October 14, 2014

31 Days of Creepy Scenes, #18: The Drop of Water

They've given us nightmares, given us chills, made us cringe, made us laugh, made us gag, and made us stare at the screen in awe: these are the scenes that pop into our minds when we think of great Horror Films, and we love them all.

*We recommend that if you've never seen these scenes before, that you experience them for the first time unspoiled in the movies that they come from, if you can. With that in mind, we'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible while discussing them; try, being the key word here.

Mario Bava is the man that we refer to around here as the Grandfather of Horror Cinema, and for good reason; from 1943-1979, the man completed the first ever Italian Horror film (I Vampiri); helped give birth to the Giallo Film (The Girl Who Knew Too Much & Blood and Black Lace); created one of the very first Slasher films (A Bay of Blood); and was an all around master of Gothic Horror.

Hell, he was a Master of Horror, period.

His 1963 effort, Black Sabbath, was a collection of three separate Horror stories, with a wrap-around hosted by none other than Boris Karloff himself. It's the third and final story in Black Sabbath, A Drop of Water, that terrified us a children. It involves a woman that steals a valuable ring from the corpse of a dead old crone, only to see the crone rise from the dead, intent on punishing the thief for taking what belonged to her.

I still remember to this day, being a child and seeing that dead, twisted old woman floating across the floor, and running from the room, not being able to finish watching the movie. And mind you, I watched "scary movies" during the day when I was a kid. I was no fool.

For 1963, this must have been genuinely terrifying stuff for audiences to witness. Decades later, it was still terrifying stuff to us, which prompted many a nightmare. Decades later still, it remains an effective and chilling ghost story that goes to show that you do not need CGI and jump scares to terrify your audience.

We miss you, Mario Bava. We miss you a lot.


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