Welcome back, Boils & Ghouls...
... to 'Day Three' of "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" and to the first instalment of "Silver Scream Saturday" for 2015 where I will be recommending some horror movie classics from the silver screen which can be streamed to your television sets via the magic of Roku player !!
So if, like me, you're planning to while away the hours during these dark autumnal evenings by watching a succession of Hallowe'en / Horror-themed movies to get into the (ahem) "spirit" of things, you should make a point of visiting this blog EVERY SATURDAY between now and October 31st for some absolute classics of creepy cinema as you gear up for your own Hallowe'en celebrations !!
To get things started for the 2015 "Silver Scream Saturday" series of posts, I thought I'd re-visit a horror movie from years gone by, which I always like to come back to from time to time, as a reminder of how good those monochrome classics were. Given how one of the alternate names used for this particular movie was "Revenge of the Vampire", I figured it would make a fitting first choice for my blogathon this year - "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" - which, in case you hadn't spotted it yet includes both a reference to bats and an anagram of Dracula (i.e. Alucard) in the title! Anyway, to whet your appetite, here's the movie poster for the film:-
Directed by Mario Bava, and starring Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Arturo Dominici and Ivo Garrani plus Andrea Checchi & Enrico Olivieri (amongst others), it tells the story of how a vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant. First released in 1960, under the original title of "La Maschera Del Demonio", it was (at first) banned in the UK for it's scenes of violence which were deemed "unusually gruesome" at the time. It didn't arrive in British cinemas until 1968, where it has been shown both as the aforementioned "Revenge Of The Vampire" as well as "The Mask Of Satan", although "Black Sunday" and "Mask Of The Demon" are among the list of other titles by which the movie has been known. For those of you that have yet to see this "cult classic", here's a brief taster of the film courtesy of the original theatrical trailer for the movie:-
If you'd like to know more there's a full list of the cast & credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Black Sunday", FOUND HERE, which also includes a full storyline / plot summary as well as box office stats, technical specs & much more. For die-hard fans, there are even more tidbits of information to be had from the Wikipedia Page for "Black Sunday", VIA THIS LINK, which may help to fuel your appetite for (yet) another screening. Although, as with "Night Of The Living Dead" (another favourite of mine) which featured as part of "Wicked Watch Wednesday" last year, if you're already a fan, you probably won't take too much persuading to watch this film again !!
Anyway, probably the best recommendation I can make as to which of the available Roku channels you could use to watch this movie is to suggest "YouTube" as your first port-of-call on account of the vast number of horror movies which, thanks to this channel and it's associated apps, are now readily available to stream via your Roku player(s) whenever you choose.
If you haven't already got it in your channel selection, you can easily add it to your Roku player(s) using the recently introduced 'Roku Search' feature. Just start typing "YouTube" into the text entry box within Roku 'Search' and it will soon appear in the results column on the right. In fact, you will (most likely) only have to enter the letter "y" before it pops up in the list of results! For those who prefer to look it up the old-fashioned way, you'll find "YouTube" listed among the "Internet TV" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store - itself, found by navigating to 'Streaming Channels' from the home screen and scrolling through the options - then click "OK" to access the list of "Internet TV" channels and scroll up (or down) until you see the channel icon (as per image above). The good news is... that it's completely FREE-TO-ADD as well as being FREE-TO-VIEW so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, launch the channel via the 'Go to channel' option and navigate the on-screen menu to 'Play' the "Black Sunday" movie which, for the record, runs to 1h 27mins and can be found via the following link:-
LINK TO MOVIE: "Black Sunday aka The Mask of Satan (1960)" on 'YouTube'
Meanwhile, for that full cinema experience, here's a few of the other cinema posters that movie-goers in 1960 and/or 1968 would have encountered depending on their particular location around the world:-
Finally, to round-off this first instalment of "Silver Scream Saturday" on 'Day Three' of the annual 'Countdown To Halloween', comes a FRIGHTENINGLY FUN FILM FACT for you... if you've ever seen Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" (1999), then you may already have spotted / know this but, if not, he "borrowed" some of the imagery from "Black Sunday" to use with "Sleepy Hollow". In particular, there is a scene where Lisa Marie's face is punctured by an Iron Maiden but, given that Burton has explicitly cited Bava's movie as an inspiration, this is hardly surprising !!
Anyway, that's all for today... just remember to come back in 24-hours for 'Day Four' and more Horror / Hallowe'en-themed content, courtesy of "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" when I will reveal another "themed" day for every Sunday throughout the month of October as we continue our "Countdown To Hallowe'en" for 2015...
Fangs (as always) for reading !!