Igor Javutich was a fictional warlock featured in the 1960 Mario Bava film Black Sunday. Played by Italian actor Arturo Dominici, he was one of two central antagonists in the film.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Igor Javutich was a 17th century warlock, Satanist and lover of the Princess Asa Vajda. Asa and he had been captured by her brother, the grand inquisitor of the Holy Inquisition and executed for crimes of witchcraft. Javutich was fitted with the Mask of Satan, a bronze effigy of the devil that was nailed to his face moments before he was burned at the stake. His body was then buried in an unmarked grave reserved for murderers and suicides.

Two centuries later, Asa Vajda returned from the dead and used her powers to resurrect Javutich. He crawled out of his grave and though his flesh had reformed itself, he still bore the scars where the mask had been nailed onto his face. Javutich continued to fulfill the vow of vengeance Asa and he had made against the Vajda family. Using a hidden tunnel that led from Asa's burial crypt to the Vajda castle, Igor was able to access the castle's salon by way of a secret door behind the fireplace. He terrorized the current prince, causing a massive panic attack that left him bedridden. The prince shouted for help and Igor was unable to finish him off. He retreated back through the fireplace access and disappeared.

He then found a man named Boris, a coach driver for the Vajda family and killed him, indiscriminately tossing his body onto the riverbed. Posing as a servant of the castle, he then made contact with a professor named Thomas Kruvajan. He told Kruvajan that the prince was ill and that his services were needed. However, instead of bringing Kruvajan back to the castle, he instead brought him to Princess Asa who, while still alive, was trapped inside her coffin, too weak to rise. Asa turned Kruvajan into a vampire-like creature, transforming him into her personal undead servant. Igor and Kruvajan sneaked back into the castle to finish their work with the prince. Kruvajan made sure that the prince was vulnerable to Igor and Asa's power and the following day he was found dead in his bedroom. His face was a mass of scars and burns.

On the night following the prince's funeral, Igor attempted to capture the prince's daughter Katia Vajda, whom Asa wanted to use as a vessel to house her angry spirit. Katia saw Igor's gloved hands coming for her from behind a curtain and let out a scream. Her brother Constantine Vajda, house servant Ivan and Kruvajan's assistant Andre Gorobec came to Katia's aid, but Igor was already gone. They then discovered the secret panel behind the fireplace. While Andre and Constantine explored the passageway into the ruins, Igor strangled Ivan then hung his body from a noose. Once again he tried to abduct Princess Katia, but now her own father, having returned from the dead as a servant of Satan tried to murder her. This went against Javutich's plans and he destroyed the prince by casting his body into the fireplace where it burst into flames.

Entering the secret tunnel, he came upon Constantine Vajda and lumbered after him. Constantine tried to back away, but fell through a trap door, causing himself great harm. Javutich then fought with Andre Gorobec. He tried to throw Andre into the pit as well, but Constantine, barely hanging on, managed to reach up out of the pit and grab Igor, pulling him down through the trap door where he fell to his death.

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

In the American International Pictures release of Black Sunday, Igor Javutich's name was changed to Javuto. In the original Italian version of the film, the character was credited as Fratello del Astrega.

Arturo Dominici's daughter Germana Dominici plays the role of Sonya in Black Sunday.

Family connection[edit | edit source]

It has been implied that Asa and Igor were not only satanists and lovers, but possibly siblings as well. This would go towards explaining why a portrait of Igor is hung in the salon at Vajda castle. Also, Igor's tunic is emblazoned with a silver griffin, which is later seen as the Vajda family crest. The silver griffin can also be seen in the painting in the salon as well as carved in relief on the back of the fireplace. [2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dates are conjectural. Film critic and novelist Tim Lucas says on the Black Sunday DVD that the main story takes place "around" the year 1830 with the prologue of the film taking place exactly two-hundred years earlier.
  2. Tim Lucas; Black Sunday; DVD audio commentary; 1999

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This article relates to the works of Mario Bava.
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