(NOTE: This is another in a series looking at occult investigators. Click here to see more entries.)
Based on a 1934 novel by Dennis Wheatley, the screenplay by horror master Richard Matheson elevates this 1968 low-budget Hammer Horror outing starring Christopher Lee as the heroic Nicholas, Duc de Richleau.
I caught the last half hour of this on an afternoon showing in my childhood, and it stuck with me — scared the bejeezus out of me, more accurately. I viewed the movie on the night of June 8 of this year, after I heard Lee had died. It was the second time in about a year's span I'd watched the movie, having caught it on TCM earlier.
The effects are above standard for the day, and the high concepts are thrillingly enacted. All of the actors are up to the task, though I had trouble being frightened of Charles Gray as the Satanic priest (through no fault of his own) as I kept expecting a drag revue to break out. (Gray is best known to me for his part in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.)
The film was previously available in HD on the Hammer Horror channel on YouTube. It can currently be viewed in full >>here<<