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.
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
After it was already censored for its theatrical release, the film was banned in Germany from its video release in the 1980s until 2016. Only then, the banishment was lifted (after The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), this is only the second time this has been achieved). See more »
Around the 13-minute mark, the shadow of the camera and operator are visible in three shots as the camera makes its way through a crowd of villagers. 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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The 2003 UK Anchor Bay DVD restored many of the previous BBFC cuts but was still edited by 38 secs to reduce the nudity from the rack torture scene. 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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