Blu-Ray News #264: Rasputin – The Mad Monk (1966).

Directed by Don Sharp
Starring Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Richard Pasco

Just last night, I checked out Scream Factory’s new Blu-Ray of The Devil Rides Out (1968). It’s one of the best-looking Hammer pictures I’ve seen in high definition. Really something else. (A review is in the works.)

So, with that fresh in my mind, I was really stoked to see today’s announcement of Hammer’s Rasputin – The Mad Monk (1966) and X: The Unknown (1956). Scream Factory’s Hammer series shows just how nice these old horror movies can be on video. They’re all stellar.

Rasputin stars Christopher Lee and Barbara Shelley and is one of the few Hammer films in ‘Scope, actual CinemaScope this time. X: The Unkn0wn was to be Hammer’s second Quatermass film, but Nigel Kneale wouldn’t give them the rights to the character. It plays like a Quatermass movie (Joseph Losey directed some of it before he was replaced by Leslie Norman) and is very good.

These movies, and what I’m sure Scream Factory will do with the Blu-Rays, come highly recommended.


Filed under 1966, 20th Century-Fox, Barbara Shelley, Christopher Lee, Don Sharp, DVD/Blu-ray News, Hammer Films, Joseph Losey, Shout/Scream Factory

2 responses to “Blu-Ray News #264: Rasputin – The Mad Monk (1966).

  1. john k

    Toby,Rasputin is one of the very few Hammer’s I’ve never seen-
    interesting comment regarding CinemaScope.
    X THE UNKNOWN at last in high def,wonderful news.
    Stories vary about Losey’s involvement,I heard right winger Dean Jagger
    refused to work with him so there’s no Losey footage…who knows.
    Too bad they never fired Jagger and hired Forrest Tucker instead.
    I also read Leslie Norman did want to make the film and nobody
    enjoyed working with him.
    Losey’s first Hammer was the 30 minute short THE MAN ON THE BEACH
    shot in 2.55 ‘scope and color. I understand THE MAN ON THE BEACH is
    available and I’m hoping it will be included on a forthcoming Blu Ray
    as an extra,be it Hammer or Losey.


    • I really like Rasputin. Barbara Shelley is terrific in it, as always.

      I’ll have a review up soon but the Scream Factory Devil Rides Out is a must. It’s really sharp and the color’s great. Of course, it’s a wonderful movie. I would’ve loved for Hammer and Lee to have embarked on another series with this, as his Duc de Richleau tackled other types of evil weirdness. Charles Gray has one of the greatest lines in horror movies: “I shall not be back. But something will.” Perfect!

      Also, the Warner Archive Blu-Ray or The Fearless Vampire Killers gives you a great opportunity to really study the stunning set design. These two discs made for a really swell hi-def Halloween!


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