Blu-Ray Review: Mark of the Devil

mark of the devil BR DVDHow frightening. I’m actually old enough to remember seeing ads for Mark of the Devil in newspapers as a kid and while far too young to see it, wanting to just because of the free vomit bag handed out to viewers. I recall either a cousin or other relative seeing it and showing off their unused bag while they bragged about how violent the film was. Hey, it was after all “RATED V FOR VIOLENCE”… just not by the MPAA. That snazzy bit of marketing was courtesy Hallmark Releasing, the films distributor that packed houses for years during the 70’s and 80’s by retitling all sorts of sleazy to amazing genre movies.

Flash forward maybe a dozen or so years and I finally got to see the movie thanks to a fairly lousy quality VHS tape copy that had a few other horror flicks on it (one of which was Twitch of the Death Nerve, another Hallmark released flick). I certainly didn’t need a vomit bag, but the film’s overall tone and torture scenes did get under my skin (pun intended). Over time, I’d almost forgotten about the film thanks to only seeing it that one time, but thanks to Arrow Video and MVD, here I am back in front of a television with a superior in every way possible Blu-Ray version.

While not as relentlessly gory as more modern horror films, Michael Armstrong’s classic and controversial film is more of a “you are there” trip back in time than a traditional fright flick. Shot in and around Austria, the film’s lush outdoor landscapes are contrasted by the brutal torture segments that won’t have you tossing your cookies at all, but maybe reaching for a pillow to hide behind or stuff in your ears as you avert your eyes from some onscreen nastiness.

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Tuesday’s Off: The Toad, The Throat and The Devil

MVD Stuff
 

Blech. So. I’ve been dealing with a bit of a cold and woke up this morning feeling as if I’d swallowed a very large toad who’d swallowed a porcupine. Oh, and that greedy toad wrapped itself in a dried out sponge overcoat with a loofah outer shell. Ouch. Anyway, today has been a Throat Coat kind of day, it’s snowing outside (again, whee!) and that show will turn to rain later, making outside a cold gray sloppy soup to walk around in tomorrow. Did I mention it’s going to snow tomorrow as well? No? Well, just read that last sentence again, please.

The only GOOD thing to happen today was I got a nice package of movies to review from MVD Visual. Thanks, Clint! Let’s see now, I haven’t seen Mark of the Devil in AGES, so that’s up first. Off to get another cuppa Throat Coat, pop a zinc tablet and see if there’s an orange left in the fridge. I was wondering why my usual productivity was way down this past month and I believe it’s this crappy weather not helping my brain much. Boo. Okay, off to see some tortured logic featuring Herbert Lom, Reggie Nalder, Udo Kier and the gang. Back in a bit…

MVD Visual & Arrow Films Make For A Perfect Pairing For Genre Fans

MVD Arrow Films Trio 

All you UK movie collectors can now cease with the bragging about Arrow Films and their wonderful collection of cult favorites because MVD Visual is teaming up with them to distribute at least some of those films in North America. The first three out of the game will be Day of Anger [I Giorni dell’ira, aka Gunlaw], Blind Woman’s Curse and Mark of the Devil, all restored to their original cinematic glory. Each Blu-Ray/DVD will retail for 39.99, but as you know, shopping online will get you a lower price (as in follow those links above and save ten bucks, folks!)

I have memories of seeing two out of three of these flicks, but I’ll save my impressions for review time. Color me thrilled at the prospect of expanding my film library as well as some of your horizons in the not too distant future…