Blood on Satan’s Claw

Blood on Satan's Claw | Piers Haggard | UK 1971 | 93 Min | DCP

The “sleeper” of folk horror’s “Unholy Trinity,” this Tigon shocker helped build the foundation of the folk horror trope of the terrors that lie beneath the soil. When a nonhuman skull is unearthed in seventeenth-century rural England, it spawns a frenzy of carnal insanity—embodied in an infamous performance by Linda Hayden (House on Straw Hill) as a succulent teen temptress who leads a satanically fueled youth revolt. The English countryside is beautifully and threateningly rendered by director Piers Haggard (who would return to folk horror with the last installment of the Quatermass series in 1979), whose depiction of pagan depravity is punctuated by an iconic and deeply unnerving score by composer Marc Wilkinson.

Piers Haggard
Haggard, Piers was born in London in 1939. Starting out in theater, he moved to BBC television in 1965, receiving a BAFTA for his work on the 1978 drama series Pennies From Heaven. He also directed the cult sci-fi series Quatermass and its theatrical version. His film work includes the legendary Blood on Satan’s Claw and Venom, the latter starring Oliver Reed and Klaus Kinski. A decades-long campaigner for directors’ rights, Haggard was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2016.
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Language eOV
Cast Patrick Wymark, Linda Hayden, Barry Andrews, Michele Dotrice, Wendy Padbury
Writer Robert Wynne-Simmons, Piers Haggard (additional material)
Editing Richard Best
Cinematography Dick Bush