Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mark Of The Devil (1970) aka Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält aka Austria 1700 aka Brenn Hexe Brenn aka Burn Witch Burn aka Hexen aka Satan

4 / 5
Tagline: Positively the most horrifying film ever made.
Directed by: Michael Armstrong
Written By: Michael Armstrong, Adrian Hoven
Actors Include: Udo Kier, Herbert Lom, Olivera Vuco
Genre: Horror, Drama, Exploitation
Length: 96 minutes
Banned: Australia, Germany, Norway
Country: West Germany

Alrighty, for starters this is a German film, and as such it's in German go figure! The version I watched was dubbed in English. Now that we've got that out of the way, I actually didn't really know what to expect going into this. It's a witchcraft based period piece mixed with exploitation and if I wasn't sure the two could mix happily then I am now. This was actually very entertaining, looks like it had a decent budget and it had a little bit of everything mixed into the story to keep most people happy. The way the story works is that there is a head erm witch hunter who is all powerful and greedy and evil. Even though he knows people are innocent, he tortures them and kills them on suspicion of witchcraft anyhow because he doesn't want people to think he's gone soft. It's pretty impressive what will get a person thought of as a witch, for example one couple putting on a puppet show for their children are condemned. Udo's character falls for a lovely free spirited barmaid accused of witchery by another witch hunter who is evil because she rejected his advances. Udo is torn on wether to set her free and betray his leader or to let her sit in the jail. There are actually many stories going on, plenty of people being tortured and burned, we even have a nun rape in the beginning of the film. Anyone coming to this film for violence and torture should be pleased, but those who like a nice story also are rewarded, this does have everything and it was a very nice surprise.

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