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The Devil Rides Out
The Devil's Bride

UK 1968
produced by
Anthony Nelson-Keys for Hammer
directed by Terence Fisher
starring Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Leon Greene, Patrick Mower, Nike Arrighi, Paul Eddington, Sarah Lawson, Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies
screenplay by Richard Matheson, based on the novel by Dennis Wheatley, music by James Bernard

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Nicholas de Richleau (Christopher Lee) & Rex (Leon Greene) want to save their friend Simon (Patrick Mower) from a sect of satanists, lead by evil wizard Mocata (Charles Gray), but when the 2 first drag Simon off a Black Mass, he manages to eljude them, leaving them with only one clue, a girl called Tanith (Nike Arrighi), whom they prompty abduct to their friend Richard's (Paul Eddington) country home.

The girl though, under M ocata's spell,  proves to be elusive as well & only by luck can Rex follow her & spy out the location of a Black Mass the same night ... & this Black Mass is actually the ceremony in which both Simon & Tanith are to be baptized, & suddenly Nicholas & Rex see themselves facing uneven odds: not only have they to fight Mocata & his hordes of satanists, but also the Dark Lord himself, who appears at he baptism. However, with a car & a cruzifix they seem to have a winning hand & free both Simon & Tanith (who Rex has since fallen in love with), & bring htem back to Richard's house.

But Mocata still has a few aces up his sleeve, as he first tries to hypnotize Richard's wife Marie (Sarah Lawson) into submittance, & when that doesn't work, promises her to send something to come get his 2 elusive worshippers that same night.

& while Tanith decides to flee the place in order not to bring any danger to the others, but soon having Rex hot on her heels & tieing her up in a shed in order to keep her with him, Nicholas reverts to some White Magic to ward off the Black Magic, as he positions the rest of the group (Richard, Marie, Simon, but curiously enough not Richard & Marie's daughter Peggy or the house's butler) in a magic circle where Mocata's magic can't harm them - but he plays his mindgames with them, meddling with their thoughts & showing them some horrors just outside the circle. In the end though, as Mocata unleashes the Angel of Death onto them though, Nicholas can only revert to the most powerful spell of the Xeraphim that can disturb the fabric of time itself to save them ... But the Angel, once called can't return empty handed, so, when he can't tough the group in the circle, he takes with him Tanith.

& everything's alright ?

Of course not, as I have already pointed out, everyone neglected to take little Peggy into the circle (which is one major plothole of the movie), who has of course now been kidnapped by evil Mocata, & he prepares to sacrifice her, as Nicholas sum,mons the dead Tanith through Marie, who simply says the spell of the Xeraphim again ... & everything is good ?

Oh yes, time has rewritten itself, now Tanith has survived it all, & the Angel of Death has taken Mocata with him.

 

Despite the disappointing & not at all thought through happy ending & some major plotholes (the fact that Richard & Marie left their daughter outside the circle warding off Mocata's magic is just one of them), this is an interesting, entertaining & suspenseful occult thriller, directed by Terence Fisher with more subtlety than his usual output (not that there would be anything wrong with his other films), complimented by atmospheric settings (which was both Fisher's & Hammer's speciality) & overall competent acting.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD