Directed by Konstantin Ershov, Georgiy Kropachyov
Based on the classic novella by Nikolai Gogol – and previously adapted by Mario Bava as BLACK SUNDAY – the first horror film ever produced in the Soviet Union remains genuinely frightening. In 19th century Russia, a seminary student is forced to spend three nights with the corpse of a beautiful young witch. But when she rises from the dead to seduce him, it will summon a nightmare of fear, desire and the ultimate demonic mayhem.
In 19th century Russia, a seminary student is forced to spend three nights with the corpse of a beautiful young witch.
Cast: Leonid Kuravlyov, Natalya Varley, Aleksey Glazyrin
Aside from the 1960's cheese, there's plenty of dramatic gothic imagery to be found in the later half of this film. Definitely worth a watch if you're down for something slow. If this was available in its native language, I would give it 5/5. Classic.
I discovered and saw this here on Shudder recently, and decided it's too good to be seen in this version. I'll assume the English dub is the only one this particular streaming service could get the rights to. The voice work is no better than the average 70's kung fu movie. But I plan to get the DVD and see it again in its native language with subtitles, because it's otherwise excellent. Reminds me equally of "The Witch" (2015) for the supernatural folklore and religious overtones, and "Hausu" (1977) for the surreal and frenetic scare sequences.
Pretty spoopy ending but it's one hell of a slow burn and the dub is pretty bad. Creature design is super cool though and it's a pretty interesting bit of horror history.
I'd love to know what this would be like with subtitles instead. I didn't love it but the monsters were *chef kiss*.