Best known for playing Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus in the Pink Panther movies, Herbet Lom’s most controversial, and for fans of the genre, beloved, role was in Mark of the Devil (Witches Are to Be Tortured to Death).
Written and directed by Michael Armstrong, 1970’s Mark of the Devil is best remembered for its sadistic schlock value, rating of “V for Violence” and offer of barf bags for every audience member who couldn’t quite stomach the blood and guts.
In Mark Lom played corrupt witch hunter Lord Cumberland, whose apprentice, Count Christian von Meruh, played by the creepy favorite Udo Kier, realizes him for a fraud. Many consider the film to be a poor man’s version of Michael Reeves’ Witchfinder General, but Mark of the Devil far surpasses Witchfinder when it comes to sex and extreme violence. Herbert Lom also starred in several Hammer Studio’s films and Cronenberg’s adaptation of The Dead Zone.
Lom died on Thursday in London. He was 95 years old. Watch his work in Mark of the Devil, but be warned, you might want to keep a garbage pail nearby for the romance scenes as much as the torture scenes.