Leaving It’s “Mark” In Horror History – Mark of the Devil!
4-16-72, Youngstown, OH
After it’s first US appearance on Apr. 5, 1972, Mark of the Devil caused a lot of controversy and anger from the general movie-going public while gaining fans who’s taste in Horror was moving into the darker side. A class-SICK Witch Trail movie filled with violence, torture, and excellent performances by Udo Keir, Olivera Vuco (or Katarina), Reggie Nadler, and Gaby Fuchs, Michael Armstrong and Adrain Hoven’s sadistic film was a head turner with a gimmick possibly influenced by Blood Feast. Keir plays a Witch Hunter working for Herbert Lom who loses his faith in his position and also winds up in love wth one of the accused (Vuco). Of course, those who read too much into these films will connect a Young Vs. Old story in here that fits in with the era filled with films that exploited the generation gap, but setting that aside this parade of strong scenes actually is very beautifully shot and with a Gothic flavor that attracts those who came in for the violence or for the attractive women and young couple.
The film was Distributed in The US through Hallmark, with connections with AIP to further it’s promotion and success as well as future Multi-Feature programming later on in the decade. Hallmark was already raising up a storm with films like the Sex Ed flick Together and will later unleash the original Last House on the Left (and of course, guess what film they will pair it up with…).
4-8-72, Beckley, West Virginia – The “All Ages Admitted” line would last a while before the MPAA’s R rating. Causing a controversy right away with those who were worried about sex and violence in the movies had plenty to complain about…although I might imagine many getting into it.
4-12-72. Toledo – I’m sure at the Franklin Part Cinema
4-22-72, St. Petersburg, FLA – The “Sensation” Generation was something that a few people were “Oral”-y talking about, too.
4-28-72, Kansas City, one of the few Pre-Rating performances with an actual age limit.
5-5-72, Jefferson City, MO
A letter published after the one-week Jefferson City run.
5-5-72, Lexington, NC – Hold on to your tongue!!!
5-19-72. Chicago – All Ages Admitted, no problem!
6-9-72, Alton, Illinois
By this time, the MPAA were angry that the film carried the “V for Violence” ad line in a way that it was angry that The Erotic Adventures of Zorro had the “Rated Z” line (although in David F. Friedman’s case, his was already an Adult film in the first place!). It will be rated R by the end of the year.
11-3-72, Youngstown – One of the many showings with Last House on the Left.
There are a couple of definitive DVDs around, one recent release being from the UK-Based Arrow, but the Blu Underground disc is a very handsome presentation, too.