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The time of the witchhunts: While the plague roams the countryside, Magistrate Bernard (Paul Naschy) & his 2 aides, Peter &
Nicholas, go about their business & torture & burn people whom
they believe to be witches, seemingly as the invincible force of god.
But then Bernard encounters Catherine, daughter of the house of a
nobleman he's staying at, & starts to show weak spots - not made any
better by the fact that she believes him to be evil incarnate.
Furthermore she is engaged to Jean ...
When Jean is killed though,
under mysterious circumstances, she falls ill, & only her servant
girl Madeline knows who could save her - Marbille, a real witch.
promises Catherine to have her master, the devil, show her who was
really behind Jean's death, & of course it turns out to be Bernard.
Meanwhile though, through Catherine's father's death, Bernard has gained
custody of Catherine & her sister Elvire, 6 Catherine decides to use
his weakness for her against him, thus seduces him & soon they have
a steamy affair.
In the meantime though, treacherous Renabert, who has
sold many a wench to the witchhunter, spills the beans about the affair
as well ass Catherine being a witch to his aide Nicholas, who is at
first only reluctant to believe him. But when later he tries to rape
Elvire but is killed instead for his efforts & only has time enough
to write a testimony of Bernard being in league with a witch, will
Nicholas believe him, & torture & burn both Bernard &
Catherine. But the 2 not even wholly burnt, the first cases of the
plague are reported in the village - & they thought they had
troubles before !
An easy to love, easy to detest witchhunt
movie, made in the wake of Witchfinder General (1968) &
many successors, this one is filled with sex & violence, &
though it lacks considerably in the story department - being pretty much
indecisive if the witchhunters are just self-righteous bastards or really
hunting witches, & if the witches are actually in league with satan or
of hysteria (as one
character explains, being centuries ahead with his opinion) -, it's a rather enjoyable trashy romp that keeps things
going at an acceptable pace & every now & again throws in some
nude torture-scene as a crowdpleaser.
You might detest movies made on
such a premise altogether - but just as well you might love them.