The Devil Rides Out (1968 film)
The Devil Rides Out, AKA The Devil's Bride (1968)
"All the demons of hell - summoned to earth to claim the Devil's Bride! The beauty of woman - the demon of darkness - the unholy union of the Devil's Bride! A Black Magic Story." An occult detective (Christopher Lee) and his skeptical friend discover to their horror that a young couple in the detective's charge have fallen under the spell of the leader of a satanic cult, and must disrupt the cult's plans to baptize the young couple into the cult, before it is too late!
- Release Date: 1968
- Country/Language: UK, English
- Genres/Technical: Horror (Folk Horror), Suspense, Fantasy
- Setting: 1920s United Kingdom
- Runtime: 1 hr 35 min
- Starring: Christopher Lee
- Director: Terence Fisher
- Writer: Richard Matheson (screenplay), based on a novel by Dennis Wheatley
- Producer/Production Co: Hammer Films
- View Trailer: (link)
- TVTropes: (link)
- IMDB Page: (link)
- Rated: G (equivalent to a modern "PG", as it contains mild violence, light profanity, and adult themes)
Though rated "G", it's actually equivalent to a modern "PG" for mild exploitation horror content.
A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:
- Ss___ (Two Tentacles: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)
A 1960s Hammer horror film set in the 1920s UK, about a conventionally Satanic cult with supernatural powers, with no detectable links to Lovecraftian fiction. Still, it contains conventional versions of many of the tropes of "Mythos" horror, and the basic idea could readily be converted into a fine Jazz Era UK "Mythos" horror scenario simply by switching the grimoire for a Lovecraftian tome, the "Goat of Mendes, the Devil Himself" for Nyarlathotep or Shub-Niggurath, and the summoned Diaper Demon and Giant Spider for the usual "tentacle monster" creatures, with the resulting "Mythos" tale about an older academic's efforts to rescue a younger friend from the diabolical influences of the young man's fiance's cult coming off as a stripped-down, poor-man's "Thing on the Doorstep (fiction)" (one suspects this movie's plot may have been ripped off by more than one published Call of Cthulhu RPG scenario!)
Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.
- (review needed)
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
In the 1920s UK, supernatural detective/adventurer Duc de Richleau and his sidekick arrive unexpectedly at their young charge's house to discover, to their horror, that the young man and his fiance have fallen under the spell of an Aleister Crowley-like satanic cult-leader and his upper-class followers. Taking drastic measures to rescue the young man, the adventurers soon find themselves targeted by cultist skulduggery, death-defying car chases, and the evil spells cast by the cult leader, a grinning half-naked demon in a red diaper, a giant spider, and even the Goat of Mendes, the Devil Himself! It soon becomes evident that the young man's fiance is a conduit for the cult leader's satanic influence over his victims, leading up to a spectacular supernatural showdown over the young man's soul.
Comments, Trivia, Dedication
- The U.S. Title "The Devil's Bride" was used because "The Devil Rides Out" sounded too much like it might be a western.
- Characters Duc de Richleau and Rex van Ryn would re-appear in a number of other Dennis Wheatley novels, mostly espionage-themed, but including the supernaturally-themed stories The Devil Rides Out, Strange Conflict (in which Voodoo bokor "witch-doctor" Doctor Saturday assists the German war effort with black magic before ultimately being driven mad by Pan), and Gateway to Hell (in which a South American devil-cult targets Rex); supernatural elements and the same characters also appear in To the Devil, a Daughter (in which a fallen priest and his cult plot to sacrifice a young woman entrusted to their care), They Used Dark Forces (in which the heroes help a Jewish occultist's attempt to infiltrate German intelligence), and The Satanist (in which a German occultist plots to start World War III by launching detonating a nuclear weapon in the Soviet Union).
- The character Damien Mocata was based on Aleister Crowley - Wheatley even invited the infamous cultist to dinner for the purpose of researching the character!
Associated Mythos Elements
- author: Dennis Wheatley
- film: see also To the Devil, A Daughter (1976 film)
- character: supernatural detective/adventurer Duc de Richleau and sidekick Rex van Ryn
- character: Damien Mocata, evil cult leader
- race: Human Cultists
- entity: The Goat of Mendes, the Devil Himself!
- entity: various other demonic spirits
- Though the film relies on fairly conventional satanism for its supernatural threat, the basic idea could readily be converted into a fine Jazz Era UK "Mythos" horror scenario simply by switching the grimoire for a Lovecraftian tome, the "Goat of Mendes, the Devil Himself" for Nyarlathotep or Shub-Niggurath, and the summoned Diaper Demon and Giant Spider for the usual "tentacle monster" creatures; the resulting "Mythos" tale about an older academic's efforts to rescue a younger friend from the diabolical influences of the cult lead by an evil wizard through the young man's fiance might come off as a stripped-down, poor-man's "Thing on the Doorstep (fiction)":
- A mutual friend of the investigators is discovered to be under the influence of his fiance, who serves as the puppet for the leader of a cult; the investigators must battle the cult leader, evade the cultist henchmen and supernatural beings doing the cultist's bidding, survive death-defying car chases, and break the cult's power over this friend before he is baptized into the cult's inner mysteries and loses his very soul!