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YMMV / Mark of the Devil

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  • Awesome Music: "Liebesthema" by Michael Holm, one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever featured in a horror film, or any film for that matter. It was so good in fact, that Hobo With a Shotgun would go on to reuse it.
  • Broken Base: Similar to Cannibal Holocaust a decade later, the film has a very divided reception among the film community. On the one hand, many have criticized it as being far too violent to contain any message and far too exploitative whilst dealing with a serious historical subject. On the other hand, others regard the film as a legitimate commentary on political and religious hypocrisy and praise the film for its beautiful score and filming locations.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Lord Cumberland, a feared witch hunter with a legacy of torture and execution behind him, is the living embodiment of the era's worst hypocrisies. Cumberland arrives in an Austrian village whereupon he immediately assumes duty having those accused as "witches" tried and tortured in every way imaginable before being set to burn at the stake. With a shallow facade of piety, Cumberland becomes more and more openly corrupt and selfish, keeping a young man prisoner under constant torture to have him sign away his inheritance to Cumberland, strangling the corrupt Albino to death after he mocks him over his impotence, and even having a rape victim's tongue torn out when she refuses to confess to her accusations before irritably ordering her executed. Cumberland's hypocrisy comes to a head when he rapes Vanessa in lustful frustration and afterwards he has an entire family set for torture and execution under charges he knows are false, condemning even his once-loyal apprentice to death for his rebellion and responding to rebellion by ordering his men to ride into town and butcher every last man, woman and child out of spite.
    • The Albino, Cumberland's predecessor, is a licentious sadist who doesn't even bother with piety to mask his atrocities, using his position to have countless tortured and murdered with no attention to even due process. He uses his position as witch hunter to coerce women to his bed or burn, attempting to have his way with the maid Vanessa and vowing to find any way to see her burn when she rejects him. Albino is finally brought to Cumberland after attempting to rape a woman in her own home and having her husband murdered, sneering that he'll see Cumberland's reputation destroyed before he's ever replaced as witch-finder.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The torture scenes. All of them. Let's just say that floggings and the rack aren't the worst things these poor people have to endure.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: The film presents an extremely graphic and disturbing vision of early 18th century witchcraft trials, which some viewers may find too much to bear.