The Devils Bride
The power of darkness is more than just a superstition
Running Time: 91 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: United Kingdom
Chickens in a basket, diagrams on the floor it can only mean one thing. No, not Twister for poultry the black arts! Satanism! Or in the words of Christopher Lees character Duc de Richleau, the most dangerous game known to mankind!. So maybe it is Twister after all, then.
Nobody can talk gobbledy-gook quite as convincingly as Lee, and hes in his absolute element here as the self-taught expert in the occult who uses his knowledge to save a young Patrick Mower from the dark side. If he ever catches Mower in an episode of Emmerdale, hell probably wish he hadnt bothered. But that cant be helped now. Whats done is done.
Its never quite explained what Richleau does when hes not battling evil itself, but hes got a butler who calls him Excellency, so we can assume hes not a bin man.
Chief baddie, meanwhile, is Mocata (Charles Blofeld Gray), a spirit-summoning servant of Beelzebub who looks a bit like an evil John Inman. He runs the local sacrificing-stuff-for-the-Devil club, something our Richleaus none too happy about particularly when it means the sudden appearance of giant tarantulas, a skeleton riding a horse and a big bloke dressed only in his boxers. Wonder what it says in all those occult books about the appliance of wedgies?
This Hammer studios adaptation of the classic Dennis Wheatley novel looks more than a little dated these days, of course, and I cant deny that much of it had me chuckling rather than diving behind the sofa. But the story itself is a good un, and Lees performance is quite simply fantastic. Terrence Fishers direction, meanwhile, is just stylish enough not to detract from the tale itself, with the atmospherics turned up to compensate for the somewhat shoogly special effects.
It's Got: A cool car chase to match anything in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Christopher Lee yelling Dont look in his eyes!!!!
It Needs: The Devil to be a bit less rubbish he doesnt even notice when people are hiding in the bushes right next to him.
DVD Extras Just a trailer but oooooh, what a trailer! DVD Extras Rating: 1/10
Alternatives:Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist
A Hammer horror classic. Its not likely to leave anyone shrieking with fear these days, but what it does offer is some great entertainment – in a funny sort of way.