I really liked The Blood on Satan's Claw's down'n'dirty mudpunk period look: know-nothing God-fearing Dark Age villagers slathered in dirt and blood and piss terrified of weird bones in a field. And I liked how the movie works as the inverse of a Witchfinder General torture-the-innocent-until-they-confess devil hunt. A skeptical magistrate actually needs HARD EVIDENCE (by ye olde standardes) to convince him that something witchy this way comes in the dark primeval woods of 17th century England? Way to play my folk-horror loving heart like a lute from hell, Satan's Claw!
Blood on Satans Claw just carved my brain raw! Surreal 70s folk horror that's oozing with style and creepy atmosphere. From the second that guy discovered that freaky face thing buried in the sand I was paying attention! Unsettling and haunting it slowly sneaks up on you and gets under your skin. Then without much warning it goes from 0 to 100. One second it's all Little House on the Prairie and then BAM! Guy is cutting his own hand off! People are randomly growing fur and claws...things get weird! And in typical folk horror fashion everything boils over into an ending filled with fire and bloodshed. If I start seeing random fur patches on my body after watching this I will not be impressed!
Soon, matters in the village get unexplainably more strange. A woman sent up to sleep in an attic by her fiance's disapproving family falls into hysteria. Her screams fill the house, and nobody bothers to investigate. Instead they merely barricade her in the room, believing her to be a witch. Later when she's finally being led out of the home, delusioned and almost soulless, her man notices her one hand seems to have turned into a bird claw.
In a London funeral parlor, the dead rise and walk again. On a train in the London Underground, a young couple is terrorized by a demon. In a suburb, a poltergeist forces a family to flee their home. Hellboy has his hands full. While the supernatural is on a rampage in London, a series of brutal Torso Murders turns up at various sites around the city. All of the corpses are headless, limbless, and drained of their blood.
Continuing the early '70s obsession with 17th century witch persecutions, it's set in a country village whose children (lead by Haydon) soon turn into a coven of evil beggars with a love of blood and a hatred for clothes - a combination culminating in a rape sequence eerier than that in Rosemary's Baby. The whole thing, directed with panache by Piers Haggard (great grandnephew of King Solomon's Mines author, H. Rider Haggard), falls to pieces by the end, but the prevailing mood is hard to shake.
Meanwhile, strange events are beginning to occur in the village: a young woman inexplicably goes insane and her fiancé is later found cutting off his own hand, believing it to have turned into a hideous claw.
Then a cult of teenage devil-worshippers emerges, led by beautiful temptress Angel Blake (Linda Hayden), which involves children performing blood sacrifices to bring the skeletal demon back to life... 781b155fdc