Directed by Paul Naschy (as Jacinto Molina)
Distributed by Mondo Macabro / CAV Distributing
Mondo Macabro has long been one of my most favorite video labels. They are constantly putting out great products and films that I usually have never heard of, but always enjoy. INQUISITION is a film that once again I had never heard of, but thoroughly enjoyed. The film stars and was directed by Paul Naschy and centers around a 16th century witch-hunt in France. Here is the full plot synopsis from the CAV website:
In 16th century France, Inquisitor and magistrate Bernard de Fossey (Paul Naschy) travels to the plague-ridden region of Peyriac in search of witches and devil worshippers. Local beauty Catherine (Daniela Giordano) quickly catches his eye, tormenting him with impure thoughts, although her affections lie with her handsome fiancé Jean. Meanwhile, embittered one-eyed manservant Rénover (Antonio Iranzo) presents Bernard with his first group of torture victims when he accuses several sexy young things who spurned his advances of being witches responsible for the plague.
One by one beautiful women are tortured on the rack then burned at the stake. No-one seems able to halt the Inquisition's reign of terror or the baseless accusations that cause so many innocent deaths. When Jean dies in mysterious circumstances, Catherine allies herself with Satan to get revenge on her enemies - foremost among them, De Fossey himself.
This was horror star Paul Naschy's directorial debut and one of his very best films. He plays three roles - Inquisitor De Fossey, the Devil, and the Grim Reaper. The film is a brutal and unrelenting portrait of a past when superstition and terror ruled the minds of men.
I have always been fascinated by witch trail films. There is a real horror to the thought of women being tortured and killed based on hysteria and accusations rather than fact and proof. The fact this actually happened in multiple parts of the world is even more horrifying.
This film reminded me a lot of the 1970 film, MARK OF THE DEVIL, except I think I enjoyed this film even more. There are some great torture scenes in this film, including one involving a woman's nipple that made me cringe! Yet as grotesque as it was, I had to rewind and watch it again to see if I could figure out how they did the effect! I am a huge fan of special effects (especially gore effects in horror films), so I was very impressed by this scene. If you have seen the film, you will know exactly what scene I am talking about. If you haven't seen this film, I won't say any more to keep from spoiling it for you!
If you enjoyed MARK OF THE DEVIL and the early Hammer Films, I think you will really enjoy this one.
INQUISITION is available now on Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro and CAV Distribution and contains the following special features:
* Introduction by Paul Naschy
* Interview with star Daniela Giordano
* Audio commentary by Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn (the Naschycast)
* Blood and Sand - documentary on Spanish horror films
* English/Spanish audio choice .
* Newly created English subtitles
* Mondo Macabro previews
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray