Starring: Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Satan
Director: Terrence Fisher
Setting: 1920’s England, when Crowley was still alive.
Plot: Christopher Lee and a big, dumb lump visit the nephew of a dead friend, who they vowed to protect, and discover he’s hanging out with a surprisingly diverse group of Devil worshippers. The leader of this group, Charles Gray, has hypnotic eyeballs and is planning on inducting the nephew, Simon, and a sexy Italian actress into the group. Can Christopher Lee and the lump save them in time?
Subplot: A rival group of Satanists try to call Christopher Lee and tell him he’s seriously misrepresenting their beliefs, but he’s never home.
Sub-subplot: A lonely goat makes its first human friend and accepts his invitation to a forest party.
I’ve always got time for horror with satanism in it…The Masque of the Red Death, Blood on Satan’s Claw, Witchfinder General…though it’s rare to see any that doesn’t equate it with evil or malice. Sadly, this one does, even if it is generally very watchable and well-made.
I’m no expert on this topic, but I’m pretty sure Satanists don’t actually sacrifice anyone or wish to hypnotise people into attending goat-killing, outdoor orgies.
Not that it’s really an orgy in this film, more like a bunch of actors dancing with dramatic arm flourishes and fondling each other a bit…or fondling the women. In fact, the whole thing is a bit tame, especially if it’s calling itself horror.
Has there ever been a group of Satanists that have sacrificed someone or done terrible things? Probably. I think a few serial killers claimed to be acting under the command of Satan, or following his ways, but that’s not a reflection on the whole movement. Continue reading