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on 12 October 2017
A great set of performances from Lee, Charles Gray, Patrick Mower and the whole cast. Given the state of the SFX industry at the time, the effects stand up well and are used intelligently and sparingly. One of the gems of British horror.
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on 14 June 2017
This is a very good film even if it isn't much like the book - the two mediums are after all so different and for a simplified viewing version it works very well and has withstood the test of time.
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on 15 October 2017
Had this film 🎥 on video,, now on dvd 📀, watched it lovely,
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on 15 June 2017
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on 17 August 2017
I first saw this film back in the 1980s on a small , black & white set upstairs, because such Satanic material was banned from the living room in our religious house. Oddly the film is more sinister in B&W than colour ; but it's certainly the best of the Hammer horror films and easy to see why it's Christopher Lee's favourite film of those he played in.

It hasn't dated badly as other Hammer Horror films as it's a well executed period piece, with only the giant spider effect really letting it down.

Both Christopher Lee & Charles Gray are excellent in the lead roles and a reversal of conventional wisdom in terms of casting.

The film is beautifully restored for Blu Ray ; it looks like it was filmed yesterday and has avoided the trap of over saturated colours seen on many modern restorations. The colours are more muted, in line with the 1960s film and production values but by no means washed out.

They say restorations and revamped effects should not be able to be detected. On this basis I cannot see what all the fuss about the giant spider scene is about, since they have changed to colour tone and added shadow so the effect blends in more with the live footage. It's an improvement , but clearly still a poor effect because the size of the spider changes throughout the shots - one minute minuscule , the next huge. You can still enjoy your bad 1960s effect.

Where they have overstepped the mark is early on when first calling on Simon 's house. The outdoor shot of the observatory at the top of the house is obviously CGI and jars badly with the 1960s production- I spotted that straight away. On the other hand , they have done an excellent job of removing the fringing on the back projection shots whilst driving and these look a huge improvement .

I am all for correcting shots but not replacing them so with hindsight the only improvement would have been to offer both untreated shot improvement and improved effects via DVD branching .

However those offered here, bar that one scene do not spoil my enjoyment of this great film. There's also a wonderful commentary with Christoper Lee, one of his last before he died in 2015.
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on 6 July 2016
This has got to be my new all-time fave Christopher Lee role. So refreshing to see him play the good guy, and to play the lead throughout instead of just being trotted out for a few minutes of hissing and snarling. It also has a solid script, that kept me involved and engaged without thinking that I'd seen it all before. For me, the fact that someone at Hammer seems to have raided the prize exhibits from a Vintage Car Club was an unexpected bonus. Charles Gray is good to see, although there were a few scenes triggering me to smile thinking of his later Rocky Horror role.

I love the bluray restoration and quality of the end result. This is the love that Hammer deserves. True that some of the effects look a bit naff - but the restorations are in keeping with the original budget-constrained effects and, based on the included restoration doco, they are actually an improvement that are still very close to the original. I was lucky enough to get this bluray within an Australian boxset of 17 lesser known Hammer classics, but this title is well worth grabbing on its own if you want to add a good (and slightly different) horror classic to your collection.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 August 2009
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.
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on 25 May 2016
A classic film - well paced, well acted and one of Christopher Lee's best roles. There is no lengthy preamble; instead the audience are given a roller-coaster of a ride from the start to finish. It was released in 1968 so don't expect remarkable special effects but an intelligent audience doesn't need monsters jumping out of the screen to sense menace or danger, and this film is full of this.
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on 12 March 2017
hammer movie at its best first class watch simon
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on 8 July 2013
This has stood the test of time and the king of movie villians Christopher Lee is a goodie ??
Nontheless a great script and eerie atmosphere makes this an absoulete classic . Hammer should have invested in more classic horror unlike the tired Dracula movies ( which Lee grew increasingly tired of !).
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