Rasputin: The Mad Monk – Film Review

Yo Ho Ho! Want to know more about some freaky guy who stared his way out of poverty and into the realms of riches? Yes? Then read on biatch…

This Hammer Horror film stars Christopher Lee as (you guessed it!) Gregory Rasputin. It starts off at a quaint little pub, where the landlord’s wife is bedridden with the most horrendous fever, so much so that it has rendered her so weak to stay awake. Enter Rasputin: a giant-Russian-Lumberjack of a guy (if there is such a thing). He is brought into the bedroom where the wife so sleeps, and then proceeds in his healing process. It must be said that his hands are like SHOVELS!!! They’re so big that when he places his hands over her face, enclosing them slowly over her like a tomb, they completely conceal her. And that stare – it’s the most intense imaginable. It reminded me of that gopher creature on youtube who turns around and gives the camera a devilish stare (maybe Rasputin reincarnated?). Anyway, so he expels the fever from the landlord’s wife, and dunks his hands into a jug of water found on the windowstill, to rid the fever from his hands (he trapped it in there, you see). He’s then rewarded with lots of alcohol, and a song and dance. He dances with a young lady whom he quickly takes to a barn full of haystacks for some lovin’. But then the young lady’s fella spotted them at the pub, and followed them there – he tries to kill Rasputin with some kind of cutting tool (A hoe?) but is out fought by o’ Greggers. The end of this act concludes with Rasputin deciding he wants to go to the city, once told that “The city is no place for common folk like you” (I paraphrase, but you get the gist).

Hay now.

So now he’s made his way to the city, and he’s in another bar. A doctor is practically demanding that people go up against him in a drinking contest as he believes no-one could possibly outdrink him. It’s only when the mention of money is heard by Rasputin that he takes him up on his challenge, and drinks him under the table. Sure enough, the two of them become friends so after.

One more important thing happens at this bar – a lady in waiting to her majesty downs a heavy drink and starts laughing manically. Rasputin, who is dancing at the time, takes great offense by this and give her the stare of a thousand deaths, telling her that she will come to him and apology for laughing at him. The lady in waiting’s brother, sat with her, is appalled by such vile behaviour on Rassie’s side of things, but the bearded one doesn’t care any less, and goes back to his seat. Charming!

It was indeed hypnotism what Rasputin did, as the red haired lady at the bar manages to track him down. He is squatting at the ex-doctor’s abode whom he beat in the drinking challenge last night and apologies to him. He tells her to get on her knees and slaps her, then says that she will cook for them like a common peasant. Then she tells them that she will not as she is a lady-in-waiting to the queen. Rasputin changes tactics now, knowing that she is of some real use to her after hearing this, and hypnotises her again with his wide daemonic eyes, telling her that she will cause an “accident” whereby the son of Tzar will need his methods of healing to get better. And that so happens not long after he tells her to – she pushes the young lad off of a pillar, knocking him out cold on the ground.

After Rasputin heals the son and tells the queen that “He’ll be fully recovered by the morning,” he somehow worms he way into living at the majesty’s abode. He also (by hypnotizing the queen) got his ex-doctor friend reinstated as a doctor – ergo, she hires him as her doctor, and fires the other one.

After Rasputin heals the son and tells the queen that “He’ll be fully recovered by the morning,” he somehow worms he way into living at the majesty’s abode. He also (by hypnotizing the queen) got his ex-doctor friend reinstated as a doctor – ergo, she hires him as her doctor, and fires the other one.

After hypnotizing the queen, the red-haired lady is no more of use to Rasputin, but she gets to clingy to him. What does he do? Answer: he puts he in a trance, telling her to kill herself. And later, she does – her brother find her in her room, wrists slit and blood drawn. Bloody awful stuff.

He is a very fickle man

But all Rasputin’s good fortune can’t go on for much longer, if the lady-in-waiting’s brother and his scheming officer have anything to do with it. They devise a plan whereby they invite Rasputin to meet up with the officer’s sister – the other lady-in-waiting (whom he earlier described as “The prettier one”). He falls for the set up and comes to the place he is told to, and is left to wait in a room whilst she gets ready. On one table is a decanter full of sweet sweet alcohol, just how he likes it. He drinks a couple of glasses of this. He sits down. Next to him now are a box crammed full of marvellously presented chocolate bites (well, I thought they looked good). He takes one, two… about eight of them, and chucks them into his mouth like a gluttonous pig. He then suddenly gets stomach pains and falls to the floor in agonising pain. This is because the drink was laced with poison and the chocolates were injected with… poison! He’s been poisoned!! But like the super-freak he is, he manages to get up. The brother is shocked by this (he’s been spying on him the whole time) as Rasputin tries to kill him. Eventually, it takes both the officer and the brother to end Rasputin’s life. Rasputin gets thrown out of a window, and the brother gets stabbed in the back with a flying dagger.

I’ve got to take into consideration that this is a Hammer Horror film, so the accuracy of such a story is most likely a mixture of facts and OTT fictions. But who knows. I certainly don’t – I only just watched the film about ten minutes ago and know nought about the Rassmeister, apart from what this film has shown my brain.

Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get… perhaps, poison?

But, as a viewing experience, I would like to award Rasputin: The Mad Monk a….