I tre volti della paura (1963)

Italy, France, USA,
88m, 2556 metres
35mm film, Technicolor, 1.78:1
mono, Italian

An Italian/French/American horror film directed by Mario Bava.

Plot Summary

An anthology of three short horror stories. The Telephone: a young woman is terrorized by an escaped prisoner from her past who taunts her in vicious telephone calls. The Wurdulak: in the nineteenth century, a Russian count becomes involved in a family's ongoing struggle with a vicious clan of . A Drop of Water: a nurse steals a ring from the body a recently deceased old medium, only to face a terrifying visitation from beyond the grave.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Mario Bava
© 2000 The Alfredo Leone Trust [re-copyrighted]
© MCMLXIII [1963] Alta Vista Productions [US prints]
Alfredo Leone presents [2000 version only]. A Galatea S.p.A. exclusive. An Emmepi Cinematografica, Lyre Cinematographique, Galatea S.p.A. production. American International Pictures [logo] [US prints]. James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff present [US prints]. Produced by American International Pictures, Emmepi Cinematografica, Lyre Cinematografica, Galatea S.p.A. [US prints]. An American International picture [US prints]
Producers: Salvatore Billitteri *, Paolo Mercuri *
Written by: Marcello Fondato
In Collaboration With: Alberto Bevilacqua, Mario Bava
Free adaptations of stories by Cechov [real name: Anton Chekhov] [The Drop of Water], Tolstoi [real name: Aleksei Tolstoy] [Sem'ya vurdalaka], Maupassant [real name: Guy de Maupassant] [* Fear]
Directors of Photography: Ubaldo Terzano; Mario Bava *
Editor: Mario Serandrei
Music by: Roberto Nicolosi
Music by: Les Baxter [US prints]
Sound: Mario Messina
Costume Designer: Tina Grani
Make-up: Otello Fava
Hair: Renata Magnanti
Art Director: Giorgio Giovannini
Studio: Titanus [Rome, Italy]

US version opening credits
Boris Karloff
Mark Damon
Jacqueline Soussard
Michele Mercier

Il telefono
Michele Mercier (Rosy)
Lydia Alfonsi [real name: Lidia Alfonsi] (Mary)
Milo Quesada [Frank – uncredited]

I wurdulak
Boris Karloff (Gorca)
Mark Damon (Vladimire d'Urfe)
Susy Andersen (Sdenka)
Massimo Righi (Pietro)
Rica Dialina (Maria)
Glauco Onorato (Giorgio)

La goccia d'acqua
Jacqueline Pierreux (Helen Chester)
Milly Monti (Miss Perkins' maid)
Harriet Medin (neighbour)
Gustavo De Nardo (police inspector)

Alternative Titles

Black Christmas
Black Sabbath
– US title
Die Drei Gesichter der Furcht
– German title
Der Ring der Verdammten
– Austrian title
I skräckens klor
– Swedish title
The Three Faces of Fear
The Three Faces of Terror
Las tres caras del miedo
– Spanish title
Les Trois visages de la peur
– French title

Extracts included in
Don't Scream It's Only a Movie (1989)
Il rosso segno della follia (1969)
Shiver and Shudder Show (2001)


Cinematographie Francaise no.2138 (27 November1965) p.11 – review
Fangoria no.198 (November 2000) p.65 – DVD review (by Michael Gingold)
Film Francais no.1121 (3 December 1965) p.15 – review
Kine Weekly no.2980 (12 November 1964) p.8 – credits, review
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.31 no.371 (December 1964) pp.179-180 – credits, synopsis, review
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.53 no.624 (January 1986) pp.24-25 – credits, synopsis, review
Video Watchdog no.5 (May/June 1991) pp.32-59 – illustrated article (Black Sabbath: The UnMaking of Mario Bava's The Three Faces of Fear by Tim Lucas with translations by Alan Upchurch)

The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.158 – credits, review
Boris Karloff: A Critical Acount of His Screen, Stage, Radio, Television, and Recording Work by Scott Allen Nollen pp.312-316; 395 – illustrated review; credits
Classic Horror Films and the Literature That Inspired Them by Ron Backer pp.289-292 – illustrated review
Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.40 – credits
The Haunted World of Mario Bava by Troy Howarth pp.75-87; 334-336 – illustrated review; credits
Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.48 – credits
Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer's Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay pp.13-14 – review
Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1957-1969 by Roberto Curti pp.78-86 – credits, review
Italian Horror Films of the 1960s: A Critical Catalog of 62 Chillers by Lawrence McCallum pp.22-31 – credits, review
Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark by Tim Lucas pp.481-511 – illustrated review, synopsis, production notes, credits
by Walt Lee p.38 – credits