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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971)

The Blood on Satan's Claw

1971 | United Kingdom | 97 min
  • Watched on Sun Jan 3, 2021 via Blu-ray (2019 | Screenbound Pictures)
    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Misses more than it hits, but the hits are home runs. Set in rural 18th-century England, the story concerns some strange remains unearthed in a local field. Soon hairy, clawed arms are emerging from floors and the village children have formed an evil cult.

    We’re treated to some amazing—albeit unsettling—scenes. In one, a teenage girl possessed by whatever ancient evil they’ve unearthed attempts to seduce the local schoolteacher. In another, the cult traps another teen, forcing her into an awful situation made even more disturbing by the ecstatic leering faces we see observing.

    But we’re also subjected to some galling missteps. The clawed arm elicits chuckles instead of dread, and the finale monster brought on outright laughter. The plot also meanders. An early thread concerning a young couple fizzles out, and the abrupt ending feels disingenuous.

    Still, the positives warrant a revisit. The Blu-ray features a commentary with Mark Gatiss that may prove enlightening. Perhaps knowing the film’s weaknesses may make them easier to overlook on a second viewing.

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