From a purely personal perspective, the Tigon production of The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1970) represents the pinnacle of the British horror film. Of course an objectively dispassionate and critical eye is able to discern a myriad of plot deficiencies and narrative weaknesses, and one or two performances diminish the overall effect, but for me this is an insidiously perverse, eerie, and troubling piece of work, which evocatively renders the fears and superstitions of a rural 17th century community. In addition to its censor baiting visuals, and its various concessions to generic cinema, it is also a beautiful film about the English countryside. It is incredibly earthy, overflows with a rich autumnal palette, and possesses such a sense of pastoral isolation that at times the narrative takes on the mythical persona of a folk tale. The gorgeous Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside was strikingly shot by cinematographer Dick Bush, and the natural lighting brings an exquisite rustic charm to its tale of a village’s children succumbing to the influence of Satan. Like the best examples of film art The Blood on Satan’s Claw works on an allegorical level, and its dramatic clash between a group of children realising and celebrating their freedom and sexuality, and the forces of patriarchal adulthood that seek to contain it offers a prescient message for the age of permissiveness.