Hammer Films, they are just so good. They were leaps and bounds ahead of what we were making over in the states at that time. I mean they are probably the most influential studio in terms of horror films. Many modern films use elements from their old films today. Their library of films is so vast its ridiculous. Movies, tv shows, min series, you name it, they did it. I remember back in the 90’s when vhs tape trading was high, Hammer films were always being searched out. Well fans, Scream Factory is taking care of us now in terms of the wide array of Hammer Films they have been releasing. And they don’t plan on slowing down any time soon, as The Devil Rides Out is next up for them.
The Devil Rides out is a Christopher Lee Hammer Film from 1968. Like a good chuck of the films from that era it really dabbled into an occult and satanic plot. A young man named Simon is very much into the occult. So much in fact he’s in a cult. His house is full of satanic drawing like pentagrams and such, and it really upsets his dad so much so he gets his friend Nicholas (Christopher Lee) to help him free Simon from this evil groups nonsense.
Nicholas is able to grab Simon, and another member named Tanith during a ritual but unfortunately the groups leader, a creepy guy named Mocata is now inside the minds of Simon and Tanith so he is able to track them down pretty easy. He finds them and tells them to return to the group with him. They do not so he unleashes the Angel of Death on them. He also kidnaps Nicholas friends daughter for good measure leaving Nicolas with Simon helping him to locate the cult and not only save the girl but stop the other powerful spells the cult has unleashed.
This is a very creepy film. It’s not corny like you may think. No this is a pretty serious occult style horror film. Hammer did a great job of making it almost pure evil. Hammer was just so ahead of their time it was insane. This film, although not loaded with tons of blood and gore it a must watch for horror fans for the tone and atmosphere alone. This doesn’t rely on the standard jump scare tactics like modern films. Not saying it doesn’t have them, but Hammer really used the tone, atmosphere, score, and fantastic acting to really heighten the tension and deliver the chills.
Scream Factory has done an amazing job once again with the transfer. The colors are bright and vibrant. The dark scenes look fantastic as Scream Factory is always able to avoid that blue tint that plagues many transfers. The audio is crisp and the score sounds fantastic playing through your surround sound. The release also boasts a great amount of special features.
NEW 2K Scan Of The 20thCentury Fox Interpositive (Also Included Is The Studio Canal Restored Master)
NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman, Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr, And Author/Screenwriter Richard Christian Matheson
NEW Satanic Shocks – Author/Film Historian Kim Newman Discusses The Devil Rides Out
NEW Folk Horror Goes Haywire – Author/Film Historian Jonathan Rigby Discusses The Devil Rides Out
Audio Commentary With Actors Christopher Lee And Sarah Lawson
Black Magic: The Making Of The Devil Rides Out
Dennis Wheatley At Hammer
World Of Hammer Episode – Hammer
Another great Hammer film, another great Scream Factory release. Fans of modern ghost and suspense films will love this one, as will the old school horror fans. Definitely worth a watch, and one I highly recommend.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!