The commanding Herbert Lom stars as a sadistic, corrupt inquisitor in this salacious exploitation thriller from Germany set in 18th-century Austria. A handsome young Udo Kier takes a rare romantic lead as a young baron wh... more »o rescues an innocent peasant girl from the clutches of a local witch hunter (the villainous-looking Reggie Nalder), only to run afoul of Lom's unholy warrior. An early entry in the "sex and sadism" genre, this production is an exploitation film with an intelligence behind it, but an exploitation film nonetheless: director Michael Armstrong revels in the most barbarous tortures as the impotent inquisitor punishes innocent young maidens for his own unclean desires. Strong performances from Lom, Kier, and Nalder and a cynical ending deliver a dramatic punch along with the grisly nastiness. This brutal thriller is not for all tastes: barf bags were handed out to audiences on its initial release. The new Collector's Edition restores the film to its full, uncut gory--that is, glory. --Sean Axmaker« less
"Back in the day (1970), this film was probably the most controversal movie ever made as it depicted the witch trials going on Europe during the darkest page of human existance. I remember reading all the controversy and I couldn't help but watch the film that caused such a ruckous. I was expecting some really cheap, gory, pointless Eurotrash exploitation flick. What I got was much, much more. First of all, THERE'S A STORY! Yes this film actually has a good plot and story and is actually fairly accurate to some of the real happenings in history. Second, THE ACTING IS REALLY GOOD. The entire cast gives it their all and makes this film believable. The only hinderence is the dubbing, but for foreign horror film fans like me, dubbing just adds to the charm. I was pleasently surprised and got a much better film than I was expecting. I would actually recomend this film to fans of Hammer flicks that came out at about the same time. I however do not recommend this film for fans of pointless gore/trash cinema as they will not get what they expect. The tagline on the box is also misleading as it tags the movie as "the most horrifying movie ever made" which isn't exactly true. Yes it had some shocking moments, but in no way is it really horrifying. By today's standards, the shocks are pretty tame. So if your a fan of atmospheric Euro horror, don't believe all the bad hype as this film is a true gem of the genre."
An odd historical piece
Jason Paul Collum | 07/20/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard of MARK OF THE DEVIL's notoriety when I was a teenager. It had this mythology along the lines of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT & I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. I couldn't find it anywhere though. Several years later I was hired to write and direct PART 6 (!) and the company sent me the original to view. While it didn't scare me, it definitely left some unnerving tension. As a historical piece, I found it painfully fascinating. If what the opening credits claim (This is all a true stroy), then it makes it's effect that much more profound. As a horror movie, it's okay. Nothing scary happens, though the blood and torture is what clearly lends it to the genre. You could watch worse, you could watch better. It's a decent time waster (plus it stars Udo Kier!) Good luck in trying to find any of the sequels, though. Part 3 was retitled SISTERS OF SATAN, PART 4 is actually TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD, Part 5 is actually RETURN OF THE BLIND - and yes, there is a MARK OF THE DEVIL 666 - the only sequel since PART 2 to be produced under the DEVIL banner!"
But does she have the Mark? Watch this one!
Robert E. Murena Jr. | Fairfield, CT United States | 02/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mark of the Devil left its mark on me. In college it was one of the few films I owned and too poor to own cable it was viewed quite often. However these were pre-DVD days and now that this DVD has arrived I have resumed my love for this film. With a truly remarkable amount of extras for such an old film including an interview with Gabby Fuchs, who became somewhat of a cult icon among my friends, this film is worthwhile to buy.
I need to inform you that this not the "most horrifying film ever made". It is mildly sadistic and a little gory by today's standards but this film runs its entire course without any intentional humor or stupidity that is so common in today's horror movies. As Albino says "I may not be educated but I am not stupid": I want movies that at least try to take themselves seriously. This movie does that.
For a 35 year old horror film from Europe this film has had some staying power. I recommend this one to fans of horror of all ages. It is certainly something different from the hackneyed plots that the genre is so susceptible to. If you've seen the movie before get this DVD too you will be pleased with the digital quality and the copious extras... Enjoy the torture...
Icepick | Castroville, CA USA | 07/03/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this one in a discount movie house some time after itsinitial release, so the barf bag promised in the ad was no longergiven out. An ominous circumstance, as it turned out.The film--as I recall--was quite well done. Too well done, in fact. The story concerns a medieval witchhunter, a wretched old man who travels from town to town. At each stop, he attempts to seduce the local lovelies. If they resist, he accuses them of being witches and they are tortured until they confess, then burned to death.Among other things, the tortures include poking a long needle through a freckle or birthmark (the mark of the devil) to see if the girl bleeds, thus proving her innocence.Anyway, about halfway through the film, after seeing a number of these disturbingly realistic scenes, I felt my bile urging itself upward. I fought to maintain control. Then there came a scene where a girl's head was locked into some sort of cage that held her mouth wide open. The witchhunter tore out her tongue with tongs and held the disgusting, bloody thing before the camera. That was all I could take. [...] And, yes, being a resilient teen, I went back to finish the movie. What, sit alone in the lobby with my buds inside?This is an unconventional review, I realize, but it might tell you everything you need to know about "Mark of the Devil.""
A Hermit | Southwestern Pa. | 08/20/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Mark Of The Devil" came out in 1969, and was billed as "Positively The Most Horrifying Movie Ever Made," and looking at the time of its release, I could agree. "Night Of The Living Dead" generally freaked people out in 1968, but the recently deceased getting back up, and cannibalizing the living really does stretch credibility, where this film focuses on the cavalier attitude of Witchfinders in 1700 Austria.
People were superstitious at the time, and doing these awful things to people, and calling it "The Lord's Work," really did happen. The mere accusation of Sorcery was enough to get an indictment, and corruption of the Church has always been there; if you're accused, you have lost the battle.
Revulsion is the real star of this film, and watching these people doing these ghastly things to people, all in a days work, with God on their side, makes it excruciating to watch. One case in particular, has this LOVELY young woman on trial for consorting with the Devil; the truth? She was living with some nuns, and the Bishop raped her. The baby was seen as Satan's spawn, and the politics of the church wouldn't allow the truth to come out. She goes so far as to give a false confession, one she thought they wanted, and from there, it only got worse for her. Watching her ordeal made me physically uncomfortable; I had to keep reminding myself that she was just an actress, and this was a only film stage. But they really did this to people; that's what is so horrifying. THEY ACTUALLY DID THIS TO PEOPLE! WITH CHURCH APPROVAL! ("...doing the Lord's work is never easy...")
This is an exploitation film, but one with a story-line, albeit a tragic one, and thank God the witch trials don't happen now."