12 January 2010
Blood On Satan's Claw
As the film opens, a strangely deformed skull is unearthed (featuring what looks like a real sheep's eye), surrounded by strange fur. It promptly vanishes whenever anyone of any importance comes to look at it, and instead the more gullible members of the village are slowly taken over by its evil and sinister power, ring-led by Angel Blake, finder of a most sinister and unearthly claw. Most of the possession and evil acts centre around the children of the village (all of whom seem to be played by teenagers, probably because there's a fair bit of nudity and clothing removal in the later stages, along with the odd satanically-induced rape). Very shocking, for 1971 standards.
Thankfully, the chap who dug the skull up in the first place figures out what's going on when he comes across a band of men trying to drown an innocent woman as a witch. He recognises the same fur, growing in a patch on her body - 't'is Satan's skin' he declares, and after a pretty good attempt at removing it with a straight razor, grabs the judge from a nearby village. That's just what's needed to get together a band of burly peasants and give the satanic beast a good hiding. Phew!
The Blood On Satan's Claw misses off the 'the' for most film listings, although it appears in full on the actual film's title shots. It was released as Satan's Skin in the US. The soundtrack, by Marc Wilkinson, is hardly noteworthy, yet managed a CD and limited edition vinyl release in 2007.
Director: Piers Haggard
Barry Andrews as Ralph Gower
Patrick Wymark as The Judge
and Linda Hayden as Angel Blake