Black Sunday (1960)

Black Sunday (1960), directed by Mario Bava.

(Aka The Mask of Satan).

Two doctors travel through Moldavia just in time to awaken a pair of vampire/witch/satanists who have cursed the area and their own descendents. Plenty of decaying crypts and ruined castles, plus hidden rooms with acres of cobwebs. Running, fighting, transformations of the flesh. An actual interesting plot: not so much.

Bava's first big picture, and an international success. It is most notable for the striking, finely textured photography of light and shadow, and for advances in gruesome effects that were radical at the time.

Dubbing is unavoidable in Italian pictures, but the voice actors are notoriously hard to take and distract us with their conversational, perfectly modulated speech coming from a dead studio space.

Kino Blu-ray. The black levels fluctuate a good deal, from "inky" to indifferent gray. I only sampled the commentary track: lots of silence. No subtitles.