MARK OF THE DEVIL (hexen bis aufs blut gequalt) (1970 W. GERMANY) D/W: MICHAEL ARMSTRONG D/W/P: ADRIAN HOVEN
Between THE WITCHFINDER GENERAL and THE DEVILS came this hit exploitation item that had an effective ad campaign ("Banned in 31 countries!"). Herbert Lom is the new Witchfinder in town, Udo Kier his accomplice. Sexy nude women are branded and tortured until they confess (one has her tongue ripped out). This makes for great grindhouse entertainment, but MARK OF THE DEVIL is also a very effective look at the corruption and the stupidity of the Inquisitions (and in some respects the regular townsfolk). In one scene, puppeteers are arrested for witchcraft! This film is deserving of more respect i'd say. With Herbert Fux as the Executioner, the unique-looking Reggie Nalder and Hoven (who returned with MARK OF THE DEVIL PART 2) in an acting turn. Armstrong had previously directed THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF HORROR.