Black Sunday (Italian: La mascher del demonio) - also known as The Mask of Satan and Revenge of the Vampiere - is a 1960 Italian gothic horror film directed by Mario Bava. from a screenplay by Ennio de Concini Mario Serandrei and Marcello Coscia (who was uncredited) The film stars Barbara Steele John Richardson Arturo Dominici and Ivo Garrani It was Bava's directorial debut although he had completed several previous feature films without credit Based very loosely on Nikolai Gogol's short story Viy the narrative concerns a witch who is put to death by her own brother only to return 200 years later to seek revenge on her descendants.
In Moldavia in the year 1630 beautiful witch Asa Vajda (Barbara Steele) and her paramour Javuto (Arturo Dominici) are sentenced to death for sorcery by Asa's brother Before being burned at the stake Asa vows revenge and puts a curse on her brother's descendants A metal mask with sharp spikes on the inside is placed over the witch's face and hammered into her flesh.
Two centuries later, Dr. Thomas Kruvajan (Andrea Checchi) and his assistant Dr. Andre Gorobec (John Richardson), are traveling thrugh Moldavia en route to a medical conference when one of the wheels of their carriage is broken, requiring immediate repair While waiting for their coachman to fix it, the two wander into a nearby ancient crypt and discover Asa's tomb. Observing her death mask through a glass panel, Kruvajan breaks the panel (and the cross above it) by accident whlie strking a bat. He then removes Asa's death mask revealing a partially preserved corpse that is visible underneath, her face starring out malevolently. He cuts his head on the broken glass. Some of his blood drips onto Asa's dead face.
Returning outside, Kruvajan and Gorobec meet Katia (also played by by Steele). She tells them that she lives with her father, Prince Vajda (Garrani), and brother Constantine (Enrico Oliveiri) in a nearby castle that the villagers all believe is haunted. Gorobec is instally smitten by the beautiful young woman. The two men then leave her and drive to an inn.