The Duc de Richleau (Christopher Lee) discovers that his friend Simon (Patrick Mower) has come under the influence of a group of Satanists. When Simon disappears, Richleau sets out to rescue him and confronts the evil devil worshipper, Mocata (Charles Gray).
As a satanic spectacular, this is the business, even if (for once in a Hammer horror production) Christopher Lee is on the side of virtue.
Director Terence Fisher searches for credibility in Dennis Wheatley’s trashy tale of the Duc de Richleau trying to save Patrick Mower’s soul from the clutches of Gray’s rotted limb of Satan.
Whatever cynical giggles this might cause are soon flattened by the deadpan approach and some seriously orgiastic production numbers.
Some slightly rushed effects work aside, it’s executed with devilish brilliance in all departments, and Richard Matheson’s scary script from Dennis Wheatley’s novel is one of the best that Hammer ever had to work with.
Duc de Richleau
Rex Van Ryn