A physician discovers that two children are being kept virtually imprisoned in their house by their father. He investigates, and discovers a web of sex, incest, and Satanic possession.


Peter Sykes


Christopher Wicking (screenplay), Christopher Wicking (from an original story by) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Hardy ... Baron Friedrich Zorn
Shane Briant ... Emil Zorn
Gillian Hills ... Elizabeth Zorn
Yvonne Mitchell ... Aunt Hilda
Paul Jones Paul Jones ... Carl Richter
Patrick Magee ... Doctor Falkenberg
Kenneth J. Warren Kenneth J. Warren ... Klaus
Michael Hordern ... Priest
Robert Brown ... Fischinger
Virginia Wetherell Virginia Wetherell ... Inge
Deirdre Costello Deirdre Costello ... Magda
Barry Stanton ... Ernst
Sidonie Bond Sidonie Bond ... Zorn's Wife
Thomas Heathcote ... Coachman
John Atkinson John Atkinson ... 1st Villager


Baron Zorn keeps his teenager children, Elizabeth and Emil locked up and drugged, fearing that his insane wife passed along a congenital curse to them before her own suicidal death. Elizabeth escapes for a brief tryst with a local before being recaptured and subjected to a bleeding process to "draw out the bad blood". Emil keeps trying to escape, but is thwarted time and again by his aunt, Hilda, who runs the house like a prison. One reason the siblings have to be kept apart is their incestuous attraction to each other. Local wenches are being murdered in the woods, and the superstitious peasants think demons are responsible. A wandering priest dedicates himself to root out the evil, but isn't taken seriously. Arriving at the castle are two more interested parties: Mountebank scientist huckster Falkenberg stands to make a small fortune if his strange apparatus can cure the children of their inherited evil. Carl simply wants to rescue Elizabeth. As more murders mount, Falkenberg ... Written by Leo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They came to torture an agonised mind


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


John Atkinson was dubbed. See more »


Zorn: "Blood will have blood," they say. Well, there must be no more blood on our souls.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema release was cut by the BBFC to remove shots of dirt being forced into Inge's mouth and the stabbing of Hilda with a set of keys, and to optically blur shots of the scarred body of Zorn's wife and of her cutting her throat. The same cut print was used for the 1990 Warner video though this was then cut by a further 18 secs to remove shots of Inge's topless bloodstained body and a bloodstained woman caressing her breasts during a flashback montage. The 1990 video cuts were waived in 2006 for the Optimum release though the original cinema edits now appear to be lost. See more »


Referenced in Dream Lover: Inside 'Straight on Till Morning' (2017) See more »

User Reviews

Nasty satire of religion and science
24 July 1999 | by ackySee all my reviews

This film is a nasty satire of science and Religion. Peter Sykes undoes the Hammer Horror conventions in favor of a free-floating, experimetal narrative. Patrick Magee and Micheal Holdern both turn in brilliant performances. Patrick Magee as the inneffectual, sadistic psychiatrist who drives people mad to have better papers published and Micheal holdern as a wandering beggar dressed as a priest, blending fervor with madness. The entire free-floating poetic structure is ended with a brutal, grisly ending that helps this movie break from the silly hammer horror conventions most of the films suffer from. If Hammer had made more films like this they might still be relevant to modern horror.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 35 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

May 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Demons of the Mind See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed