Blood On Satan’s Claw – AKA Satan’s Skin in the USA, is a cult British horror movie from 1971. It’s a film from the golden age of British horror, and one that ticks most of the horror connoisseur’s boxes - it stars the Devil, Olde England, it has nudity, strange ritualism, a fair smattering of blood and of course, sublime music. Produced by cult masters Tigon, this film was the perfect companion piece to their earlier Witchfinder General (1968). Set in rural 17th century England, it tells the fine story of a small village that quickly falls under the devil’s spell. It’s brilliantly told and quite beautifully shot with a very fine cast of superb character actors.
Over many years the film has slowly gained a cultish reputation, and there are rumours that good old Tim Burton is a very big fan and used the movie as an influence for his “Sleepy Hollow” production.
The score was never released. Written by Marc Wilkinson, former director of music for the National Theatre, this cult soundtrack takes its lead from “The Devil’s Interval”, but more about that in the next paragraph. Musical appearances from the Ondes Martenot (the earliest electronic instrument) and Cimbalom add to the overall spookiness of this recording. And in 38 years the music has lost none of its depth or addictive, evil hooks. The first pressing sold out many years ago and commands high prices. A repress has been requested for many years.
Here’s Marc Wilkinson’s thoughts…
“The descending chromatic scale which features throughout the music omits the perfect fifth (the only true consonant in the chromatic scale) and therefore highlights the diminished fifth, which ever since the middle ages in Europe has been known as the Devil's Interval!!”
BRIEF ARTIST INFO: Marc Wilkinson was musical director of the National Theatre throughout the 1960s. He scored a number of films in the late 1960s and 1970s including “If” for Lindsay Anderson. Wilkinson currently lives in France.
1) Fiend Discovered and Titles 2) Peter and Rosalind in Attic 3) Rosalind's Madness 4) Angel's Claw 5) Claw in Classroom 6) Judge by Fireside 7) Peter Fights Devil, Severs Hand 8) Judge Drives Off 9) Mark Alone 10) Death of Marc 11) Angel Naked 12) Angel's First Curse 13) Angel's Second Curse
14) Return From the Graveyard 15) Return From the Graveyard 16) Kathy Crowned 17) Children into Church 18) Kathy's Ceremony 19) Kathy's Rape and Death 20) Peter's Ride 21) Ralph Chops Tree 22) Ralph Saves Margaret 23) Margaret Escapes 24) Ralph's Wound 25) Ralph Bewitched 26) Finale and Credits - Total Running TIme: 48:28