6.2/10
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75 user 118 critic

Mark of the Devil (1970)

Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält (original title)
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In 1700s Austria, a witch-hunter's apprentice has doubts about the righteousness of witch-hunting when he witnesses the brutality, the injustice, the falsehood, the torture and the arbitrary killing that go with the job.

Directors:

Michael Armstrong, Adrian Hoven (uncredited)

Writers:

Michael Armstrong (original story and screenplay) (as Sergio Casstner), Adrian Hoven (original story and screenplay) (as Percy Parker)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Herbert Lom ... Lord Cumberland
Udo Kier ... Count Christian von Meruh
Olivera Katarina ... Vanessa Benedikt (as Olivera Vuco)
Reggie Nalder ... Albino
Herbert Fux ... Jeff Wilkens - Executioner
Johannes Buzalski ... Advocato
Michael Maien Michael Maien ... Baron Daumer
Gaby Fuchs ... Deidre von Bergenstein
Ingeborg Schöner ... Nobleman's Wife
Adrian Hoven ... Walter - the Nobleman
Günter Clemens Günter Clemens ... Friedrich
Doris von Danwitz Doris von Danwitz ... Elisabeth
Dorothea Carrera Dorothea Carrera ... Young Lover
Marlies Petersen Marlies Petersen
Bob Gerry Bob Gerry
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Storyline

Udo Kier is a witch hunter apprentice to Herbert Lom. He believes strongly in his mentor and the ways of the church but loses faith when he catches Lom committing a crime. Kier slowly begins to see for himself that the witch trials are nothing but a scam of the church to rob people of their land, money, and other personal belongings of value and seduce beautiful women. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Banned In Many Countries See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

5 April 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mark of the Devil See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(uncut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anton Diffring was briefly considered for the role of Albino before Reggie Nalder was cast. Interestingly, both Diffring and Nalder would go on to star in the semi-sequel, Mark of the Devil Part II (1973). See more »

Goofs

In the street scene 12 minutes in, a 20th Century traffic sign is visible, which the film makers have tried to hide by covering in a basket and having someone sat in front of it in a large cloak. See more »

Quotes

Lord Cumberland: We must never weaken in performing God's work. For those who turn against our Saviour, no punishment is sufficient.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Mark of the Devil was heavily cut for its initial UK cinema release in 1971, but was released uncut by Intervision on video in the early 1980's. This version was withdrawn in 1984, when compulsory video censorship was introduced to the UK, and it was not until 1993 that Redemption released the film on video again. Sadly, despite the film's age, the British Board of Film Classification still felt that around 7 cuts, totaling 4 minutes 27 seconds, were necessary for this release. These cuts entailed the removal of entire scenes, such as the woman who is branded whilst on a rack, a later sequence when the same poor individual gets her tongue ripped out, closeup shots of the Baron being sat on a spiked seat, the pricking of the puppeteer's stomach, and a scene where Cumberland rapes the puppeteer's wife. Most of the cuts were restored for the 2003 Anchor Bay DVD although 38 secs of topless nudity shots were removed from the rack scene. The film was finally passed fully uncut in 2013. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fear, Panic & Censorship (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Grisly but surprisingly good.
27 February 2001 | by gridoonSee all my reviews

Most of the reviews I've read about "Mark of the Devil" tend to over-emphasize the "graphic torture scenes" aspect of the film, but if you're expecting this to be just a sickening piece of trash cinema you may be surprised. The historical context lends unexpected weight to the story, and there are some interesting character conflicts between Herbert Lom and Udo Kier. Although repellently violent at times, and definitely not for everyone (that "removal-of-a-tongue" scene is pretty grisly), this film does not deserve to be sloppily dismissed. (**1/2)


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