- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 36 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: November 20, 2012
- Originally Released: 1972
- Label: Cheezy Flicks Ent
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
Udo Kier is a witch hunter apprentice to Herbert Lom. He believes strongly in his mentor and in the ways of the church but loses faith when he catches Lom strangle a man to death. The witch trials are nothing but a scam of the church to seduce women, rob people of their land and money. In the end, the townspeople revolt, Herbert Lom escapes and poor Udo is tortured to death by the townspeople.
This brutal film is a cult favorite of 70s horror fans, set during the witch-hunting craze in 18th Century Austria, and it remains controversial in many ways. Scriptwriter Adrian Hoven was replaced as director by Michael Armstrong before the film was in production. Armstrong was subsequently fired from his position after reworking much of the script and allegedly experimenting with drugs while on the job. Though uncredited, Hoven is rumored to have directed as much as 60% of the film. The film itself is a gratuitous feast of skin, sin, and ultra-violence, accompanying the opening credits with the brutal rape of a wagonful of nuns. The rapists happen to be the local witch-hunters, led by Albino (Reggie Nalder), who spearheads a number of atrocities before the innocent witch-hunter-in-training Baron Christian (Udo Kier) stumbles upon him mid-rape/murder of a servant girl, Vanessa. Christian's compassion for Vanessa enrages his mentor Count Cumberland, disillusioning poor Christian, who begins to see that the witch hunts are merely an excuse to steal the people's land and rape beautiful, buxom women. He leads the townspeople to revolt, but ultimately fails in his efforts, as Cumberland escapes and his people turn on him. Various subplots based on actual historical accounts of the time include puppeteers accused of witchcraft for their masterful control of marionettes, and a woman who suffers at the hands of a bishop she has accused of rape. Creative camera shots, extravagant sets and an excellent score accompany this orgy of viscous torture and cruelty.
Cult Film |