Review: Mark of the Devil (1970)

This movie was rated V for violence by the shocked Americans in 1970. Rip your own tongue out, grab a barf bag and enjoy the feature!

bøu“MARK OF THE DEVIL”(Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält)

Director: Michael Armstrong
Stars: Herbert Lom, Olivera Vuco, Udo Kier
Distributor: Arrow Video
Runtime: 98 mins

“Stop that witch! I accuse you of having trembled on the cross, of having ridden to the sabbath and thrown the holy cross of our saviour into manure so that the sky grew dark and rain fell upon the earth.”


Count Christian von Meruh (Udo Kier) is a witch hunter and apprentice to Lord Cumberland (Herbert Lom) in early 18th-century Austria. He believes strongly in his mentor and the ways of the church but loses faith when he catches Cumberland strangling a man to death for calling him impotent. Von Meruh 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.


With a soundtrack that reminded me of “Cannibal Holocaust” this old shocker has not lost its effect. It’s a well made medieval drama, and it’s got to be one of the most brutal movies made at that time. It’s also telling the important story of the church’s fucked-up use of power, though it’s over-the-top exploitative. A fantastic cast of actors delivers the goods in great manner.


This magnificent release by Arrow is packed with extras. Hours of documentaries, interviews, outtakes, audio commentaries and a nice booklet. The picture quality is top-notch. The old dubbing was much better in German than English, so I switched halfways.