Herbert Lom, Udo Kier, Olivera Vuco, Reggie Nalder, Herbert Fux, Gaby Fuchs, Ingeborg Schoner
Michael Armstrong, Adrian Hoven (Uncredited)
Michael Armstrong, Adrian Hoven (as Percy Parker)
Arrow Films & Video (USA)
Once proclaimed as "positively the most horrifying movie ever made," Mark of the Devil has bounced around several distributors, including indie distributor Cheezy Flicks, but is really getting major treatment now from its release by U.K.-based distributor Arrow Films with a top notch Blu-ray/DVD release that includes a ton of extras and the film in just about as perfect a way as the film can be presented.
Does that make it a better film?
Nope, but for those who enjoy indie horror, classic horror, or slightly B-movie type flicks, Mark of the Devil may very well be getting a package for distribution that will make you want to pick it up.
The film is a bloody and brutal indictment of religious corruption, with horror icon Udo Kier playing a witchfinder's apprentice whose faith in his master (Herbert Lom) becomes questioned after the two move to an Austrian village. Presided over by a sadistic albino (Reggie Nalder), the film is rather stunning in its nastiness.
Originally released by Hallmark releasing (No! Not THAT Hallmark!), Mark of the Devil has been made available uncut for the first time and what a remarkable production it is. While you can count on the folksat Criterion to put together this kind of packaging for classic cinema, it's not often that you get this kind of a quality production for films that many would regard as being on the other end of the spectrum.
For those interested in the film, the extras are nothing short of amazing:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the feature, transferred from original film elements – available uncut in the UK for the first time!
- Optional English and German audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Newly translated English subtitles for the German audio
- Audio commentary by Michael Armstrong, moderated by Calum Waddell
- Mark of the Times – exclusive feature-length documentary from High Rising Productions on the emergence of the ‘new wave’ of British horror directors that surfaced during the sixties and seventies, featuring contributions from Michael Armstrong, Norman J. Warren (Terror), David McGillivray (Frightmare), Professor Peter Hutchings (author of Hammer and Beyond) and famed film critic Kim Newman
- Hallmark of the Devil – author and critic Michael Gingold looks back at Hallmark Releasing, the controversial and confrontational distributor that introduced Mark of the Devil to American cinemas
- Interviews with composer Michael Holm and actors Udo Kier, Herbert Fux, Gaby Fuchs, Ingeborg Schöner and Herbert Lom
- Mark of the Devil: Now and Then – a look at the film’s locations and how they appear today
- Reversible Sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Adrian Smith and Anthony Nield, plus an interview with Reggie Nalder by David Del Valle, all illustrated with original stills and artwork
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic