RASPUTIN, THE MAD MONK (1966 U.K.) D: DON SHARP W: "JOHN ELDER" (ANTHONY HINDS) P: ANTHONY NELSON-KEYS
At the same time as DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS Hammer also filmed this fun historical melodrama on the same sets and with much of the same cast. Christopher Lee is at his most engaging as the megalomaniacal Russian monk who plots and hypnotises his way into a position of power, and seems to have the power to heal the sick in his hands. Of course Hammer`s Russia is indistinguishable from their London or Romania, and i doubt if this is the place to look for historical accuracy, but it remains a slick and fast-moving programmer indebted to Sharp`s professionalism. With Joss Ackland, Michael Ripper, John Welsh and Cyril Shaps. Lucky American cinemagoers received free beards (!) at theatre screenings. Cute!

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