Mark of the Devil

Director: Michael Armstrong and Adrian Hoven
Year Released: 1970
Rating: 1.0

Daffy, campy look at "witch hunters" who persecute individuals (mostly women) they believe are in cahoots with the Devil himself and how young apprentice Christian (Udo Kier) finally rebels against his masters (and pays the price for it). This is awful filmmaking - with terrible writing and performances - though I did find it curious how two of the main witch hunters are motivated by personal/sexual reasons: chief inquisitor Herbert Lom does it because he's impotent while one of his henchman (Reggie Nalder) does it to satisfy his fully-functioning lust. Ken Russell's The Devils - released in 1971 - takes this concept and amplifies it to magnificent levels (cinema-as-hysteria); this is a warm-up to that crazed movie. Bonus points for the Feel Bad ending, in which the sick torturers basically live to see another trial (and tongue removal) ... while the voice of reason (Kier) gets tortured and left hanging from a tree.