Black [Super] Sunday

By Black Sunday’s finale, Robert Shaw hangs perilously from the Goodyear blimp, trying to attach a cable and save thousands from a terrorist bomb plot. For the absurdity in the concept, Black Sunday knows how to sell it.

Black Sunday is an impossibility today. Featuring actual NFL teams, players, and the corporate-licensed blimp, there’s zero chance of either PR department signing off on terrorist scheme involving their logos just for a movie. That’s unlikely to boost stock prices.

Black Sunday places an American spectacle in the forefront

Surreal as that seems now, the threat itself is steeped in real world geopolitical angst, some leftover from Vietnam as Bruce Dern’s character suffers a psychotic break, and a Palestinian angered over the United States’ support of Israel. Black Sunday is not an impatient story, willing to let itself breathe, creating tension less from the script’s intelligence than carefully composed close calls.

Marthe Kellar takes over this film, more than known stars Shaw and Dern. Her haunting admission, “I want to win,” states she’s treating this less as an act of rebellion or defiance, but one where murder is defined as victory. Dern brings a solemness to his role, even an unnerving normalcy to his grief. Kellar, however, never drifts from her unwavering anger and manipulation of an American veteran. She never looks the part – not physically, rather emotionally. Her maturity toward seeing death is seared into her brain; she’s numb, and that’s terrifying.

In a tortured way, Black Sunday admonishes a country for their wars, the casualties, and murder. Black Sunday places an American spectacle in the forefront, using that as a catalyst for showing national instability and what conflict creates. While the final 20-minutes mash together rapid edits, so-so visual effects, and action movie hero nonsense, the previous two hours boldly call to attention the unrest while sensationalizing the possible repercussions. Never is America a villain, rather a country unsettled and unsure as foreign policy decisions nearly cost the nation a core piece of identity. It’s fascinating in that way, if a long haul to see it through.


Sporting a distinct ’70s grit, heavy grain imbues this master with substantial filmic aesthetics. Arrow’s encode holds Black Sunday under its control. This is a crisp, sharp master, preserved gorgeously on this Blu-ray. Where texture can seep in, it does, utilizing the available resolution fully.

Powerful shadows drop to black and even crush slightly, but to little detriment. Depth shines, the darkened cinematography pure.

Pure earth tones make up much of the palette, giving Black Sunday an undeniable ’70s vibe too. Flesh tones thrive, and with the occasional primary seeping through cleanly, there’s plenty to see. That’s especially true of the stadium sights.


DTS-HD options include original mono, stereo, and a remixed 5.1 track. The 5.1 is nuanced, hugging the front soundstage, using the rears only as ambient extensions or bettering the score’s impact. Bass is absent in entirety. This is also a clean audio track, but so is the mono. It’s a personal preference as to whether the wider crowd is worth the minimal change from Black Sunday’s source.


Josh Nelson drops in for a commentary, and then comes a visual essay run 30-minutes, exploring the ’70s terrorism genre, penned by Sergio Angelini. An older documentary on John Frankenheimer follows, running for an hour. Finally, Arrow includes an image gallery.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Black Sunday
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Lengthy and grueling, Black Sunday takes its time in building a terrorist plot steeped in ’70s era world politics.

User Review
4 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 45 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray:

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