20 Fantastic German Horror Films You Must See Before You Die
20. Mark Of The Devil (1970)
In 18th century Austria, a crap-kicking witch-hunter (Reggie Nalder) rules his local jurisdiction with a hateful, iron fist. Anyone he deems a witch is tried as one and then executed, and any local girl that catches his eye is likely to be imprisoned, tortured, and raped beforehand.
And most horrifying of all is that this guy isn’t even the grand inquisitor; that would be Lord Cumberland (Herbert Lom), a witch-hunter with the approval of the crown who’s coming to take over. Cumberland proves to be every bit as ruthless as his predecessor, and his behavior is so alarming that his apprentice (Udo Kier), a local gentleman, eventually rebels against his master after falling in love with a girl who is wrongly sentenced to the stake.
A notorious film from the golden era of post-Witchfinder General movies that relished in showing medieval practices for what they really were, Mark Of The Devil was notable for being the first movie that was “Rated V for Violence” – or so the advertising campaign claimed.
Decades later and the film still lives up to its reputation, as it depicts everything from a women's tongue being ripped out of her head, nuns being raped, and seemingly endless beatings. It’s quite brutal.