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The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971)

R | | Horror | January 1971 (UK)
Horror thriller set in 17th century England about the children of a village slowly converting into a coven of devil worshipers.

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Writers:

(original screenplay), (with additional material by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Patrick Wymark ...
The Judge
Linda Hayden ...
Barry Andrews ...
Ralph Gower
...
Margaret
Wendy Padbury ...
...
Reverend Fallowfield
Charlotte Mitchell ...
Ellen
Tamara Ustinov ...
Rosalind Barton
...
Peter Edmonton
James Hayter ...
Squire Middleton
Howard Goorney ...
The Doctor
Avice Landone ...
Isobel Banham (as Avice Landon)
Robin Davies ...
Mark Vespers
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Storyline

In the XVIII Century, in the countryside of England, the landsman Ralph Gower finds a skull with one eye and fur on the field. He summons the local judge to see his finding but it has disappeared. Meanwhile the local Peter Edmonton brings his fiancée Rosalind Barton to his aunt's house to marry her on the next day. However during the night Rosalind becomes insane and in the morning she is sent to an asylum and Peter sees a claw that has replaced her hand. Then Peter wakes up with a claw attacking him and he cuts it out, but he finds that he has hacked down his own hand. The local children have a strange behavior under the command of Angel Blake and they rape and kill others. In common, they have a strange fur on their skin. The judge returns from London and concludes that evil has possessed the children. What will he and his search party do? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A CHILL-FILLED Festival of HORROR! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Aima sta nyhia tou Satana  »

Box Office

Budget:

£82,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Upon its initial release the film caused some minor controversy due to the graphic nature of its violence, especially for the scene where Margaret has the patch of "Satan's skin" removed from her thigh. See more »

Goofs

There are two spelling errors in the opening titles: the production company is called Tigron instead of Tigon (in the copyright notice beneath the main title), and screen veteran James Hayter is billed as James Hoyter. See more »

Quotes

The Doctor: How do we know, sir, what is dead? You come from the city. You cannot know the ways of the country. See... this picture. Did Ralph not describe such a countenance?
The Judge: Perhaps some such thing.
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User Reviews

 
The Devil's presence rarely felt this real…
28 July 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

The Blood on Satan's Claw is a terrific film from Tigon Productions and yet, it's still pale compared to their greatest film – this being `The Witchfinder General' staring Vincent Price. Don't let the opening sequences of this film mislead you. The first 20 minutes are rather disappointing, with false scares and missed opportunities to set a satanic tone right from the start. The only real moments to enjoy during these initial 20 minutes are the atmospheric images of rural Britain around the 17th century. The photography of the little cursed village, completely isolated from the rest of England, is shown very effective. Yet, the real `horror' only kicks in when we're introduced to the absolutely astonishing Angel Drake. The young –and bewitching – Linda Hayden plays this shrew from hell. The plot can be summarized as followed: Satan (although never directly referred to as) takes over a little town by transferring his maniacal thoughts and devilish rituals over to the local adolescents and teenagers. Led by Angel Drake, these `children' perform witchcraft, mutilate and brutally kill fellow children who're marked by the growing of Satan's Skin (a bizarre fur suddenly growing on their bodies).

Truly atmospheric and tense with a dazzling demonic theme, subtle undertones of eroticism (Hayden seducing the priest in the church!!) and a spirited courage of director Haggard to break all the typical taboos in horror (pedophilia! Or the Children as symbol of evil!). Peter Wymark is terrific as `the Judge' but you can't help imagining Peter Cushing to play his role. I read in the production notes that Cushing was approached to star (as well as that other British horror legend, Christopher Lee) but the budget of the film was too small. But, just because the budget is modest, it doesn't mean the film can't be shocking. On the contrary! The group-rape scene – controlled by the ghastly eyes of Hayden – is still shocking, even by today's standards. Can you imagine the impact this particular scene caused at the time it was shot? In the year 1970, mind you!

Despite a few flaws, `The Blood on Satan's Claw' is an absolute highlight in the British horror field. Especially recommended to admirers of Hammer films and semi-sleaze lovers. The only letdowns (aside from the semi-tedious opening) is the rather annoying overuse of inappropriate music and the all-too-dramatic slow motion ending.


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