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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Devil Rides Out [Blu-ray]


(Terence Fisher, 1968)





Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Hammer Film Productions

Video: Studio Canal / Shout! Factory



Region: 'B' / 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:36:02.666 / 1:35:43.237

Disc Size: 45,453,085,247 bytes / 46,983,660,505 bytes

Feature Size: 28,273,643,520 bytes / 22,818,631,680 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.93 Mbps / 27.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 22nd, 2012 / October 29th, 2019


Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps


DTS-HD Master Audio English 1565 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1565 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps


Subtitles (both):

English (SDH), none  



• Commentary by Marcus Hearn and Christopher Lee and Sarah Lawson

Black Magic: The Making of The Devil Rides Out (33:34)

The Power of Light: Restoring The Devil Rides Out (11:30)

Dennis Wheatley at Hammer (12:42)
World of Hammer with Roy Skeggs - Episode Hammer (24:50)
Stills Gallery (5:00)
DVD available


• The Studio Canal Restored Master (1:36:09)

NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman, Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr, And Author/Screenwriter Richard Christian Matheson
NEW Satanic Shocks – Author/Film Historian Kim Newman Discusses The Devil Rides Out (29:59)
NEW Folk Horror Goes Haywire – Author/Film Historian Jonathan Rigby Discusses The Devil Rides Out (24:08)
Audio Commentary With Actors Christopher Lee And Sarah Lawson
Black Magic: The Making Of The Devil Rides Out (35:00)
Dennis Wheatley At Hammer (13:14)
World Of Hammer Episode – Hammer (25:53)
Theatrical Trailers (5:02)
Still Gallery (4:36)





1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



Description: The debonair Duc de Richleau has been trusted with the care of his deceased friend's son, Simon Aron. The Duc discovers that the young man has been seduced into joining a Satanic cult headed by the diabolic Mocata, who is intent on making Simon one of the Devil's disciples. Having rescued Simon from a bloodied ritual, de Richleau is pursued by Mocata, who will stop at nothing to destroy the Duc and his friends, even summoning the Angel of Death itself. Starring Christopher Lee in one of his personal favourite roles and based on the celebrated novel by Dennis Wheatley, The Devil Rides Out is one of Hammer's most accomplished and thrilling mystery horrors.



1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



The Film:

Adapted by Richard Matheson from a novel by Dennis Wheatley, The Devil Rides Out admirably adopts a restrained approach to its horrific material. Christopher Lee plays a French nobleman, Duc De Richeleau, who is worried sick over the bizarre behavior of his friend Simon (Patrick Mower). Richeleau has every reason to be concerned: unless drastic measures are taken, Simon will lose his soul to Satan within three days. Two black masses are performed (one a bizarre Felliniesque orgy), but neither satiate the Devil's appetite. As the story races to its climax, it looks as though Richeleau's own niece (Rosalyn Landor) will have to be sacrificed. The film's best moments belong to Charles Gray, playing the charming, hypnotic leader of the devil cult which holds Simon in its thrall. The Devil Rides Out was released in the U.S. as The Devil's Bride.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Over the years, this film's reputation has grown enormously, and its cult status must be as high as any horror movie. Richard Matheson, who scripted it, was able to improve immeasurably on Dennis Wheatley's ponderous novel, and it is consequently the best film that Fisher and Hammer ever made, an almost perfect example of the kind of thing that can happen when melodrama is achieved so completely and so imaginatively that it ceases to be melodrama at all and becomes a full-scale allegorical vision. Christopher Lee has never been better than as the grim opponent of Satanism, and the night in the pentacle during which the forces of evil mobilise an epic series of cinematic temptations rediscovers aspects of mythology which the cinema had completely overlooked.

Excerpt from Timeout located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Devil Rides Out gets a very strong transfer to Blu-ray from Studio Canal in the UK. It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. It is obvious that it has been restored and looks brilliantly clean, crisp with bright, rich colors and frequent depth. It looks quite marvelous in 1080P. Contrast looks very effective in the 1.66:1 frame. The image quality is super with only some very minor hints at showing noise in some of the darker scenes. But that could simply be the textures masquerading themselves.


