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(Review originally written at 6 February 2010)

When you think about Italian horror, you immediately think about a Giallo, a zombie-flick, or a cannibals movie. "La maschera del demonio" is therefore a quite surprising one, that is more like a classic black & white Hollywood horror production, from one of the big studios, than anything else really.

The movie truly benefits from the fact that the entire movie got shot in black & white. It already provides the movie with a right certain type of atmosphere and gives the movie already more class and style than a color-production would had done for this movie. It makes the movie a fine looking one and it has some good cinematography in it. This happens quite often when you have a director attached that also used to work as a cinematographer himself, such as is the case with Mario Bava. He did not only directed this movie but also did its cinematography.

Seems pretty obvious that director Mario Bava had seen more than a couple of Hollywood horror productions from especially the '30's and on before he started working on this movie. His whole style and approach seems to be inspired by it, which makes this movie also really a great watch for those who are into classic horror pictures.

Of course the story is being mostly formulaic and is not really anything we have ever seen before. It's still being executed well though all, so it makes the movie a real great and effective one within its genre. For the horror fans there is plenty to enjoy with this movie and the movie does still has some original and memorable moments of its own in it.

A surprisingly great Italian horror production from 1960.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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