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Black Sunday (1977)

Only a terrorist - or a Hollywood screenwriter - could come up with the insidious scheme at the heart of this what-if thriller directed by John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate). Undoubtedly inspired by the murders at the 1972 Olympics, Black Sunday follows two Black September agents (Marthe Keller and Bekim Fehmiu) and a deranged ex-Viet Nam pilot (Bruce Dern) as they plot to hijack the Goodyear Blimp, plant an explosive device aboard capable of killing thousands of people, and float it above the teeming crowds at Miami's Orange Bowl where it will be activated. The only men capable of stopping these maniacs are a special Israeli agent (Robert Shaw) and an undercover FBI officer (Fritz Weaver). Rating: TV-14V

Following Black Sunday is 100% Weird:
Caveman (1981) at 3:50 a.m.
Ever wonder who really invented rock 'n roll? The answer can be found in this comic fantasy about our prehistoric ancestors. According to this movie, a caveman named Atouk (Ringo Starr) was fooling around with a bunch of rocks when he discovered their rhythmic potential and voila! A new music was born. Damn clever guy, that Atouk. He's also no slouch when it comes to dinosaur wrangling and saving pretty cavewomen from falling into monster dung pits. Raquel Welch coulda used him in the MonsterVision movie One Million Years B.C. Rating: TV-PG.

Black Sunday (1960)

(From Joe Bob's Ultimate B Movie Guide)

"The first explicit horror film, by Italian master Mario Bava. Barbara Steele in her first starring role. Witchcraft, ancient curses, spikes and maggots. With John Richardson." 4 stars!

2000 Joe Bob Briggs All Rights Reserved. Most of his reviews over there are longer.

Quotes & Trivia from the 1977 thriller (courtesy the Internet Movie Database)

* "Cancel the Super Bowl? That's like canceling Christmas!"

* The actual game that was being played in the film was Superbowl X between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys at Miami. Respective scores: 21 to 17.

* Movie cameras used in filming during the Super Bowl game were disguised as TV cameras with CBS logos.

* The climactic scene in which the blimp descends onto the Orange Bowl was filmed the day before the actual game to avoid setting off a real panic.

* At least some parts of the climatic scene were filmed after the Superbowl, including shots of the nose of the blimp coming onto the field as extras ran about wildly. Only the front portion of the blimp and gondola were recreated for this "head-on" shot and the whole thing was controlled by a crane.

* The Goodyear Blimp used in the filming was the airship "Mayflower"

* The supporting cast included William Daniels (the voice of the car in Knightrider) as Alan Pugh and James Bond 007 bad guy Walter Gotell as Colonel Riat

* In at least one shot at the blimp's base, mountains are visible in the background. There are no mountains in Florida

* Obviously reversed film footage when the blimp is being pulled away from the stadium; the guide ropes on the nose of the blimp, instead of trailing away from the blimp (if it were being pulled backwards), are trailing towards the tail of the blimp, just like they would if the blimp was moving forward

* Tagline: "For 100,000 people, Monday may never come"

* Movie referenced in "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" (1988), "The Sum of All Fears" (2002) and "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" (2003)
* Edited into "The Kid Stays In the Picture" (2002)

Trivia about the 1960 horror film (courtesy the Internet Movie Database)

* In the October 17-23, 1998 edition of "TV Guide", director Tim Burton says this is his favorite horror film. It is mentioned by name in Burton's movie "Sleepy Hollow" (1999)

* A young girl is sent out at night to milk a cow when Javuto (portrayed by Arturo Dominici) claws his way out of the grave nearby. The young girl is played by Dominici's real life daughter Germana Dominici.

* Both Barbara Steele and Arturo Dominici were fitted with vampire fangs. Mario Bava decided against using them in the film. They can be seen in some of the publicity photos.

* Galatea gave Mario Bava a lavish six weeks shooting schedule for this film beginning 28 March 1960. The typical Italian production during this period had only a three to four week shooting schedule. Barbara Steele didn't see the script in advance. She would be given pages daily.

* In the Italian language version Princess Asa and Javutich are brother and sister which hinted at an incestuous relationship. This relationship is not part of either English language version.

* Good reviews plus word-of-mouth reportedly turned this into American International's highest grossing film up to that time, exceeding their grosses for Terrore dei barbari, Il (1959) and Roger Corman's House of Usher (1960).

* The U.S. version released by American International has a replacement score by Les Baxter. Although Baxter is given sole credit, his score actually contains themes from Roberto Nicolosi's original score.

* Mario Bava claimed that an American company approached him about doing a color remake. He refused.

* This film has been shown in the United States in four (five counting the tv version) different versions:
BLACK SUNDAY (84 minutes)distributed by American Internatinal Pictures. This U.S. version features a more dramatic dubbing job recorded in the U.S. and a new score by Les Baxter to replace the original score. Further edits to this version were used to create the 16mm U.S. television syndication version.
REVENGE OF THE VAMPIRE The long delayed British version is a different cut that features the original English language dubbing recorded in Italy and the original Italian score by Roberto Nicolosi.
THE MASK OF SATAN (87 minutes) The complete version of the film featuring the original English language dubbing recorded in Italy and the original Italian score by Roberto Nicolosi. This is usually referred to as the "European Version."
LA MASCHERA DEL DEMONIO (85 minutes) Not the original Italian version as you might expect from the title. The main title is video generated (in bright red) amd superimposed over the black and white film. The film uses the original English language dubbing recored in Italy. The score is a mixture of both the original Italian (Roberto Nicolosi) and U.S. (Les Baxter) scores.

* Tagline: "The Undead Demons of Hell Terrorize the World in an Orgy of Stark Horror!"

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