The Devil Rides Out (UK 1968)

Rating: **
Alternate Title: The Devil's Bride (US Title)
Review Date: 4/7/12
Director: Terence Fisher
Cast: Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Leon Greene

"YOU DAMN FOOL!" bellows Christopher Lee in this delightful dip into the occult from Hammer Studios and the pen of Dennis Wheatley. Duc de Richleau (regal Christopher Lee) and Rex (Leon Greene) are looking for their missing friend Simon, who has recently joined a coven of devil worshippers led by a seductively sinister man named Mocata (creepy Charles Gray). Thankfully, Richleau is also a student of the occult, and he and Mocata play a little game of tug-of-war with Simon's soul. The film starts out strong, but falls apart in the final reel with a bizarre time traveling sub-plot and some heavy handed dialog.

Visually, the film looks great and has the rich texture and vibrancy that you expect from classic Hammer horror. The visual effects are quite impressive, but tacky matte paintings and poor rear projection spoil some of the fun. Lee is wonderfully convincing and gives a fabulous performance, while the rest of the cast falls a little flat. It's a rare good guy role for Lee, and it's definitely worth checking out. The pacing can be a little challenging, but the story kept me engaged throughout.