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The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971)

Horror thriller set in 17th century England about the children of a village slowly converting into a coven of devil worshipers.

Director:

Piers Haggard

Writers:

Robert Wynne-Simmons (original screenplay), Piers Haggard (with additional material by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Patrick Wymark ... The Judge
Linda Hayden ... Angel Blake
Barry Andrews ... Ralph Gower
Michele Dotrice ... Margaret
Wendy Padbury ... Cathy Vespers
Anthony Ainley ... Reverend Fallowfield
Charlotte Mitchell Charlotte Mitchell ... Ellen
Tamara Ustinov Tamara Ustinov ... Rosalind Barton
Simon Williams ... Peter Edmonton
James Hayter ... Squire Middleton
Howard Goorney Howard Goorney ... The Doctor
Avice Landone ... Isobel Banham (as Avice Landon)
Robin Davies 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A CHILL-FILLED Festival of HORROR! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aima sta nyhia tou Satana See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£82,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. 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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to edit the rape scene and shots of a naked girl dancing in front of a knife-wielding boy. The cuts were fully restored in the 2003 Anchor Bay DVD release. See more »

Connections

Featured in Linda Hayden: An Angel for Satan (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best British horror movies of the early 70s, and no, it's NOT Hammer.
26 March 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

The British horror boom of the 60s and 70s was dominated by Hammer, but a couple of other studios, Amicus and Tigon, tried their best to make their mark. Amicus are probably the better remembered of the two, with a few well loved anthologies to their credit (e.g. 'Asylum'), but Tigon actually made the better movies, especially the now classic 'Witchfinder General', directed by doomed cult figure Michael Reeves, as well as 'The Creeping Flesh', and 'The Blood On Satan's Claw', which is what 'Satan's Skin' is best known as. This movie frequently gets compared to 'Witchfinder General', but apart from being set in a similar era, and even having one actor in common (Patrick Wymark who plays The Judge here had a small cameo as Oliver Cromwell in 'Witchfinder General') they are quite different in approach and execution. Piers Haggard is no Michael Reeves but he's had an interesting career which has included the underrated final 'Quatermass' series (which starred Sir John Mills) and the entertaining Oliver Reed/Klaus Kinski exploitation thriller 'Venom', as well as working with Dennis Potter on 'Pennies From Heaven'. I still don't think 'Blood On Satan's Claw' is as good as 'Witchfinder General', but it's an excellent chiller nevertheless, and one of the most underrated British horror movies of all time. Like Reeves Haggard knows how to make the most of a small budget, and he manages to create an unsettling and creepy atmosphere. Also like Reeves he makes brilliant use of the English countryside. Patrick Wymark sadly died shortly after completing this movie, but it's a good testament to his talent. He gives a terrific performance. Also look out for his work in 'Repulsion' and 'Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun'. Seventies sex siren Linda Hayden ('Baby Doll', 'Madhouse', 'House On Straw Hill') is also memorable as Angel Blake, the leader of a Satanic group of young villagers. She looks absolutely stunning, and has one unforgettable nude scene. The supporting cast includes a few familiar faces, most notably Michelle Dotrice ('Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em') who plays Margaret, and Wendy Padbury (Zoe from 'Dr Who') who plays Cathy. The only thing I can really fault with this movie is the ending, which is a bit rushed and anti-climactic, but apart from that it's one of the best British horror movies of the early 70s, and highly recommended viewing.


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