Having taken a look at all of the recently released classic Hammer films by Studiocanal it’s now time to take a look at the ones that came out in 2012 on Blu-ray. I’ve recently taken a look at Dracula: Prince Of Darkness so now it’s time to look at a film that also came out in the same year, so without further ado here’s my Rasputin the Mad Monk Blu-ray Review.
- Rasputin the Mad Monk (1966)
- Genre: Horror
- Directed by Don Sharp
- Running Time: 92 Mins
- UK Rating 15
- Discs: 2 (Blu-ray & DVD)
- Released By Studiocanal
- Blu-ray Released: 22nd October 2012
When an innkeeper’s wife is struck down by fever the local doctor seems at a loss to offer any real treatment. Fortunately a monk by the name of Grigori Rasputin just happens to stop by demanding a drink. He is informed of the situation and immediately goes to her bedside. He heals her and demands the innkeeper holds a party to celebrate. However a now drunken Rasputin decides he wants to have his wicked way with the innkeeper’s daughter much to the displeasure of one of the locals. Following an altercation Rasputin flees.
When news of this reaches Bishop he is challenged over his power to heal and whether he does so in God’s name or Satan’s. Following this exchange Rasputin heads for Saint Petersburg where he is intent on using his special gift to enjoy all that the city has to offer.
Style / Direction
Rasputin the Mad Monk was filmed back to back with Dracula: Prince Of Darkness at Bray Studios using the same sets in order to save Hammer money. The film is directed by Don Sharp with the cinematography handled by Michael Reed. Oh and listen out for Hammer regular Michael Ripper, his voiced is dubbed over the coachman’s , Hammer just loved to dubb voices over perfectly good ones for some unknown reason.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Don Banks and you might well expect him to go with a Russian sounding theme seeing as that’s where the story takes place, but no this is still a recognisable Hammer style theme. I’m not really complaining it serves the horror aspect of the film rather well.
Acting / Characters
Christopher Lee puts in a truly outstanding performance as Rasputin the Mad Monk. He is both powerful and commanding whilst doing a really convincing job of seemingly being able to control or hypnotise people, women in particular.
As with many Hammer films the supporting cast does a decent enough job but it is Lee that deserves the accolades in this one.
- Christopher Lee as Grigori Rasputin
- Barbara Shelley as Sonia
- Richard Pasco as Dr. Boris Zargo
- Francis Matthews as Ivan
- Suzan Farmer as Vanessa
- Dinsdale Landen as Peter
- Renée Asherson as Tsarina
- Derek Francis as Innkeeper
- John Welsh as The Abbot
- Joss Ackland as The Bishop
- Robert Duncan as Tsarvitch
- Alan Tilvern as Patron
- Bryan Marshall as Vassily
- Brian Wilde as Vassily’s Father
Conclusion – Rasputin the Mad Monk Film Review
Rasputin the Mad Monk is one of Hammer’s attempt to offer something a little different, yet Rasputin the Mad Monk ultimately falls back on the horror aspect that the studio had become known for. It may not be one of their very best films but I applaud them for making it as it does certainly have a different feel from the mainstream Dracula films they are best known for. That said Rasputin is very much a Dracula figure with his hypnotic stare and ability to control certain individuals. And who do we have playing this character? None other than Hammer’s own Count Dracula himself, Christopher Lee.
So whilst this is a brave attempt to offer something different, remember that this came straight on the back of Dracula Prince of Darkness, in the end they share more than just the same sets in common.
All in all though I really like Rasputin the Mad Monk and consider it well worth watching.
If you like my Rasputin the Mad Monk Blu-ray Review you may want to check out these films:
- Dracula: Prince Of Darkness (1966)
- Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971)
- Fear in the Night (1972)
- The Horror of Frankenstein (1970)
- Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (1960)
- The Gorgon (1964)
- To The Devil A Daughter (1976)
Rasputin the Mad Monk Blu-ray Review
Yet again Studiocanal impresses with another Hammer Blu-ray release, the picture quality is excellent with no issues to report. The image is clean and sharp with the colours spot on.
On the extras front the documentary “Tall Stories: The Making of Rasputin the Mad Monk ” provides the perfect insight into how the film came to be. The World of Hammer is older look at all things Hammer, but well worth a look. Oh and they’ve even included the “Alternate 2.55:1 Version”. All in all another superb set of extras, perfect for every Hammer horror fan!
- Tall Stories: The Making of Rasputin the Mad Monk (24 mins)
- Brought To book: Hammer Novelisations’ (15 mins)
- The World of Hammer: Costumers (24 mins)
- Commentary with Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Francis Matthews & Suzan Farmer
- Alternate 2.55:1 Version
On to my movie rating for Rasputin the Mad Monk (1966)
- Movie Rating: WELL WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Rasputin the Mad Monk (1966) is available now on Blu-ray.
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For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
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So that’s Rasputin the Mad Monk Blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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Rasputin the Mad Monk (1966) Blu-ray Review
Director(s): Don Sharp
Actor(s): Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Richard Pasco, Francis Matthews, Suzan Farmer, Dinsdale Landen, Renée Asherson, Derek Francis
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
Rasputin the Mad Monk is a brave and interesting attempt to offer something a little different and it results in a film that really showcases the excellent acting of Christopher Lee.