Archive for the ‘Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils’ Category


Richard’s book “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils” is included alongside books by Maitland McDonagh, Troy Howarth, Pete Tombs, Kim Newman, Stephen Thrower, Caelum Vatnsdal, and Kier-La Janisse in Rue Morgue’s “25 Non-Fiction Film Books That Every Horror Fan Should Own” by Paul Corupe.

From 25 NON-FICTION HORROR FILM BOOKS THAT EVERY HORROR FAN SHOULD OWN From the making of Psycho to the history of Canadian horror film, Rue Morgue’s cabal of bookworms unearth essential additions for your home library of horror. Also includes an in-depth look at Matt Cardin’s super-ambitious Horror Literature Through HistoryBy Various

On stands September 1, 2017! Order it HERE!


Welcome to the House of Crouse. We welcome two film directors to sit a spell at the HoC today. William Friedkin is a legend, the director of The Exorcist and The French Connection among many others. We don’t talk about those. Instead I asked him about one the most trangressive movies ever made, The Devils. Listen in to hear his opinion on why naked nuns may have cost Ken Russell a box office hit. Then Christopher Nolan brings his big brain over to talk about Dunkirk and why cinema matters. It’s good stuff, swing by.


Boston Globe: Harvard Film Archive screens Ken Russell’s ‘The Devils’

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 12.34.06 PM“… Speaking by phone from Toronto, film critic Richard Crouse, who wrote the 2012 book “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils,” said, “It’s a film that is about sex, about religion, about violence, and that corner in which all three of those things intersect. Good does not necessarily triumph over evil, and in that way I think Ken Russell, who was a devout Catholic, presented a story that helped him question his faith, deepen his faith, but also have a long hard look at his faith. And he did it on film, for everyone to see…”

Read the whole Boston Globe article by Ed Symkus HERE!


From the Facebook page Free Ken Russell’s The DevilsTo answer another question many people have asked; yes, there WILL be a petition to sign. As this campaign is in its early days, I’m still working out the details, but keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime; SHARE, TWEET, BLOG, COMMENT and WRITE. Go to Twitter and tweet #FreeTheDevils

Read Guillermo Del Toro’s fiery plea for this hard-to-see masterpiece’s release on Blu Ray and DVD HERE.

Read about Richard’s book “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils” HERE! Buy it HERE!




Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 9.24.10 AMGuillermo del Toro and Richard Crouse appeared at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Monday November 24, 2014 for an extended introduction and post-screening discussion on Russell’s fevered adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun.

 In 17th-century France, a vain priest (Oliver Reed) becomes the object of a literal witch hunt when a mad nun (Vanessa Redgrave) accuses him of being a sorcerer, in Ken Russell’s fevered adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun.
‡This screening is eligible for our Rush policy. Ticket holders must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the screening in order to ensure entry. If this event goes Off Sale, tickets will be made available to the Rush line 10 minutes before the start of the screening. MORE INFO HERE!
Thanks to Mark Levy for the photographs!
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Richard talks Ken Russell and “The Devils” on The Projection Booth podcast!

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.16.11 AMFrom The Projection Booth’s website:

Episode 168: The Devils

Special Guest: Richard CrouseIt’s fun for the whole family as we talk about Ken Russell’s controversial 1971 film “The Devils”. Censored for over 40 years because of content, “The Devils” tells the tale of Urbain Grandier – the priest of Loudun, France who in 1634 was persecuted through an unholy mix of Church, State and Sex.

Joining us is special guest co-host filmmaker Vincenzo Natali.

Our special guest this week is film critic/author Richard Crouse discussing his book “Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils.”

Georgina Hale with a copy of Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils

1002220_10151882775790988_1450215025_nCourtesy of Lisi Tribble!

“Major minor miracle: Murray Melvin (DEVILS, BOY FRIEND, DIARY OF A NOBODY, TASTE OF HONEY), Georgina Hale (MAHLER, DEVILS, BOY FRIEND, LIZSTOMANIA), Scott Antony – who played the unforgettable lead as sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska in SAVAGE MESSIAH, Iain Fisher (SAVAGE MESSIAH website) at the BFI’s screening of Unkle Ken Russell’s masterpiece about the creative process, SAVAGE MESSIAH, set design by Derek Jarman, 9 February, 2014. Sam Ashby of Joe Magazine gave a wonderful introduction to the film, reading out of Jarman’s diaries about Ken.”

Look closely and you’ll see a copy of my book Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils nestled in Georgina Hale’s arms! She played Phillippe in the film!


beimage.asmxThe Devils was one of the most controversial films ever made, considered to be blasphemous, indecent and downright demonic — but top Toronto film critic and author Richard Crouse wasn’t put off. In Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils (ECW Press), Richard writes about a film so notorious that people have been talking about it for forty years.

Raising Hell examines this unique film in all its horrible glory via new interviews with cast and crew, including an exclusive interview with late director Ken Russell.

Today we welcome Richard to Open Book as part of our Proust Questionnaire series. In his answers to the Proust Questionnaire, Richard tells Open Book about sock lust, a flower with an appetite and the best meal to be had in Toronto.

The Proust Questionnaire was not invented by Marcel Proust, but it was a much loved game by the French author and many of his contemporaries. The idea behind the questionnaire is that the answers are supposed to reveal the respondent’s “true” nature.


What is your dream of happiness? 
Writing a perfect sentence… and having someone there to read it.

What is your idea of misery? 
Being thrown in jail for something I didn’t do, or spending time at a cottage.

Where would you like to live? 
Exactly where I live right now.

What qualities do you admire most in a man? 

What qualities do you admire most in a woman? 
See above… and dark curly hair.

What is your chief characteristic? 

What is your principal fault? 

What is your greatest extravagance?
My (uncontrollable) lust for buying Paul Smith socks.

What faults in others are you most tolerant of? 
Drunkeness and ego.

What do you value most about your friends? 
See above… actually, loyalty, humour and patience.

What characteristic do you dislike most in others? 

What characteristic do you dislike most in yourself? 
My intolerance for incompetence.

What is your favourite virtue? 

What is your favourite occupation? 

What would you like to be? 
Keith Richards’s guitar pick.

What is your favourite colour? 
Anything that isn’t taupe.

What is your favourite flower? 
Audrey, the man-eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors.

What is your favourite bird? 
Lyrebird, an Australian bird that can mimic any sound in the world.

What historical figure do you admire the most?
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Thanks for the BLT’s!

What character in history do you most dislike?
Jay M. Arena, creator of the Child-Proof Cap.

Who are your favourite prose authors? 
Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote and Richard Matheson.

Who are your favourite poets? 
Ogden Nash, George Carlin and Edgar Allen Poe.

Who are your favourite heroes in fiction?
George Bailey, Ferris Bueller and Ziggy Stardust.

Who are your heroes in real life? 
The people who read my books and watch my shows.

Who is your favourite painter? 
Andy Warhol.

Who is your favourite musician?
In cascading order… David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits.

What is your favourite food? 
The Piquant Shrimp at Southern Accent on Markham Street in Toronto.

What is your favourite drink? 
Most anything in a pint glass… but especially Guinness.

What are your favourite names? 
Andrea, Max, Jack and 国.

What is it you most dislike?
Wilful ignorance.

What natural talent would you most like to possess? 
The innate ability to know how many chili flakes is too many.

How do you want to die? 
While watching The Godfather… Part 62, which will star an actor who hasn’t even been born yet.

What is your current state of mind? 
Cautiously optimistic.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? 
Convincing my publisher to let me write a book about The Devils, a decades old movie not many people have seen.

What is your motto? 
With a nod to Dr. Thompson: Buy the ticket, take the ride.