Blood on Satan’s Claw

Blood on Satan’s Claw

An annual favorite of mine since childhood, and one of the better entries in the British witchcraft genre from the late-60’s and early-70’s.

Years after the eradication of witchcraft, a small village sees a resurgence of inexplicable murders.  It seems a demon has come to town, hell-bent on possessing the local children.  It’s up to a local judge to get to the bottom of the nightmare and do away with the unwelcome presence.

Typical for the genre, Blood on Satan’s Claw boasts tons of lush British countryside, surprisingly decent cinematography, satanic panic, and graphic teen sacrifices.  Slight on gore, heavy on atmosphere, and enough ritualistic sex and murder to qualify this entry as moderately sleazy.  Reliable Patrick Wymark plays the determined witchfinder general.

You can catch this one about once or twice a year on Turner Classic Movies.  Watch late on a Saturday night, and pair with Mark of the Devil (1970).

1971; starring Patrick Wymark, Linda Hayden; directed by Piers Haggard; 93 min; R; English.