The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971)

directed by piers haggard
tigon british film productions

This fine representation of early ’70s British horror would’ve made a perfect selection for any late-nite frightfest host or hostess – minus the scene or two of pubescent nudity, that is. Blood is a period piece, but of what period I am not exactly sure, in that I am hardly an authority on the confusing history of England. (It’s set in the early 18th century, so let’s call it “Jacobin.” Had I been paying more careful attention, I could probably pinpoint it better. Alas.) AT ANY RATE, the setup involves witches and villages. And madness! Political intrigue! The Church! Et cetera. The children have formed into a sort of consortium, in league with You Know Who. Actually, you don’t; the film’s a bit muzzy on that point. The minimal production values and genteel nature of the proceedings keep things from getting too out of hand.

why did i watch this movie?

It would be difficult for this reviewer to pass up anything called “The Blood on Satan’s Claw,” even if it IS a period piece from pastoral England. The synopsis made it sound bonkers enough.

should you watch this movie?

That’s probably not necessary unless you happen to be an aficionado of British horror of this era and are a completist to boot. Unintentional hilarity might also be a draw, I suppose, as in the case of the inverse fauness.

Highlight and low point

The special effects in this one really speak volumes, as they’re from the school of “obscure the demon or whatever it is behind smoke” and “wave the furry glove with claws in front of the camera in a POV shot.” By the time we finally SEE the demon or whatever it is, it is laughable. Meaning, I laughed.

rating from outer space: C

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