on 2 November 2013
I have both the Anchor Bay DVD and the new Blu Ray release, I have always thought the original effects let an otherwise brilliant film down. So the guys who re-mastered this edition have done a brilliant job, they have not ruined the film at all, total rubbish, they have enhanced it, if you watch the making of its only in small bits, blue flames behind the Angel of Death, when there was just a blue screen(as originally Hammer did not have the budget or/and time to do the effect), the Spider which always looked rubbish, its still there(no CG spider), just colour corrected and darkened so now it looks grounded and in the room, instead of a stupid super imposed spider. They also got a 4k print of it, did all the remastering of it on this, then took it down to Blu Ray resolution. Get this disc dont listen to the nay sayers, brilliant quality.
on 21 February 2015
In 1968 Satanism was a prickly subject so it took some daring for Hammer to bring The Devil Rides Out to the big screen. The reason this movie is so good is the excellent script by Richard Matheson who sticks rigidly to Wheatley's book, stiff upper lip and all, allowing the plot to excite and thrill as it leads to a thrilling climax. The let-downs - as agreed by everyone - are the dreadful special effects which are so central to the theme and are laughable. Lee excels as the Duc de Richlieu - perhaps one of the best performances of his career - and Gray revels in the part of master satanist Mocata. The music score also jars and is intrusive. Despite the misgivings over the giant spider, the Goat of Mendes and the reverse play of the angel of death, I'd give this four stars for the effort alone. It's a pity Hammer messed up To The Devil A Daughter so badly, leading to the premature demise of other Wheatley interpretations.
on 25 March 2015
Blu ray version: An excellent restoration for an excellent horror film, perhaps Hammer's finest hour. The original film colour tones have been faithfully reproduced adding that unique 60s feel to the film. Despite what some critics say, I found the 're-touched' scene when the angel of Death arrives to be tastefully executed. To me this improved the film, although it would have been better had new Hammer given viewers the option of 'original or new SFX' as Paramount have done in the Star Trek original series. Nonetheless this is an excellent film and restoration which richly deserves a five star rating.
on 21 July 2009
One of Terrence Fisher's greatest directorial efforts certainly is this stylish, witty and thrilling adaptation of a Dennis Wheatley novel. Richard Matheson did the screenwriting and like most of what he touches, it turns to gold. This film also has a wonderful score throughout, some superior set pieces and some decent looking special effects for its day (O.K. so maybe some of it does look cheesy and laughable). This film sets itself apart from most of the rest of Christopher Lee's career as, for a change, he plays the good guy!. In fact, he does a rather good job and the character, although a hero definitely suits his persona. Lee's character is a pronounced expert on the occult and Lee does a great job in portraying him. This was probably one of Hammer's lesser known efforts, however The Devil Rides Out is one of the strongest Satanist films in a subgenre that's usually known for powerful films. Unlike a lot of Hammer's efforts, there are no gothic monsters to be seen or unfortunately period sets and costumes. The story centers around a group of three friends meeting after sometime and finding that one of them has been taken in by a Satanic cult, and is soon to be "re-baptized" into the unholy order. The forces of good face everything from old Scratch himself to a giant spider to the Angel of Death, not to mention Mocata and his league of followers. Christopher Lee gets in a rare turn as a protagonist facing Charles Gray's sinister Mocata, a "high priest" in Satan's service. He brings all the manner and imposing stature of his Dracula character to this role and the result is one of the best hero characters in Hammer's vaunted history. The Devil Rides Out is a fantastic film and definitely one of my favorites that has been overshadowed by Hammer's more famous films. I do suggest you seek it out though, if for nothing other than to see Lee as a good guy.
on 31 August 2007
Of all the British horror films it`s "The Wicker Man" that tends to get all the plaudits, but for my money The Wicker Man has no sense of fun with it unlike this. I remember first seeing this on late night TV all those years ago & thinking "Wow what a movie". Having spoken to many people over the years whenever we talk about horror films this is allways mentioned. This is beyond any doubt one of the most underated British horror movies ever. If your new to Hammer or you`ve never seen this film & your reading all these reviews you should now be thinking is this really that good ? Well actually yes it is. The use of music is outstanding in helping to set the atmosphere, the special Fx are`nt as naff as they usually are in Hammer films, the acting by everybody is 1st class, the screen play is perfectly ballanced between horror & adventure, the edititng is spot on & set at a good pace, and to cap it all it`s actually a bloody good story ! i mean what more could you want. Put this on when you & your mates get back from the pub, there`ll love you forever if you do !
