Saturday, March 28, 2015
Blu-ray Review: MARK OF THE DEVIL
MARK OF THE DEVIL
Directed by Michael Armstrong and Adrian Hoven
Distributed by Arrow Films / MVD Visual
I love old horror films from the 70's and 80's. They have such a nostalgic feel to them. MARK OF THE DEVIL is indeed a true classic from the 70's. I had seen this film on DVD just last year for the first time and loved it. I was excited to see it was being released by Arrow Films on Blu-ray here in the U.S.! Watching this film on Blu-ray was like watching a completely different movie! Here is the main plot from the MVD website:
Once proclaimed as "positively the most horrifying film ever made", Mark of the Devil arrives in a director-approved edition featuring a new restoration of the feature. A bloody and brutal critique of religious corruption, Mark of the Devil sees horror icon Udo Kier (Flesh for Frankenstein, Suspiria) play a witchfinder's apprentice whose faith in his master (Herbert Lom) becomes severely tested when they settle in an Austrian village. Presided over by the sadistic Albino (a memorably nasty turn from Reggie Nalder), the film presents its morality not so much in shades of grey as shades of black. Written and directed by Michael Armstrong, who would later pen Eskimo Nell, The Black Panther and House of the Long Shadows, this classic shocker has lost none of its power over the years.
The first thing I noticed about this film is the clarity versus the DVD I had watched before. Some scenes looked as if they were filmed today based on how crystal clear they were. I also noticed quite a few scenes that I had not seen before. I looked on my DVD and noticed it was 96 minutes. This new Arrow Blu-ray clocks in at 108 minutes, so this is definitely the version to go with.
This is great fun film that reminds me a lot of the old Hammer films. The film holds up well and contains a few torture scenes that look very good, especially considering the film was made over 40 years ago! A couple of noteworthy scenes are a couple of women being burned at the stake, and one woman getting her tongue ripped from her mouth! If you think the SAW films were the first with the crazy torture contraptions, think again!
I highly recommend MARK OF THE DEVIL. This is a must see for horror fans and this is the definitive version of the film to get.
MARK OF THE DEVIL is available now on Arrow Blu-ray and contains the following special features:
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the feature, transferred from original film elements
* 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
* 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 Schoner 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
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray