4 September 2012 | gavin6942
Not Hammer's Best, But Probably Far From Their Worst
An American occult novelist (Richard Widmark) battles to save the soul of a young nun (Nastassja Kinski) from a group of Satanists, led by an excommunicated priest (Christopher Lee), who plan on using her as the representative of the Devil on Earth.
As a White Zombie fan, I was thrilled to hear the Latin of the excommunication scene and finally know where one of their best songs took its clips from. That alone makes the movie satisfying (though it hardly carries the entire film).
Despite being a Hammer film and featuring Christopher Lee, the film does not seem well-liked by many people. IMDb rates it below a 6 and Rotten Tomatoes has it holding a 17% approval rating. I feel obligated to defend it, if even just a little bit. I mean, wow, what a truly creepy and disturbing birthing ritual -- the blood, the bondage, Lee's diabolical grin... Oh, and that other ritual...
I would say this film is a winner, despite the harsh criticism people seem to have for it. Some parts are a bit slow or bland, but the overall story is interesting and the imagery is fascinating. A lot of work was put into this one.