Anchor Bay unleashes Mario Bava Box Set

We had heard about this release for some time but wanted to wait until we have all the details in place and finally we are happy to report that Anchor Bay Entertainment is putting the final touches to the Mario Bava Box Set Volume 1 for release as a 5-disc box set in April.

The release contains some of Bava’s most beloved films, including The Mask of Satan (Black Sunday), The Three Faces of Fear (Black Sabbath), The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Knives of the Avenger and Kill, Baby… Kill!.

The “Mario Bava Box Set Volume 1” features new transfers of the original international versions, along with brand-new bonus materials to complement these films.

“The Mask of Satan (Black Sunday)” is Mario Bava’s 1960 directorial debut and introduced audiences to a new type of horror film – lyrical in imagery, terrifying in impact. Starring British actress Barbara Steele, John Richardson and veteran character actor Arturo Dominici, “The Mask of Satan” set a different course for gothic horror films, pulsing with stunning cinematography and landmark special effects. Anchor Bay will present Bava’s uncut and uncensored international version of “The Mask of Satan” in this box set, featuring the original Italian score and English dubbing. As extras you will find an Audio Commentary by Mario Bava biographer Tim Lucas on the disc, as well as U.S. and International Trailers, TV Spot and Mario Bava & Barbara Steele Bios.

“The Three Faces of Fear (Black Sabbath)” is Bava’s 1963 trilogy of terror hosted by horror icon Boris Karloff as he takes us through three journeys into the supernatural. In “The Telephone,” a woman is terrorized by incessant phone calls that may or may not foretell greater danger. In “The Wurdalak,” based on a Leo Tolstoy story, Karloff stars with Mark Damon as the patriarch of a family of bloodthirsty ghouls. “The Drop of Water,” adapted from an Anton Chekhov short story, stars Jacqueline Pierreux as a nurse who avails herself to take a ring off the finger of a dead medium – only to realize that sometimes the dead can take it with them! The DVD will contain the Featurette “A Life In Film – An Interview with Mark Damon” as well as a Commentary Track by Mario Bava biographer Tim Lucas. Further, Trailers, TV Spots and Radio Spots are included as well as a Poster and Stills Gallery and Mario Bava & Boris Karloff Bios.

“The Girl Who Knew Too Much” was Bava’s fourth film as credited director. It is a Hitchcockian thriller that many film scholars cite as the first true giallo. Leticia Roman stars as an American tourist in Rome who witnesses a serial killer’s latest killing and convinces a young doctor (John Saxon) to help her investigate the city’s “Alphabet Murders.” For the first time anywhere, Anchor Bay presents Bava’s original international version of “La Ragazza Che Sapeva Troppo (The Girl Who Knew Too Much)” in Italian with English subtitles. The DVD will contain the Featurette: “Remembering the Girl with John Saxon” and an Audio Commentary by Tim Lucas along with Trailers, a Poster and Still Gallery and a Bava Biography.

“Knives of the Avenger” is a Norse variation on the “sword-and-sandal” epics so popular in the 1960’s. Cameron Mitchell stars as a Viking drifter torn between guilt, vengeance and his love for a peasant woman and her young son. Co-written by Bava (as “John Hold”), “Knives of the Avenger” re-imagines the American Western as a Viking epic – complete with pillaging and violence, but with a uniquely humanist slant. It features both the English language audio track and the Italian language audio track with English subtitles, presented together for the first time on DVD. It will be complemented by the movie’s International Trailer and Bava Biography.

“Kill, Baby… Kill!” aka “Curse of the Living Dead” stars Giacomo Rossi-Stuart and Erika Blanc in Bava’s final gothic masterpiece, a hallucinatory tale of a remote village tormented by the specter of a dead little girl. Alternately known as “Curse of the Living Dead” and “Operazione Paura (Operation Fear),” Bava’s 1966 stunner has been plagued for decades by inferior public-domain transfers. For this release, Anchor Bay created the definitive presentation, remastered from all-new elements to create the highest quality version ever seen in North America. It will also contain the film’s International Trailer and TV spots as well as a Mario Bava Biography.

All films will be presented in anamorphic widescreen presentations in this box set. “Mario Bava Box Set Volume 1” will be in stores on April 3 and can be yours for $49.98.

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