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.
A satanist cult leader is burnt alive by the local church. He vows to come back to hunt down and enslave every descendant of his congregation, by the power of the book of blood contracts, in which they sold their souls to the devil.
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
The U.S. distributors of this film advertised it as "guaranteed to make you sick" and backed it up with thousands of vomit bags advertising the film. See more »
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 »
[to an accused witch]
I accuse you of having trampled on the cross, of having ridden to the Sabbath, of throwing the Holy Cross of our Saviour into manure so that the skies grew dark, and the rain fell upon the earth!
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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initial UK cinema release in 1971, but was released uncut by Intervision on video in the early 1980's. This version was withdrawn in 1984, when compulsory video censorship was introduced to the UK, and it was not until 1993 that Redemption released the film on video again.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 »
Bloody hell!!! I tell you, I'm used to seeing rough and cruel horror films but I assure you this one is really hard to watch at times! You can either take that as a recommendation or as a warning! Mark of the Devil portrays the rites of witchfinding near Austria/ Germany in the 17th century. Honorable men who're satisfying their own bloody and perverted lusts by killing young women in the name of God Himself. This film shows a lot of resemblance to the British classic starring Vincent Price The Witchfinder General only it's a lot more explicit and raw in other words: a lot more `exploitation'-like! Mark of the Devil contains multiple sequences in which girls are severely tortured, mutilated and eventually killed! It may be disgusting at times, but it's a very realistic portrayal of the absurdity and horror that actually took place once. The arrogance and naiveté of the Catholic Church is terrifically presented through the performances of Herbert Lom (Lord Cumberland) and Reggie Nalder (Albino) who still their appetite for terror by abusing God's name. Potential viewers who're interested in medieval torture-techniques will have the time of their lives while watching this film! The whip plays a leading role in this film, along with other bizarre methods such as burnings, the ripping of tongues and fingernails, stretching people and a truly horrific ritual that involves freezing cold drops of water.
The scenery and used locations are magnificent and the guiding music is absolutely brilliant. Mark of the Devil really belongs to the greatest films ever made in the category of European nasty' exploitation. The film can even count on a solid cast including a very young Udo Kier! Here, he is at the very beginning of a rich career that is still growing to be more impressive. It's a thrill to see a film featuring this living Cult-cinema legend at young and promising age. Udo Kier plays Herbert Lom's pupil, a very devoted witchfinder-to-be . devoted that is, until he falls head over heals in love with a beauty who's accused of witchery! Mark of the Devil also stars a couple of ravishing girls (you'll learn that presumed witches are a damn good-looking species) that definitely live up to the Hammer beauties around that same time. Whatever you do don't let the bad reviews scare you off! Mark of the Devil isn't nearly as bad as they say Just because some people can't handle a share amount of graphic violence doesn't mean the film is awful.
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