it is amazing how well he also uses color in this film. The color is never bright, the surroundings remain gothic, darks and lights keep the hues consistent.
The filmmaker's use of sound is also impressive. The ringing in the episode "The Telephone" is just loud enough and strident enough to seem increasingly more shocking. The woman answers, and there is silence. Then a man whispering desires. Threats. Knowledge of what she is wearing. The use of the telephone is a strong element in many horror and suspense movies ("Sorry Wrong Number," "I Saw What You Did," "Scream," etc.), but none are so effectively eerie and frightening as Bava's presentation.
The differences in this Italian version and the English language one are many. The Telephone, for instance, is a ghost story in the English version, but in the Italian original it is more a gothic murder story with a lesbian sub plot. Eliminating a few scenes, and changing some dialog made all the difference in the English release. The Wundulak is much gorier in the Italian version. There is a different music score in the Italian version, and the hosting and narration by Karloff is also different (Boris is dubbed in Italian and provided with English subtitles).
Kino-Lorber's DVD and blu ray offer a beautiful high definition master from the original 35mm negative of the uncut international version of the film.