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The Devil Rides Out (1968)

'The Devil Rides Out' is easily one of the most entertaining of Terence Fisher's Hammer movies. While best known for his Dracula and Frankenstein movies, this fascinating blend of adventure thriller and Satanic shocker is not to be overlooked. While technically a horror movie with strong supernatural elements, the movie's use of old fashioned thrills and Lee's dashing heroic character Duc de Richleau, gentleman and occult expert, give this one quite a unique flavour unlike most of the other Hammer classics. Lee is brilliant throughout, as is his nemesis the evil magician Mocata played by Charles Gray (Blofeld in 'Diamonds Are Forever'). The rest of the cast are also very effective. Leon Greene as Richleau's loyal friend Rex, Nike Arrighi as Tanith the mysterious girl rex becomes besotted with, and Patrick Mower as Simon, Richleau and Rex's young friend who foolishly dabbles with Satanism and soon finds himself under the control of Mocasta. The film is consistently interesting, with lots of excitement and some unpredictable plot twists. The Satanism is treated more seriously and realistically than many 1960s horror movies (and wait til you see "The Goat Of Mendes"!) , and this is a credit to Richard Matheson who adapted Dennis Wheatley's original novel. I am becoming increasingly aware of just how many movies I admire that Matheson had a hand in writing - many of Roger Corman's Poe series, 'The Legend Of Hell House' and 'The Last Man On Earth' to name a few. Matheson is one of the most talented and imaginative horror writers to ever work in Hollywood, and rarely gets the credit he deserves. 'The Devil Rides Out' is yet another fantastic movie from the Hammer studio, and highly recommended.


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