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Ivo Garrani


Prince Vajda, or Ivo Garrani to everyone else, has died at 91. He was an Italian character actor of little note in the United States, and, sadly, from what I've read, in Italy, too. But his Prince Vajda from Mario Bava's cinematic masterpiece Black Sunday has stuck with me since I was eleven years old. Or maybe it was Barbara Steele's tits that have stuck with me all this time ... It doesn't matter.

On screen, in his castle, Vajda was paralyzed with fear. Off screen, in the Warner Theatre, in Erie, Pennsylvania, the 11-year-old me was also overcome with fear when I saw Princess Asa Vajda turn into a vampire/witch. I even pulled my feet up on the theater's seat so no vampire or witch could grab my ankles and drag me off to wherever it is that witches and vampires take kids who stare at their cleavage too long ... Or maybe it was just her tits. I don't know. All I know is that movie fucked me up. For 55 years I have lusted after witches because of Black Sunday. I mean, Margaret Hamilton ... Com'on ... Okay, none of that is germane to Garrani. What's important is that I've carried Ivo Garrani on my deadpool back for ten freakin' years and he has finally paid off. Seven points when you add in the five for the solo.

--Bill Schenley

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