The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971)
November 7, 2021 3:59 PM - Subscribe

The unearthing of mysterious beastly remains causes the teens of a 17th-century English village to slowly convert into a coven of devil worshipers. An early classic of filmic folk horror.

Streaming in the US on Shudder.
posted by DirtyOldTown (4 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Curiously, I haven’t seen this, but I have listened to the audio drama adaption….
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:28 PM on November 7, 2021

This had amazing vibes. Coming at it from the place in history I am at, it was tempting to take it as
a slasher film-like sex equals death outlook. But really, it seems like it's more about how civilization is a thin veneer and the primal stuff underneath can overthrow it at any time.

Angel is a truly memorable villain.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:20 PM on November 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

I liked the way the story starts with a bunch of disconnected events and slowly moves them together into a whole (even if somewhat incoherent and unexplained) for the climax. There’s a real feeling of no one really understanding the forces at work.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:51 AM on November 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

I recently saw Black Sunday, and watched this the other night, and what feels odd to me about both is that they basically both take the Malleus Malificarum, as a synecdoche for classical Christian witchcraft panic if not in its very specifics, seriously in a way that I am not used to. The execution of the princess in Black Sunday is a justified punishment for her crimes and act of defense. protecting the community from her predations. Likewise the hunting and destruction of Angel Blake's cult is a good and correct defense of the community against an evil that has grown from within. Most horror I'm familiar with does not depict authority so trustingly or Christianity as righteously or powerfully. I don't know how much of this stems from these movies being made between five and six decades ago in a different culture; certainly The Exorcist is if not a Malleus Malificarum film a film with the same attitudes toward the works of Satan on earth and the power of God and his servants to overcome it, but I feel like over time the attitude has shifted toward a darker, even nihilistic "we're on our own to resist" or "there is no hope" attitude toward such forces.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:18 AM on November 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

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