The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971):
A man discovers an inhuman skull in a field. This then leads to certain people developing skin from the devil, and a secret cult being formed…
Well that was a masterpiece in blandness. Here we have a film which isn’t boring but just uninteresting. At least the positive aspects of a boring film is that it stands out. This is perfectly forgettable. I don’t think this mini-review will be long in length due to the uninterestingness of this film, but hoh-hum, I shall plough through.
It is a horror-drama where the characters are so uninteresting that they’re not just cardboard cut-outs, but just bits of skin which say words. The sequences of horror in this film are so terrible. Creepy music plays, but visuals do not match. Any director who understands how cinema works will tell you that visuals and sound have to align so that they both work together. It’s as if they did a Kevin Smith, picked up a camera and pressed record. Actually, not “it’s as if”, they probably did. An example of this would be when the cult group gather round a young girl whilst a teenage boy rapes her. The girl is then stabbed in the back with a pair of shears. You’d think this section would be disturbing, or slightly uncomfortable. Nope. Just bland. It doesn’t even have the power to make you wince.
The film is shot in such a way to suggest that the people behind it have no interest. It’s all medium shots. No close-ups or extreme close-ups, and the camera hardly moves to explore the environment. The drama lacks any sense of intensity even though the subject matter concerns murderous, raping, torturous cult possessed by the devil. All of the characters talk in deadpan monotones – it’s as if the entire thing wants to make you drift off to sleep.
This piece of filmmaking lacks cinema.