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The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971) Poster

Trivia

Patrick Wymark died shortly after making this film
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The film was originally conceived as three stories that would play out separately, but all have the unearthed remains of Satan being the linking factor between them. The stories of Peter Edmonton and his mad fiance, the possessed village children, and the Judge's battle with evil were all at first suppose to take place independently. However when the script was written it was decided that the plots should be combined to create one central story.
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At one point both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were suggested for the role of the Judge but were considered to be too expensive. Other actors discussed included Donald Pleasence and Michael Gough.
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The opening credits of some versions of the film title it "The Blood on Satan's Claw", where as others drop the word THE and title it simply "Blood on Satan's Claw."
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The films opening scene where Ralph plows up the skeletal remains of the 'fiend' in the field was actually the first scene to be shot of the film.
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The scene where 'Satan's skin' is cut off of Margaret was inspired by an actual event from screenwriter Robert Wynne-Simmons' childhood when a doctor performed an operation on him while he was laid out on a kitchen table.
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Actor Simon Williams said while shooting the scene where he's attacked by the furry claw, "they had a little insert shot of my hand reaching for the dagger and I was doing a lot of business of inching my fingers forward and twitching them. Piers said, 'Cut! Cut! Cut! Simon, don't overact with your fingers."
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According to screenwriter Robert Wynne-Simmons the previous success of The Conqueror Worm (1968) caused the studio to pressure the writers to replicated elements of that film for Blood on Satan's Claw. Wynne-Simmons said that the scenes where the Judge studies the book on witches and the scene where the villagers witch-duck Margaret were added at the insistence of the Tigon Studio executives.
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For its US release the films nudity was censored, particularly in Linda Hayden's seduction scene, by darkening the footage to avoid an X rating.
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The plot about Rosalind Barton's visit to the Vespers house was based on an original story that screenwriter Robert Wynne-Simmons wrote in college. The scene where Master Peter cuts off his hand while having a dream about being attacked was also taken from the story.
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The first draft of the screenplay took place in the Victorian era and the films villain was a more ambiguous evil-element. However the executives at Tigon Studios weren't satisfied with the early draft. The studio objected to the ambiguous unnamed evil and to a heavy-handed finale that wasn't the dramatic showdown between good and evil that they envisioned for the film.
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According to director Piers Haggard the scene of the coven's attack and rape of Cathy Vespers was completely unplanned and created mainly during the shooting. Haggard said even the coven's chant was written right on the spot.
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The film was originally released in the US on double feature with the film The Beast in the Cellar (1970).
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Director Piers Haggard once revealed that he kept a finger from the devil-skeleton as a memento of the film.
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According to co-star Simon Williams for the scene where Patrick Wymark slaps him out of hysteria, Wymark really did strike him painfully.
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On her first day of filming, star Linda Hayden cut her foot badly and had to be rushed to a local hospital for stitches.
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According to director Piers Haggard it was Samuel Z. Arkoff, producer for American International Pictures, who came up with the film's title.
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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.
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Reportedly executive producer Tony Tenser wanted the film to be titled "The Ghouls Are Amongst Us."
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This is often grouped in the short-lived genre of "folk horror", a series of horror films set in rural areas that were all released around the same period. Other films in this category include The Conqueror Worm (1968) and The Wicker Man (1973).
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Director Piers Haggard is the great grandnephew of H. Rider Haggard, author of "King Solomon's Mines" and "She".
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Screenwriter Robert Wynne-Simmons took inspiration from the Manson killings and also the infamous Mary Bell murder case that rocked England around the time.
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The production was contractually obliged to cast Linda Hayden.
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A huge influence on Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith and Jeremy Dyson, the team behind The League of Gentlemen (1999).
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Shot on a budget of £70,000.
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Both Wendy Padbury and Simon Williams were both displeased with certain aspects of the film.
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