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Rasputin - The Mad Monk

UK 1966
produced by
Anthony Nelson-Keys for Hammer
directed by Don Sharp
starring Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Suzan Farmer, Richard Pasco, Francis Matthews
written by John Elder (= Anthony Hinds), music by Don Banks

Rasputin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When monk Rasputin (Christopher Lee) heals an innkeeper's wife with the power of his own hands, they do have a celebration, but when he then seduces the innkeeper's daughter, this is just bopund to spell trouble - & soon Rasputin is expelled from his convent. Freed of his duties, he heads for St. Petersburg to use his powers for his own good. Soon, he starts an affair with Barbara Shelley, one of the Tsarina's ladies-in-waiting, & uses his hypnotic powers over her, making her cause an accident of the Tsarina's son, & by healing him gain the Tsarina's trust. But as his power over the Tsarina grows, he treads over just a few heads too many, thus some of his enemies are just bound to decide on killing him. In the end, he is poisoned by Dr. Zargo (Richard Pasco), the only man he thought harmless enough to be his friend & associate - in best horror-tradition, he just lives long enough to kill Zargo too, though.

 

Rather a step away from Hammer's (then) traditional field of horror-movies into historic drama-territory - but sitll filled with enough mystery & gruesome scenes (e.g. Christopher Lee chopping off the hand of an adversary, throwing acid into the face of another) to not fall out with Hammer's output entirely. The movie itself is pretty much Christopher Lee's though, giving a solid performance as the mad & maddened monk, the film's story on the other hand is pretty weak, with the proceedings unfolding just a tad too slowly & the supporting characters seeming pretty lifeless, not at all helped by pretty mediocre performances.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD