A couple of years ago, Spiteful Puppet released a Robin of Sherwood audio adventure that managed to reunite just about everyone from the original TV series for charity. Based on an original Richard Carpenter script, it was probably the most authentic attempt you could make at a new Robin of Sherwood story, albeit as an audio play with all of that medium’s various limitations – no Robert Young blood red filters on the camera lens for starters.
So successful was the result – and so enjoyable for the cast, it seems – that Spiteful Puppet has released today on CD and download a set of four new plays, including one that finally reveals what would have happened if there’d been a fourth series. No Ray Winstone this time, due to scheduling conflicts, but they’ve hired Jon Culshaw to do his best Winstone impression apparently. Details after this trailer and the jump…
Them there Bafflegab people (producers of Baker’s End, The Scarifyers, Hammer Chillers and The Brenda and Effie Mysteries) have a new crowdfunding project on the way that will feature those highly famous League of Gentlemen people Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith:
46 years after the original film, Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith are fronting a new audio adaptation of ‘70s horror classic Blood on Satan’s Claw.
Produced by Bafflegab Productions and adapted by horror writer Mark Morris, Blood on Satan’s Claw will also feature the star of the original film, Linda Hayden, alongside a stellar cast that includes Alice Lowe (Sightseers, Prevenge), John Heffernan (Ripper Street, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell), Ralph Ineson (The Witch, The Office) and Philip Hill-Pearson (Shameless, Good Cop).
Some scenes were recorded earlier this week, but Bafflegab will be starting a crowdfunding campaign in coming weeks to finance the remainder of the project. Crowdfunders will be able to receive exclusive rewards by donating towards production costs. There will be more details at www.bafflegab.co.uk or Bafflegab’s Facebook page in the next few days.
Mark Gatiss says: “I first saw Blood on Satan’s Claw in the Friday night horror slot on Tyne Tees television, when I was a kid. I remember it vividly because it scared the life out of me. It’s so distinctly different. The pitch for the film is so strange, and it’s very much in that folk horror tradition: dark, bucolic, earthy and genuinely disquieting. It’s a fabulous tale.”
Linda Hayden added: “It’s lovely working with Reece Shearsmith and Mark Gatiss, as they’re huge fans of the film. I’m really honoured. It was always a really atmospheric piece, and the script to this new audio really captures that.”
Scriptwriter Mark Morris says: “I was first captivated by its unsettling, nightmarish atmosphere at the age of 12 or 13, since when it’s been one of my favourite horror films. I leaped at the chance, therefore, to adapt and expand the original screenplay for this new audio version, and from day one this has been a real labour of love. The calibre of the cast we’ve been able to attract to the project is phenomenal, and a testament to the film’s enduring impact. Blood on Satan’s Claw is back – and I’m incredibly proud, this time around, to be a part of it.”
Blood on Satan’s Claw sits alongside Witchfinder General and The Wicker Man as one of the three films which make up the sub-genre known as folk horror. In it, a village in 17th Century England is overcome by a Satanic plague, after a hideous skull is found in the furrows of a farmer’s field. The village youth fall quickly under the devil’s spell and retreat to the woodland to conduct games of sexual violence and sacrifice.
Gatiss is, of course, correct: Tyne Tees television scares the life out of everyone. Fingers crossed, with a bit of your cash, he and Shearsmith will be able to scare you with this new version of the movie.