And our month-long journey comes to an end. The pumpkins are carved, the costumes are ready and the candy bowls are full. Now, light a fire in the fireplace and sit back for a flick perfect for a chilly Halloween. Today, we go back to Hammer and Christopher Lee in hopes that they can redeem themselves after yesterday’s mess (To The Devil…A Daughter). And indeed they do, as today we take a look at The Devil Rides Out aka The Devil’s Bride (1968).
Another novel from Dennis Wheatley is converted for the big screen, this time with much better results. In fact, considering this came some 8 years before To The Devil…A Daughter, the success of The Devil Rides Out was thought to guarantee success for another Wheatley novel (oh, how wrong they were). This story was originally considered for production in 1963 but had to wait until the censors eased up on satanic worship. By 1968, Hammer was becoming a little more liberal with their productions, so the timing was perfect. A stellar cast was assembled with Christopher Lee playing the lead character of Duc le Richleau. It was a role Lee stated as one of his all-time favorites. His arch-nemesis is that of Mocata, played marvelously by Charles Gray (Diamonds Are Forever).
The story begins as Duc le Richleau is concerned about the odd behavior of a son of a deceased friend. Upon visiting young Simon, he determines the boy has become involved in the occult. Mocata is not ready to let the boy just walk away and a battle ensues between Richleau and Mocata. Before our flick is over, we’ll be visited by the angel of death and Satan himself.
Truly one of the better Hammer horror films, The Devil Rides Out is highly recommended. Watch the trailer and prepare yourself for some fun. Sadly, the DVD is out-of-print, so do some shopping around but expect to pay a little more for this one.
I’ll be back tomorrow to wrap things up with some odds and ends. Until then, Happy Halloween!