Saturday, September 25, 2010
The Devil's Bride aka The Devil Rides Out 1968 ***
Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Nike Arrighi
Just to get this out of the way first, if you watch the film you will get see the things on the poster, and more. There is a man with a goat head, there is a giant spider, there is an Angel of Death with a skull face - riding a horse with bat wings! And even more creepy stuff. I generally enjoy any film I watch from Hammer Studios but this is one that really delivers. For one thing, as opposed to many films where Christopher Lee appears only a few times and speaks little or not at all, he's in almost every scene of this movie and has many lines that would make effective sound bites in a Rob Zombie song. It is unique in that Lee plays the hero of the film, for once trying to work against Satan, and manages this with conviction. The villain of the piece is portrayed by Charles Gray, whom many will recall as Blofeld in Diamonds are Forever, or as the Criminologist in Rocky Horror Picture Show ("It's just a jump to the left!"). Gray is trying to raise the devil and nearly succeeds except for the interference of that snooping Christopher Lee and his own version of the Scooby-Doo gang.
The movie doesn't just hint at certain dangers, it actually depicts them, which makes for some fun visuals and genuinely scary scenes. Though I often also enjoy a good use of power of suggestion, as say in the original Night of the Living Dead, where half the time we are just shown people arguing in a house, but it's what they are arguing about that creeps us out. And speaking of the original Night of..., tonight is the triumphant return of Elvira's Movie Macabre to local stations in the U.S. and the Romero classic is slated at the inaugural flick. I live in Canada unfortunately, so will have to miss out because none of our U.S. affiliates are carrying it. Well, I'll still be flipping through channels later hoping I missed something in my research.