Remembering Reggie Nalder
If there's one face, that I absolutely remember growing up, if there's one persona of a person that can capture and incapacitate the idea of a character as a living being, it would be Reggie.
Reggie starred in some of the iconic imagery of characters throughout cinema history. He had the very face, a rough persona that made you dread him, fear him, and be in fright of him.
One could look at him as the bogeyman and to stare into his eyes, almost dark and soulless, and yet that is the beauty of the minds imagination.
Reggie Nalder was so much more than just a character actor. So much more than just a villain. He bled the very essence of a performing actor in all his roles.
He was an award worthy performer for his parts, both small and large. When he came on screen you knew his character and you would not forget his characters. His image and his acting left a lasting impression upon the viewer.
From iconic characters, two small parts from TV to film, he was able to do it all, and made you believe in every character that he brought to life. I think I remember him most from Stephen King's excellent and scary as hell vampire mastery, the miniseries Salem’s Lot.
Reggie had a disturbing state in those eyes of his that could stop you in your tracks and make you remember, the menacing emotions he detailed on screen in any role he did.
From his mastery in creating and bringing to life one of the coolest and ugliest and scariest vampires in cinema history, Barlow, to the savagery and demented depiction of religious brutality in Mark of the Devil. Both defining achievements in my viewpoint. Two characters that demand to be remembered, and it's because of the dark and evil reality that Nalder gave to those parts; that no one else could have done.
Reggie was born September 4th 1907 in Vienna Austria-Hungary. Original full name was Alfred Reginald Natzler. He started his career in theater and worked in cabarets in Paris before the Second World War. After the horrible holocaust and World War 2, he took to working with the BBC. I think it was his overall looks and massively haunting facial structure and imagery that makes one remember him. He had away with scaring you, or giving you a facial stare that seemed to daze you, or made you watch, as if in some sadistic hallucination that wanted you to be controlled by his eyes and his overall demeanor.
His career expanded such brilliant memories of bad guys and monsters that you can’t help but, love and cherish his memory of entertainment. From the twisted assassin Rien in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 suspenseful masterpiece, The Man Who Knew Too Much, to yes that darkened orgy of evil as the Vampire Barlow, in Salem’s Lot. Possibly his most two remembered roles besides the twisted Albino in Mark of the Devil. He was in so many wonderful twisted and unique characters in his many roles of bad guys or twisted deviants throughout his years.
He is remembered by me not only for the mentioned films already, but a film that is an ultimate guilty pleasure of mine. The one of a kind horror Drive-in classic, Zolton: Hound of Dracula aka Dracula’s Dog. A priceless film and an equally priceless character that Nalder plays. One cannot, not mention one of his defining characters in the long running Star Trek universe. Playing in episode Journey to Babel as character Shras. A priceless character, priceless episode that defines the brilliance of the science fiction world. Now on a classic funny note, Nalder also starred in a porno from 1979, titled Dracula Sucks, where he played the character Dr. Van Helsing. Dracula Sucks is a unique reality, in that, Nalder acted alongside the porno legend and the all-around huge pickle, John Holmes. In the interview that David Del Valle did with Nalder. Nalder said in response to Valle’s question:
Del Valle Asks: “I know this is a little sensitive but didn’t’ you do a porno “Dracula.”
Nalder Responds: “John Holmes was the star of the film but he stayed on the castle set. I finally saw what he was so famous for. And it looked like a huge snake in repose. If you know what I mean."
Even with his brilliant talent of performing he had many uncredited roles also or simply put cameos. He was in the original 1962’s The Manchurian Candidate in a small part. He was also uncredited in Dario Argento’s masterpiece form 1970 The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, as the character of, Needles the Yellow Jacket Assassin. And believe it or not, his defining memorable image of Vampire Kurt Marlow in Salem’s Lot, is uncredited.
Now he needs no introduction to the character, Albino in Mark of the Devil, which I am reviewing below in the new wonderful release on Blu-ray. He also returned for the sequel Mark of the Devil 2 playing the character of Natas. Part 2 is nowhere near the brilliance that part 1 is.
Sadly Reggie passed away in 1991 and left all of us fans, movie buffs, movie lovers, cinema nerds with a little vacant spot that's lets us know he is gone. Thankfully we have his many wonderful performances throughout his grand experience of acting that showcases his mastery.
Special Edition Blu-ray Release:
Mark of the Devil
Starring : Herbert Lom, Udo Kier, Olivera Vučo, Reggie Nalder, Herbert Fux
Plot: Witches and Witchfinders. A town, the church seeking out the suppose witches of the devil. The sadistic Count Cumberland uses any means he sees fit in bringing out the confessions of so called witches. Torture, and more torture lead this violent film of horror imagery into a violent orgy of death and mayhem at the hands of so called godly people.
