From exclusive interviews with director Ken Russell and new interviews with cast, crew, and historians, comes this examination of the beautifully blasphemous film The Devils. Based on historical fact, this controversial 1971 film is about an oversexed priest and a group of sexually repressed nuns in 17th-century France and the ensuing trials and exorcisms that followed. Detailing the Production and the personalities of two of cinema’s great eccentrics, director Ken Russell and star Oliver Reed, Crouse delves deeper to explore the aftermath of the film. Chiefly, the question asked is How can a movie by one of the most famous filmmakers in the world end up banned, edited, and ignored by the company that owns it?
Richard Crouse is a film critic who hosted Reel to Real on the Independent Film Channel, In Short on Bravo, and is a frequent guest on many national Canadian radio and television shows. He is the author of The 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, Reel Winners, and The Son of the 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen. He lives in Toronto.
"Bravo to the publisher ECW Press for putting out a companion book to a film that remains so elusive. . . . Crouse has perhaps created the definitive chronicle of Russell's masterwork. . . . For fans of Russell and The Devils, . . . Raising Hell is essential reading on an essential film." —Fangoria (December 2012)
"In this excellent book, Richard Crouse takes us back to the early 1970s, a period where Hollywood had jettisoned the Hays Code, a Depression-era list of no-nos for filmmakers, and unleashed a torrent of profanity, nudity, and graphic violence." —American Book Review
"An exhaustive, vivid and passionate account of one of the most powerful and transgressive films ever made. This is not only a great book, it's a necessary book." —Guillermo del Toro, film director, Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth
"Reading this book was pure pleasure for me. It made me desperate to see Ken Russell's gorgeous, crazed epic again." —David Cronenberg, film director, The Fly and Naked Lunch
"In Raising Hell Richard Crouse has written an entertaining and informative account of Ken Russell and his adventures on The Devils. Russell remains an authentic and original voice in British cinema, and this is the funny and sad tale of the rise and fall and rise of one of his most controversial films." —John Landis, film director, The Blues Brothers
"The Devil is in the details, and to appreciate why so many filmmakers are possessed by Ken Russell's outrageous masterpiece, this book is a must." —Terry Gilliam, film director, 12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
"Raising Hell is a book to satisfy fans and intrigue new viewers. Even if The Devils isn't your cup of tea, Crouse has created a fascinating portrait of the director's vision and the studio's lack of foresight." —www.PlanetFury.com
"Raising Hell is a case study in what transpires when religion and art collide, and it should be read as a cautionary tale in the current climate of culture wars and clashes of civilizations." —www.StevenWBeattie.com