Blood On Satan's Claw
'Are you ready ? Do you dare ? Could you bare the terrifying touch of Blood On Satan’s Claw ?' So read the lurid overtitles on the original theatrical trailer for this classic slice of British horror cinema. Released on Tigon, produced by Tony Tenser and directed by Piers Haggard, thematically Blood On Satan’s Claw (1971) follows in the tracks of one of the most distinctive British horror films of the 60s in Michael Reeves' Witchfinder General (1968). On one level a tale of simple country folk battling witchcraft and demonic possession in the depths of darkest 17th century England there's much about the unsettling blend of high production values and exploitation driven content in the style and mood of the film that over the years have earned it its thoroughly merited cult status.
Starring the17 year old Linda Hayden (Taste The Blood Of Dracula) as the satanic temptress Angel Blake, Patrick Wymark (Repulsion) and Michele Dotrice (And Soon The Darkness) the absence of either of the totemic giants of British horror cinema Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee (or for that matter Vincent Price) arguably gives the film even more cult appeal. Add to that the production's meticulous attention to detail, the atmospheric cinematography of Dick Bush, an eerily evocative score by Mark Wilkinson, the de rigeur late 60s and early 70s fascination with all things witchcraft related, an infamously drawn out ritualistic rape scene and you have a film that remains every frame a product of its time.