Courtesy Severin Films
If one were to put together a list of horror icons, then it would be obsolete without the inclusion of Barbara Steele. She starred in several Italian horror movies during the 1960s, including her most popular film Black Sunday. Her typecasting in the genre was not something she cherished as she communicates in the included commentary on Severin’s new release of AN ANGEL FOR SATAN. The roles were offered and she couldn’t turn them down as they were the only jobs she could get. She continued to sporadically appear on film throughout the recent decades, but has now embraced reflecting on her horror career. 

AN ANGEL FOR SATAN is one of many adaptations of the novel and served as Steele’s swan song to Italian gothic horror. Count Montebruno (Claudio Gora) is prepping his mansion at a small Italian village when a mysterious statue is pulled out of the nearby lake. This coincides with the arrival of his niece, Harriet (Steele). Her own history is questionable, but her behavior is more noticeable as she appears to be affected by the presence of the statue. She is a woman come undone, a shocking motif back in the day, arguably sexist by today’s standards. 

Severin has really outdone themselves with their 1080p presentation sourced from a new 2K scan of the original camera negative. This scan really shows off the black and white cinematography, exploiting the beautifully shot locales. The Blu-ray lacks any digital intrusion common with older films in high definition. Everything feels natural and fans will embrace this new vision. Another interesting attraction to this release is the inclusion of both English and Italian soundtracks in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono. I’m not too familiar with the film’s history but this is being marketed as the first release with an English language track. It was deemed lost until a recent discovery in a vault. I watched it with the English track and have no complaints as the dialogue was clear and dubbing was not as distracting as some Italian international releases. 

Severin has included two commentaries, one with Steele and horror film historian David Del Valle and the other with author Kat Ellinger. Steele gets candid about her career with the occasional dead air segments, but she is fun to listen to. An interview with actor Vassili Karis is also included in Italian with subtitles. Two trailers and a short film starring Steele wrap up the special features. 

AN ANGEL FOR SATAN is great for Steele and Italian horror fans, but Severin’s new Blu-ray release makes it an essential purchase. You can go order it HERE!

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