RASPUTIN: THE MAD MONK (1966) – Episode 105 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“When I go to confession I don’t offer God small sins, petty squabbles, jealousies… I offer him sins worth forgiving!” Sin big to make your confessions worthwhile. It’s a thing. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as they journey back to the world of early 20th-century Russia in Hammer’s Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966), featuring the incomparable Christopher Lee in the title role.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 105 – Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966)

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Thrown out of his monastery for licentious and drunken behavior, Rasputin travels to St Petersburg to try his luck. Through a dalliance with one of the czarina’s ladies in waiting he soon gains influence at court with his powers of healing and of hypnotism. But he also makes enemies who wish to see him dead.


Rasputin: The Mad Monk is Daphne’s pick; it seems she wanted more Barbara Shelley after the Classic Era Grue Crew discussed Quatermass and the Pit (1965) in episode 93. She loves Shelley’s and Lee’s performances and she revels in the total “Hammer-ness” of the film which showcases Bernard Robinson’s production design and Rosemary Burrows’ costumes. Chad points out some of the historical discrepancies between Rasputin: The Mad Monk and the actual life of Grigori Rasputin. He also describes Lee’s performance as commanding the movie with a power that draws you in, labeling Rasputin one of his favorite Lee characters. Lee’s performance is also what captures Whitney’s attention. She’s especially impressed with his versatility in playing this hypnotic and malevolent character. Jeff’s on board with the Lee fanatics saying he can’t take his eyes off Lee’s forceful, hypnotic portrayal and adding that he loved the rest of the cast, the sets, and the wardrobe.

As of this writing, Rasputin: The Mad Monk is available to stream on the Classic Horror Movie Channel and as physical media on a Blu-ray disc from Shout! Factory.

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next on their very flexible schedule is one chosen by Whitney, Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957). Oh yeah!

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To each of you from each of us, “Thank you so much for listening!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk.

Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.