This film is often called one of the better Hammer horror
offerings. I have a minor quibble with that - it is not a
Hammer film! It was produced by a Hammer wannabe called Tigon films,
and was directed by Piers Haggard, the founder of the British
Director's Guild and the grandson of the legendary H. Rider Haggard
("She"). Piers is still active as a director to this day.
Blood on Satan's Claw was released for a week in the UK as
Devil's Touch, and then withdrawn and released under its current
name. It was circulated on the drive-in circuit in the USA as
Satan's Skin. Set in the 17th century English countryside, it
concerns a village which reverts to a belief in witchcraft when a
demon possesses several local children, making them his slave.
It all starts when a young man is plowing, and unearths a partial
and decomposing demon. He runs to tell a judge who is staying at his
master's house, but by the time they return, it is gone. We soon see
why. Luscious 18 year old Angel (Linda Hayden) has taken it and
assumed the role of Satan's High Priestess. The plan is simple. The
demon needs body parts, so Angel's group are drafted as hosts to
grow what he needs.
English countryside has never looked lovelier, the period details
are spot on, and the plot is unique. It is especially chilling to
have children as the villains. Highlights include Linda Hayden
stripping in an attempt to seduce the parson, the rape of Wendy Padbury before they kill her to harvest the "Satan's Skin" she was
growing, some surgery to remove Satan's Skin from a fully awake
girl, and a large-breasted Diane Andrews dancing topless in front of
a fire with a knife.
This is a very good horror film in the Hammer tradition.
If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to
explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by
our definition, a
C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs
and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a: