"The Telephone": Rosy (Michèle Mercier) is a prostitute returning home late. When the phone rings she answers it. Whoever was on the other end hangs up. This repeats several times. Eventually the caller begins talking. He identifies himself as Frank (Milo Quesada), Rosy’s former pimp, and he tells Rosy that he is going to kill her. Rosy finds out that Frank escaped from jail. She is convinced that he knows that she was the one who turned him in. In a panic she calls her former lover Mary (Lydia Alfonsi). What Rosy doesn’t know is that Mary is the one who is doing the calling. She is hoping that Rosy will be scared enough to take her back. What neither one of them knows is that Frank is out to kill Rosy and he is not far away.
“The Wurdulak": While traveling home Count Vladimir D’Urfe (Mark Damon) finds the body of a man. A dagger is stuck into his heart and his head is missing. Taking the body with him he comes upon a cottage. The owner of the cottage is Giorgio (Glauco Onorato). He lives there with his wife Maria (Rika Dialyna), and his son Ivan, his brother Pietro (Massimo Righi) and sister Sdenka (Susy Andersen). Giorgio tells D’Urfe that the dead man is Alibeq, a Turkish criminal. He then says his father Gorca (Boris Karloff) went out to kill Alibeq five days ago and that the criminal is also a wurdulak. A wurdalak is one of the living dead. He feeds on blood, especially the blood of those he loves. In essence a Russian vampire. Gorca told his family that if he doesn’t return after five days then he himself is most likely a wurdalak. The five days will be over at midnight. A few minutes after midnight Gorca returns home.
"The Drop of Water": Helen Chester (Jacqueline Pierreux) is a nurse. She is called by the maid (Milly Monti) of an elderly medium who died during a séance. Helen’s job is to prepare the body for burial. While stealing an expensive ring off the body Helen accidentally knocks over a glass of water. She then sees a fly on the old woman’s body where the ring used to be. She knocks it away. Back at home Helen is assaulted by what appears to be the same fly. She then hears water dripped and echoing around her rooms. The corpse of the old woman appears in her bed. She rises and floats toward a now terrified Helen.
“Black Sabbath” AKA “I tre volti della paura” or “The Three Faces of Fear” was released in 1963 and was directed by Mario Bava. It is an Italian horror anthology film. Boris Karloff introduces the three tales and stars in “The Wurdulak”. The film was developed in coordination between American International Pictures and Italian film company Galatea. AIP made changes to the three stories and also changed the sequence of them. The majority of their changes were done to the story “The Telephone”. For example AIP’s version has less lesbianism in it and changes the tone to make it a paranormal tale. Frank is now a ghost and not an escaped criminal. The two versions of the film also have a different look to them. Bava’s influence in the Italian version is evident. His cinematography is a colorful and vibrant color palette. AIP’s version is calmer and the colors more subtle. The music is also different between the two. In addition the Italian version has a whimsical ending to the movie with Karloff showing some of the off camera effects used in “The Wurdulak”.
In a club in England the group formerly known as “The Polka Tulk Blues Band” and then called “Earth” was performing. Across the street was a theater showing the film “Black Sabbath”. Seeing that there were more people in line to see the film than to see them play the group realized that horror sells. They then changed their name to “Black Sabbath”. That led them to changing the tone of the music they played to create the musical equivalent of horror stories. Their decision was the springboard for the heavy metal genre of music.