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Rasputin – The Mad Monk (1966)

Thrown out of his monastery for his licentious and drunken behaviour, Grigori Rasputin (Christopher Lee) travels to St Petersburg to chance his luck.

Through a dalliance with Sonia (Barbara Shelley), one of the Tsarina’s ladies in waiting, he soon gains influence at court with his powers of healing and hypnotism. But he also makes enemies along the way, some who wish to see him dead.

Dr Zargo (Richard Pasco) is a former physician who is now forbidden to practice medicine. He is befriended by Rasputin and witnesses first-hand the horrible treatment of Sonia by the mad monk, culminating in him hypnotising Sonia and ordering her to kill herself (because she now bores him).

Rasputin’s ultimate downfall begins when he sets his eyes on Sonia’s beautiful friend, Vanessa (Suzan Farmer), thanks to an orchestrated plan between Dr Zargo and Vanessa’s brother, Ivan (Francis Matthews) to rid the country of such a powerful menace.

Sonia’s poor brother Peter (Dinsdale Landen), tries to avenge his sister’s forced suicide but Rasputin throws acid in his face, severely disfiguring and ultimately killing him.

The exciting conclusion sees Zargo trying to kill Rasputin over and over – repeatedly failing – until Ivan assists to stop this madman once and for all.

Hammer filmed Rasputin – The Mad Monk back-to-back with Dracula: Prince of Darkness and used many of the same cast members and sets.

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin
Christopher Lee
Barbara Shelley
Dr Boris Zargo
Richard Pasco
Francis Matthews
Suzan Farmer
Dinsdale Landen
Renée Asherson
Derek Francis
Tsarevitch Alexei
Robert Duncan
The Bishop
Joss Ackland
The Abbot
John Welsh
The Physician
John Bailey
Alan Tilvern

Don Sharp