1970 gave us the super-bloody The Wizard of Gore, one of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ classic schlock fests. It also gave us Mark of the Witch, which is known for not being known for anything at all. Somehow this little film made its way to my Netflix Instant queue and then, quite predictably, onto my television.
A 17th century witch dies (sorta) in the 17th century, but that gets old after a few centuries, so she resurrects herself at a party being held by a bunch of college kids and their professor. The professor and the kids happen to be studying witchcraft and messing around with spells. How convenient.
The witch is known for one thing and one thing only. She likes to loudly rattle off names and other nonsense for minutes at a time. It’s like being read one of the Bible books that go like this, “John begat Abraham and Abraham begat Luke and Luke begat Snookie….” The thing is, I don’t need 11 minutes of a 75 minute film to be a chick reading names off and chanting like a crazy person, unless she’s naked. She is not.
The Professor and the class suck-up team together to rid themselves of the witch (and restore the body of the girl the witch is using for reincarnation purposes), at least I think that is their goal. It is quite hard to tell. After the witch explodes a parakeet in front of them they pretty much consign their lives away. That is, until they remember a mysterious book. This scene is super important so let me put in quotes.
Professor: I bet the answer is in the book.
Kid: Yes, the book.
Professor: Yes, the book will lead us to the answers we need.
Kid: I say we look in the book.
Professor: The book is the key.
Kid: Yes, let’s read the book.
If you caught on, these guys are geniuses and, oh, the book might be the key. This was the most coherent scene in the movie. It made sense, the book; by gads they should check the book! At the end of the film, after all that build up, the book didn’t even matter. Oh you sneaky bastard screenwriter someone should punch you in balls.
I would love to spoil the end of the film, but unfortunately words could never do it justice. In fact, I watched the end twice just to make sure I didn’t miss anything and it still didn’t make sense. And I was sober, unfortunately.
Snore Factor: ZZZZZ (You will be countin’ sheep in minutes)