|MARK OF THE DEVIL (HEXEN BIS AUFS BLUT GEQUALT) (director/writer: Michael Armstrong/Adrien Hoven; cinematographer: Ernst W. Kalinke; editor: Siegrun Jäger; music: Michael Holm; cast: Udo Kier (Count Christian von Meruh), Herbert Lom (Lord Cumberland), Reggie Nalder (Albino), Olivera Vuco (Vanessa Benedikt), Herbert Fux (Jeff Wilkens - Executioner); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Adrien Hoven; Cheezy Flicks Entertainment (Arrow); 1970-West Germany-dubbed)|
pic lacks the substance that made Michael
Reeves' The Conqueror Worm a horror classic,
as it too easily settles in to be solely a
shocker torture-porn flick."
by Dennis Schwartz
garish violent cult exploitation horror pic; a
copycat film of The Conqueror Worm (1968). The film
wants us to believe it's taken from real cases, even
if that seems a stretch. It's helmed as a
sadistic gore pic by Michael Armstrong ("Screamtime"/"Horror
House") and co-director Adrien Hoven. It was censored
by the Brits and never received a theatrical release
there. Though perverse it was
well-received by an adventurous American audience, who
on its theater release the patrons were provided vomit
takes place in the Austria of 1700, where the Church
organizes witch hunts. Herbert Lom plays a sadistic
general who catches witches and makes them confess
by using the rack. Udo Kier
plays his aristocratic young protege,
who when he falls for a barmaid (Olivera
Vuco) accused of being a witch comes at last
to his senses over using torture to get those
confessions and rebels against the system. It's most
repulsive scene shows a beautiful woman about to get
her tongue pulled off by its roots.
pic lacks the substance that made Michael Reeves'
The Conqueror Worm a horror classic, as it too
easily settles in to be solely a shocker
The West German trashy import was the first film in England rated “V for Violence,” as it set a precedent for Euro-trash films.
REVIEWED ON 10/25/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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