Mark of the Devil: Yack Pack [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
Michael Armstrong's 1970 graphic but fascinating film isn't any easy watch. Despite not being liked apparently by any of his German crew Armstrong has managed to create a very intriguing and fairly damning (it was all done in the name of the religious state) supposed true story. The director wanted the violence to be very strong and unflinching and in this was successful, tongues are ripped out, women burned alive, men beaten to within an inch of there lives and much more, the torture scenes are graphic and bloody and many have an air of cruelty around them however this is not a negative, the picture needed these scenes as they create an atmosphere of dread and to tell its story of just what "good people" do. The writing, also done by Armstrong is excellent with the story unravelling at all the right times leading to a good mass revenge sequence, the performances are another strong point, Herbert Lom as the head of state witch hunter is excellent and the striking Reggie Nalder is very convincing, but the entire cast do a great job in their roles, apart really from Udo Kier who gives quite a blank distant performance. The gorgeous Austrian countryside gives this grim tale a much softer setting and the real torture equipment takes the violent scenes to another level. The final scenes of the townsfolk marching to their revenge is brilliant and infuriating because of what happens to certain people but is none the less effective ad thrilling.Read more ›
The inimitable Reggie Nalder plays local witch finder Albino who pretty much rules the roost doing as he pleases, accusing various people of practising witchcraft and administering gruesome tortures and punishments, until Lord Cumberland (Herbert Lom) arrives with his assistant and protege Christian (Udo Kier) to take over.
One of the ladies on trial for witchcraft just happens to be the woman that Christian is in love with so he is torn between following his mentor and trying to save her from certain death if she is found guilty.
This love story plot element really runs secondary to a series of pretty nasty scenes involving genuine instruments of torture. People are stretched on racks and have their fingers and thumbs broken in thumb screws and, in perhaps the film's most famous scene, one woman has her tongue torn out with a pair of tongs.
Although these scenes are strong and uncomfortable to watch the film on the whole lacks the punch that Michael Reeves's far superior Witchfinder General has. For me, the acting is far better in Witchfinder General and the plot is far more involving.
Despite all the onscreen violence and carnage, there is some humour and irony to be found in Mark Of The Devil. Lord Cumberland (as in the sausage) is a good name for a character who is impotent and it is ironic that Udo Kier's character, who is drawn into the practice of dishing out punishments and supervising the various methods of torture, should be called Christian.Read more ›
The overwhelming majority of the film looks very fresh and very vibrant. Clarity and depth are also very pleasing. The opening credits are a bit rough -- some wear marks and printed dirt spots are noticeable -- but then depth quickly improves. Colors are stable and always appear natural. There are no traces of problematic degraining corrections. However, in different parts of the film the grain could be slightly overexposed or underexposed. The major fluctuations can be traced back to the different elements that were accessed during the restoration, but time has also contributed to the unevenness. There are no traces of problematic sharpening adjustments. There are no serious transition issues and overall image stability is good. However, occasionally light shakiness (within the frame) can be spotted throughout the film (a good example can be seen around the 00.08.27 mark as Vanessa walks away). There are no large damage marks and debris, but some tiny scratches and flecks remain. Lastly, there are no encoding anomalies to report in this review. All in all, there is room for minor improvements, but the film has a very solid organic appearance. (Note: This is a Region A/B "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you need to have a native Region-A, Region-B, or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I usually do a long review, but here I wont. All I say is, this is excellent. Arrow fans need to have this. It's pure nasty and I loved it.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Absolute total rubbish!!! Violence for violence sake. not worth the money. I love Herbert Lom as an actor what he thought to making this I can't imagine.Published 15 months ago by Mrs. J. A. Harley-avis
Great movie! Arrow video really goes way out to bring you great copies of their movies they release plus a booklet with every movie which adds alot to the release.Published 15 months ago by Larry W. Webber
Disappointing! One of those films that fails to live up to the hype. Picture quality overall is good but there are moments where the quality dips. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Silver Spirit