My review and Thoughts:
The film company Arrow Video just released one of horror cinema's defining achievement in violent imagery. Reggie Nalder along with so many greats in acting, bring this twisted and violent orgy of pain to life. Nalder plays the part of the Albino character in this brutal, sadistic, and equally twisted 1969's Classic. This deep, dark beast of a film has been given a lovely treatment. Brought out on both Blu-ray and DVD in one package, and if you know Arrow Video, you know how much they put into their releases. They are a fantastic company that I feel, other companies that are out there, not naming names, should take a look and experience the beauty that Arrow Video does, and transcend that mastery to their products.
Mark of the Devil is one of those great, old-school, sadistic, horrifying films that never let’s up during it, and still to this day, has never let up. It's one of those movies that truly is an old-school, nasty experience of religious rhetoric and asinine murder. This is one of those movies that stand the test of time as being one of those pioneering horror films never to be forgotten.
From the direction of the film and to the performances throughout the story, it's one of those movies, that in my viewpoint of 36 years of loving cinema, is one of those movies that tend to have a new experience every time you watch and I have never seen it so lovingly mastered, as I've seen it now, on this Arrow Video Blu-ray. Truly a passionate example of how to bring out an old-school film with a new beautiful display of vibrant colors, amazing sound, and the imagery of the disturbing reality of this film. This seems like its new all over again as you experience this Blu-ray. I highly recommend this product it was well worth the cost and is something that I lovingly place on my shelf of brilliant products.
Mark of the Devil had some of the greatest marketing in American cinema when it first came out. It was classified as:
“Positively the most horrifying film ever made.” Which might I add is one of the greatest slogans used? Also it had the slogan:
“Rated V for Violence.” But most of all it would be that barf bags, were handed out to anyone buying a ticket to the film. A priceless example in how to cause word of mouth and the hysteria to build a true cult like status of a film.
“Due to the Horrifying Scenes, No One Admitted Without a Vomit Bag.”
“Guaranteed to Upset your Stomach.”
It was written and directed by Michael Armstrong. Armstrong is a brilliant British writer and most of all a visionary director that has left an amazing career of films. Not only remembered for Mark of the Devil but also so many others, and not just horror films. He brought to light and created films such as, The Haunted House of Horrors, House of the Long Shadows, which might I add has four icons of cinema, Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and John Carradine. He also helped write Mark of the Devil 2, which was ultimately directed by Adrian Hoven. Hoven who directed, co-wrote and produced part 2, was the producer of part one.
I think what is so bloody unique about the film, is that it seemed so real in the atmosphere and costumes and situations. The locations are amazing. The countryside and the mountains and the castle, which might I add was a real castle that during the Witch trail days, was supposed to have been used to hold witch interrogations.
This is a film full of violence and brutality. It’s ultimately an exploitation film of violence. It’s a classic must see film of the old days of Drive-in, gritty, grindhouse style cinema.
This is the best the film has ever been seen. Arrow Video did an amazing job and created a brilliant example of a Blu-ray to give this classic, bloody, violent film a new home.
Now I am always thrilled and utterly happy when seeing any film starring the great master and legend of cinema, the one and only Udo Kier. He plays one of the main character's Count Christian von Meruh. Kier really needs no introduction to the movie world. If you’re a so called movie buff, nerd, fiend of cinema, then you know who Kier is. Kier has played roles both big and small and both top notch and cheesy b-style in reality. He is a true pioneer of characters and has graced some of the greatest horror films, and some of the greatest memorable imagery, throughout his vast array of cinema acting. As of this writing starring in well over 200 acting credits. Still going strong today and is a master talent at anything he does. Some of those defining roles are: Baron Frankenstein in 1973’s Flesh of Frankenstein, Count Dracula in 1974’s Blood of Dracula, Dr. Frank Mandel in 1977’s Suspiria, Hans in 1991’s masterpiece My Own Private Idaho, Sadistic Sailor in 1996’s masterpiece Breaking the Waves. He starred in one of the greatest, dark and twisted TV series, the original, not the crappy American version, 1994-1997's The Kingdom. The point is, Udo is a master that I love seeing in both small parts and big parts. His mastery transcends the dynamic of acting perfection. He is brilliant in Mark of the Devil.
Also in Mark of the Devil is master talent Herbert Lom, playing the main character, sadistic, brutal Lord Cumberland. Started acting in the late 1930’s and performed all the way until 2007. He lived a long and wonderful life in the movie world. Sadly passing at 95 years young, but left a pile of extraordinary performances and Mark of the Devil is one of those. I think I first got wind of him while growing up, emerged in horror cinema. I originally did not see Mark of the Devil until my late 20’s, now 36, I look back on and admire certain actors in their careers. Lom was a master in such great films like 1955’s The Lady Killers, 1956’s War and Peace, 1960’s Spartacus, 1961’s Mysterious Island. It would be the horror films 1962’s Phantom of the Opera, 1970’s Count Dracula, 1970’s Dorian Gray, 1971’s Murders in the Rue Morgue, 1972’s Asylum, 1973’s And Now the Screaming Starts, David Cronenberg’s horror thriller classic 1983’s The Dead Zone, that I will always remember him in, along with Mark of the Devil, which is crowning achievement. Many will know him from the character of Dreyfus in 6 of the Pink Panther movies. He was always a treat to see, and his character in Mark of the Devil is very memorable, as most all of his characters are.
Another wonderful actor in Mark of the Devil is Herbert Fux. Acting in well over 200 performances in film and TV. Another great actor that has graced countless pieces of cinema, both small and large. Many times un-credited or just a side character in film. Always is great to spot him in cinema.
One cannot, not mention the very talented and stunningly beautiful Olivera Katarina who plays the main character Vanessa Benediky in Mark of the Devil. She has been in many films, but it is this role that I remember her most in. She graces the screen in all its demented violence. She owns the part and makes you believe her role. She is one of the strong points to this film.
This is no walk in the park. It’s a violent film that still stands out in the shocking department.
What more can ultimately be said about this master film of old-school violent horror. Arrow Video aces this film. After experiencing Arrow Video's release, I don't think I can watch it any other way.
Extras on the Special Edition:
High-definition Blu-ray 1080p. Also you get the standard definition DVD. Cleaned, re-mastered and transferred from the original film elements. You also get optional English and German audio. An option of English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. Newly translated English subtitles for the German audio. An audio commentary with Michael Armstrong moderated by Calum Waddell.
Also you get a documentary Mark of the Times. A feature-length from High-Rise Productions. This film is about the emergence of new wave British horror directors that surfaced during the 60's and 70's. This documentary has the director of Mark of the Devil, Michael Armstrong, Norman J Warren who is most noted for being one of the great horror directors of the 70’s. A new wave director that gave such weird and brilliant Drive-In classic’s like 1976’s Satan’s Slave, and one of my personal favorite’s 1977’s Prey. Also directing 1978’s Terror, 1979’s Spaced Out, 1981’s Inseminoid. A pure old-school horror master in my viewpoint. David McGillivray most noted for writing scripts for some of the old-school horror films such as Satan’s Slave, Terror, Frightmare, House of Whipcord, House of Mortal Sin, and Schizo. He is also a film critic and writing of books and many scripts of different type of cinema. From comedy to horror he knows how to tell a story and give it everything it needs. Professor Peter Hutchings who has written many books on the subject of horror cinema. Also film critic Kim Newman. A major lover and guru in film history. He has written many books. He is one of the greats in the film critic world, in my viewpoint.
Also you get a feature Hallmark of the Devil with author and critic Michael Gingold. He looks back at Hallmark Releasing, who was the distributor that brought Mark of the Devil to American theaters.
The goodies keep coming and coming you get interviews with composer Michael Holm and the one and only Udo Kier. Also actors interviewed are Herbert Fux, Gaby Fuchs, Ingeborg Schoner and Herbert Lom.
One of my favorites of the special features is a video called Mark of the Devil Now and Then. This is a video taking you to the film locations and how they appear today.
You get outtakes, gallery images and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys. You also get an illustrated collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Adrian Smith and Anthony Nield.
Plus you also get an old interview with the one and only master himself Reggie Nalder being interviewed by David Del Valle.
One of the best Blu-ray's ever done. A must own experience that leaves a fresh, new, crisp reality of this old-school horror of depravity for a new generation to experience its violent nature.
Arrow Video did a wonderful and utterly amazing job. I was in heaven with this Blu-ray. The audio and video are something extraordinary to experience. It's like seeing a new film all over again. Vibrant in colors and audio is nothing less than ear candy. Video aspect ratio: 1.66:1 Original aspect ratio: 1.66:1. The audio English: LPCM Mono (48 kHz, 24-bit), German: LPCM Mono (48 kHz, 24-bit)
I highly recommend this product. I highly praise this product because this is a film that deserves an important outlet. It's a film that should be honored and respected and Arrow Video has done that with this release.
Mastery. Perfect. Awe inspiring. Flawless product.