A true British classic, worth every penny even Christopher Lee rates this as one of his best film moments. What better recommendation than that can you have ? Highly Recommended go buy !
on 3 May 2013
Notable for its casting of the great Christopher Lee in a rare `good-guy' role, this Hammer release from the late Sixties is clearly dated but as an example of the genre it remains great fun. With Charles Gray (if ever a man was born to play a cult leader it was him) as chief villain, Patrick Mower as a gullible acolyte sucked in to Gray's devil-worshipping sect, Lee as urbane Duke de Richelieu - determined to rescue his friend from the clutches of the sinister chicken-sacrificers, and Leon Greene as the Duke's mucker Rex Van Ryn, this is a decent stab at filming Dennis Wheatley's atmospheric novel; albeit a pretty clumsily edited one.
on 3 March 2015
This movie, "The Devil Rides Out" the best film of 1968, starring the brilliant Sir Christopher Lee, is even better on 'Blu-ray!' This special edition version, has been upgraded and enhanced, the Angel of Death is fabulous! Forget the old TV version, this one is a must see! "The Devil Rides Out" is adapted from the brilliant novel by Dennis Wheatley; it's just a shame Hammer did not make anymore!
The movie is set in London, Kent and the Thames Valley, in 1929. Nicholas, The Duc de Richleau, meets his friend, Rex Van Ryn, at a small Airfield in Kent for the annual reunion of the "Modern Musketeers" a unique club, they both belong too. The third member has long since passed, but his son, Simon Aron, is now an honorary member. They meet once a year, on the anniversary of the assassination attempt upon the Spanish king, in 1906, in which the Duke and his friends went undercover to investigate the Spanish anarchists responsible.
Simon is absent from the anniversary get together, because he is hosting a meeting of the "Astronomical Society" in which he is now a "member." The meeting is taken place at Simon's new house in St. John's Wood. The Duke and Rex arrive at the house, to find the Annual General Meeting of the "Astrogical Society" in full swing. The Duke and Rex are asked to leave, because they are not members of the "Circle!" The Duke is introduced to the wicked Mr. Mocata, head of the Devil Worshiping Group. The Duke suspects that Simon is now in too deep, so they make the drastic decision to kidnap him, and get him away from Mocata. The fun begins............
Join Nicholas, Rex, Simon, Marie, Richard and Tanith Carlisle, Mocata's medium, battle the forces of evil, until they destroy the Goat of Mendes, the Angel of Death, and the Devil's right hand man on Earth, the evil Mocata.
This marvellous film is one of Hammers best ever. Really only Dracula and The Hound of the Baskervilles are in the same league.
Christopher Lee plays the Duc De Richeau with the same passion he plays normally plays bad guys. Charles Gray is excellent as Mocata, the leader of the devil worshipers. Other noteable actors that you will know are Patrick Mower and Paul Eddington.
The director is Terence Fisher who consistently proved himself to be the best Hammer director. The film is gripping and if the special effects look very primitive now you should not let it detract from what is otherwise a great film.
At the time of writing this I do not know what (if any) extras will be on this DVD, but the region 1 edition I have has a commentary by Christopher Lee and others which is quite fascinating and well worth getting. Even without the commentary this is still an essential purchase for Hammer and/or horror fans.
on 17 April 2014
When I first saw this film ages ago on British TV as a kid, I loved it. I found it to be quite scary, which I'm sure it was mean to be. When I saw it quite recently on DVD (not this particular copy), I didn't find it to be in the slightest bit scary and I found it to be very dated in all respects. The acting really got on my nerves - the actors deliver their lines in such an unnatural way. What's more, when my son, who was about nine at the time, watched it with me, he didn't find it to be at all scary.
This film is based on the book of the same name by Dennis Wheatley. The Duke du Richeleau (Christopher Lee) and his friend Rex Van Ryn (Leon Greene) had been expecting to meet up with their young ward, Simon Aron (Patrick Mower), for a pre-arranged meal.
They go looking for Simon to find out why he didn't turn up, only to discover that he had joined an exclusive "astronomical society". Du Richeleau believes that the young man has fallen in with a Satanist Cult, which is leady by a man called Mecata (Charles Gray). At the party Rex takes a shine to a young woman called Tanith, who it turns out is the medium that Mecata requires for his occult practices.
The Duke must fight time, evil and scepticism to save his friends.
Christopher Lee is excellent as de Richeleau, and is matched by the malevolence of Charles Gray as the evil Mecata. Of the entire cast, the weakest for me has to be Patrick Mower (but he was only at the start of his career in this film).
This film was made as part of a deal with Christopher Lee (who was a fan of Dennis Wheatley's work), and is said to be one of his favourite films. Mr Lee is one of my favourite actors, so I may be a little bias.
I have to say that I have been a fan of Wheatley's work since I was a child, but when ever I managed to save enough to get a book my father would find it and, when I came home from school, we would have a ritualistic destruction of the text, along with comments about witch-craft, black magic and the occult. I hate to think what he'd do to my collection if he could see it now.