Shout! Factory have transferred "The Devil's Bride" (US title) to Blu-ray in Region 'A'. The transfer is described as "NEW 2K Scan Of The 20th Century Fox Interpositive".   It includes the Studio Canal Restored Master (12,724,611,072 bytes/ 14.99 Mbps, 1080p, AVC, DTS-HD Master, English subtitles, running 1:36:08.429). The US feature has significantly richer colors with warmer skin tones and deeper black levels. Despite being less technically robust I think I prefer the Shout! Factory appearance. There is some movement in the frame. There are captures comparing the two edition 1080P presentations below fro you to make up your own mind.




1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



More Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Caps








Audio :

Studio Canal utilize a linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps. It is clear, flat but has varying degrees of punch. India-born, Hammer regular, James Bernard (The Plague of the Zombies, Dracula Prince of Darkness, These Are the Damned, Across the Bridge, The Curse of Frankenstein) score adds a wonderful, haunting, atmosphere and definitely benefits from the lossless transfer. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Shout! Factory use a DTS-HD Master at 24-bit in the original English language. My ears couldn't detect much difference and the US editions also includes optional English subtitles. The Blu-ray disc is Region 'A'-locked.     


Extras :

Studio Canal include the old commentary (from 2000 as found on the Anchor Bay SD) with Marcus Hearn and Christopher Lee and Sarah Lawson. It still offers some value. There are some excellent documentaries. Black Magic: The Making of The Devil Rides Out runs over 33-minutes and has plenty of sound bytes from those in-the-know hosted by humorous Mark Gattiss. There is information on Matheson's screenplay - how it differed from the novel as well as Terence Fisher as a director and James Bernard's memorable score. It is quite a good piece. The Power of Light: Restoring The Devil Rides Out is 11-minutes on the restoration process with some minor, but impressive, enhancement of the special effects. There is also a piece on Dennis Wheatley at Hammer. Wheatley was the English author whose prolific output of thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world's best-selling writers from the 1930s through the 1960s. This has a dozen minutes on his interactions with Hammer. Lastly are are another World of Hammer piece -25-minutes of the episode simply entitled 'Hammer' and there is a stills gallery. The dual-format package includes a DVD of the feature with the extras.


As well as including, in a modest transfer, The Studio Canal restored Master version as a supplement, there is much more. Firstly, we get the previous Christopher Lee / Sarah Lawson commentary, 1/2 hour Black Magic: The Making of The Devil Rides Out, Dennis Wheatley at Hammer, a "World of Hammer with Roy Skeggs" episode. New is a second audio commentary with author/film historian Steve Haberman, filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr, and author/screenwriter Richard Christian Matheson (son of Richard Matheson). It's excellent - plenty of information from director Terence Fisher, Christopher Lee, Charles Gray, Nike Arrighi, composer James Bernard, Art director Bernard Robinson, the subtleties of the narrative and much more. There is a genuine flow with the participants and well-worth the indulgence. Also new is 1/2 hour with Kim Newman discussing The Devil Rides Out entitled Satanic Shocks. He is always fun to listen to. There is more 'new'; Folk Horror Goes Haywire spends 24-minutes with author/film historian Jonathan Rigby appreciates The Devil Rides Out . There is are 2 theatrical trailers and a stills gallery.


Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray



Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



The Devil Rides Out might be my favorite Hammer film. I have watched it three times since getting the Blu-ray. I have trouble identifying what it is that I like so much about it, but I suspect that iconic Richard Matheson's script significantly escalates my level of appreciation. The Studio Canal provides an amazing a/v presentation and includes extensive supplements. This is a very good Blu-ray package and we strongly recommend!


Well, again Shout! Factory appear to have bested the older UK Blu-ray edition. I do find it unnecessary to include the UK version in a separate, puny, transfer. The main feature gets a richer image presentation, solid lossless audio and two commentaries as well as Kim Newman and Rigby, plus the supplements from the Studio Canal. No contest - the Shout! Factory have created the definitive digital edition for this eerie Hammer film that holds strong in repeated viewings. Great cover, as always - as further enticement.  

Gary Tooze

April 7th, 2014

October 22nd, 2019




About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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