MARK OF THE DEVIL is the Exploitation genre's answer to Michael Reeve's WITCHFINDER GENERAL, pillaging its plot while injecting it with gratuitous violence and gore. The three intertwining storylines are supposedly based on true accounts of medieval men and women that were tried for witchcraft in the days of the Inquisition. Udo Kier stars as a charming young baron that attempts to instill reason and logic in to the church after falling in love with an innocent beauty that stands accused of consorting with the devil. Reggie Nalder plays the sadistic Albino opposite to Kier's baron, creating a dark and memorable villain as the film's scarred witchfinder. A variety of colorful set pieces and gorgeous locations light up the screen thanks to the superior cinematography by Ernest Kalinke, while Michael Armstrong's keen direction makes this a somber but credible period piece. Armstrong lays out the film's Grand Guignol spectacle through the use of several of the Inquisition's cruelest torture devices, hardly shying away from the gore as the accused endure the horrors of the rack, finger presses, branding irons, and even more unimaginable torments. MARK OF THE DEVIL is one of the most entertaining Euro shockers out of Germany in the early 70s, and is a benchmark for the exploitative Inquisition films that followed in the wake of WITCHFINDER GENERAL.
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If you liked MARK OF THE DEVIL, check out:
INQUISITION, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW.