Mark of the Devil Part II Film Details
Overview: A tribunal interrogates, tortures and murders “witches” and “heretics” during the Inquisition.
Tagline: The Devil Won’t Let Go!
Review: Let’s see, MARK OF THE DEVIL PART 2, gee whiz. I’ve had a difficult time trying to think of exactly what to say about this movie since I managed to see it last spring. To call it unpleasant would be kind. It’s perhaps the sleaziest, scummiest example of the early 1970s Euro Horror exploitation movie fad that I can think of, a film that appears to be genuinely ineptly made from the ground up, with only some amusing costuming and bizarre interior location choices to really recommend it to casual viewers just looking for cheap thrills. The notoriety of the film is partly based on it’s current unavailability. The only way to see it these days is to find one of the gray market unlicensed home video transfers floating around sourced from overseas prints with gibberish subtitles burnt into the picture. Usually I would say that’s a shame but in the case of MARK OF THE DEVIL PART 2 it’s pretty much what the movie deserves; this is among the few genuine horror movies which come to mind had to be cut even to qualify for an “X” rating, which is saying a lot. Having it restored to it’s original full length is not really a pressing issue for humanity right now, though sadly it would probably be a brisk seller. People love this kind of crap. For those who aren’t in the know, the MARK OF THE DEVIL films were part of a brief flurry of “Witchfinder General” torture show movies inspired by Michael Reeves’ controversial period thriller CONQUEROR WORM, a wildly popular artistic statement about man’s inhumanity to his fellow man that was exactly the movie the world had coming to it in 1968. The idea was to explore the possibilities of inflicting suffering on the supporting cast by evoking the pre-Reformation era of Puritanical Inquisitional hysteria, with an omnipotent, otherwise untouchable torture artist going from town to town condemning people as witches for kicks. In addition to the original MARK OF THE DEVIL and MARK PART 2, both courtesy of Mr. Adrian Hoven, there’s Ken Russell’s timeless favorite THE DEVILS, Jess Franco’s THE BLOODY JUDGE with Christopher Lee, Bernardo Arias’ nauseating THE INQUSITOR, and Jacinto Molina’s INQUSICION as an eroticized Spanish twist on the theme. My but they are delightful movies. I don’t even really remember the exact premise behind MARK PART 2, something about a traveling family of nobelpersons who run afoul of a local magistrate using religious frenzy as an excuse to shackle up anybody who displeases him and torture the living *beep* out of the poor sods. Reggie Nalder — whom “Star Trek” fans may recognize as the blue Andorian ambassador from the original series episode “Journey To Babel” — is a perfect embodiment of evil as the ghoulish, power crazed maniac who’s official torture experts go to work on Erika Blanc and anybody else whom they can justify throwing onto the rack. Watching the film was a difficult experience, not only because of how unpleasant the proceedings are but due to the nature of the home video version I found myself in possession of, which appears to have been made from a bunch of 3 minute long MPEG clips of the film that were smuggled out of Scandanavia on a pile of 1.4mb floppy discs and joined together by someone on crack using a freeware editing tool. And yet quite frankly that’s probably about what the movie deserves, it enhanced the forbidden, sleazy, scumbag nature of the whole affair. My favorite segment was what I call The Shoes Of Fire Ordeal, which admittedly is one of the most ingenious torture gimmicks ever cooked up. Euro Horror favorite Anton Diffring (in the film’s Oliver Reed role) is first beaten senseless, nearly drowned in freezing water, and when he still won’t confess to being in league with the devil, Nalder’s henchmen fill a pair of over-sized iron clogs with burning coals and shove the guy’s bare feet into them. Ouch. We also get a bit of Nunsploitation fare as the fetching young Sinead O’Connor lookalike baldie nun finds herself being whipped, groped, raped, singed, pierced, and ultimately kindled up on the ole’ witch burning stake by assorted lesbians and disgusting fat slob jailers who take great joy in her suffering. I didn’t, but then again this movie was not made for me. I am not sure exactly who the target audience was but they are out there somewhere, waiting for this movie to be restored to DVD from the original pre-cut elements. I wish them luck. Not sure what else to say about the movie. I’ve heard it described as “hilarious” by others and there were indeed plenty of bad laugh moments during the proceedings, especially if you watch it while consuming alcohol which is probably the only recommended way to approach the material. The whole concept of the movie is ridiculous, with whatever statement they were trying to make about the hypocrisy of organized religion being lost in the shuffle of vomit, bile, mucous, and blood. The movie was also ineptly made on a nonexistent budget, which is par for the course, yet there is a sort of bizarre, clammy, claustrophobic atmosphere achieved based on the unique Northern European locations used for the filming, and the crypto Dutch Quaker costumes are quite funny. That’s about the only positive thing I can say about it, though. I certainly didn’t enjoy the movie’s over-hyped sadism very much, but having it under my belt means that for the rest of my life I can concentrate on watching things that are perhaps more rewarding. I can also now use this movie as a sort of barometer by which to judge other films — “It didn’t suck as bad as MARK OF THE DEVIL PART 2”, or maybe “It actually managed to suck even more than MARK OF THE DEVIL PART 2”. Can’t wait to use that line. 3/10
Country: West Germany, UK
Duration: 97 min
Genre: Drama, History, Horror, Thriller
Also known as: La marque du Diable II,Hexen geschändet und zu Tode gequält,Witches: Violated and Tortured to Death,Печать дьявола 2,Mark of the Devil II,Heksejægeren går amok,Le streghe nere,La Torture,Mavres magisses,Mark of the Devil Part II