Secret Rites (1971) watch online


Directed by: Derek Ford
Stars: Penny Beeching, Shirley Harmer, Lee Peters
Language: English
Country: Uk

Description: Pseudo-documentary about black magic.

The film is definitely a fascinating snapshot of a period and set of beliefs beyond the ordinary. It is interestingly shot and contains an agreeable score by The Spindle. Whether truthful or totally fictional, the film’s information is certainly absorbing if taken at face value. But ultimately it’s very hard to escape the conclusion that Saunders and Ford have totally opposing motives for making the film.

This can be illustrated no better than in the ritual scenes. All the assembled witches strip naked – Saunders clearly thinks nothing of this; he sees it as a natural thing, a mere requirement of the ceremony. But Ford is a sly old fox and knows full well the “value” of full frontal nudity when trying to attract an audience. His camera lingers just a little too long. It is this contrast in intention which ultimately stands out in Secret Rites, and leads me to the conclusion that it is sexploitation rather than information.

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