On this Friday the 13th, I’d like to bring to your attention a wonderful, moody horror film from 1966 titled 13, and, alternately EYE OF THE DEVIL. J. Lee Thompson directed, and its cast includes Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Donald Pleasence, Sharon Tate (pictured above in a still from the film), and David Hemmings.
The film explores extant paganism in the modern world, a theme later deftly explored in THE WICKER MAN, wherein the local noble of an estate vineyard in France must return as the crops are failing and the nature religion which always held sway there requires the sacrifice of the noble to restore the fruiting of the vines. Filmed in black and white, Sharon Tate is an evocative presence, with Donald Pleasance as the local priest, who serves a religion that predates Christianity. David Niven gives an excellent performance as the doomed aristocrat, the Marquis de Bellenac, and it is a delight to enjoy the beautiful chateau and its surrounding grounds while his wife begins to grasp the secret her husband had kept from her. Deborah Kerr very well conveys her growing suspicions as dark truths are revealed. “Noblesse oblige,” indeed!
Follow the links I’ve provided to learn more about this evocative film. You can view the film on YouTube: