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Marked by the Devil: An Interview with Michael Armstrong (2003)



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Horror | Short





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2003 (UK)  »

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Short but reasonably interesting interview, did you know Herbert Lom wore a fake nose throughout the entire film?!

Marked by the Devil: An Interview with Michael Armstrong is a 15 minute on camera interview with the writer & director of the horror film Mark of the Devil (1970) produced by Nucleus Films & as far as I'm aware is only available on the UK DVD released by Anchor Bay. As one would expect Michael Armstrong talks about the film, first of all how he was approached through his agent & how he got the job. Armstrong says that the script he was given written by producer Adrian Hoven (who also intended to direct) was originally something titled 'The Witch Hunter Doctor Dracula' which was apparently as awful as it sounds. Armstrong completely re-wrote the script & in a straight fight with Hoven who hated it won as the money men preferred Armstrong's script over Hoven's. Armstrong talks briefly about filming, the fact that there were about 7 different nationalities on set which made communication a big problem, all the sound equipment had been left behind in Munich & dodgy contracts which let actors wander off to do commercials & other films during production & just come back when they felt like it. Armstrong talks about the fights he had with producer Hoven whom was obviously difficult to work with leading to a 2 hour fight between the two over whether Udo Kier should stand up or sit down for a particular scene, he also says that Hoven went & shot the footage of himself & his children on his own & Armstrong had nothing to do with it. The alternate ending is discussed & what was supposed to happen. To round things off he talks about the censorship issues the film suffered from particularly in the UK & that infamous 'vomit bag' that was given out in US cinemas upon it's initial release of which Armstrong has one & thinks it was a wonderful idea! Armstrong talks openly & honestly about Mark of the Devil which helps, he obviously has both fond & not so fond memories of it. The majority of what he has to say is interesting & informative & doesn't wander off into typical back patting promo stuff. There are plenty of relevant clips from the film, various posters & video box artwork edited between his comments & as a whole Marked by the Devil: An Interview with Michael Armstrong is very worthwhile especially considering it's a free extra on a DVD. My only minor gripe is that I would have liked to hear from others involved with the production but nothings perfect I suppose...

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