“The Warlock” is the story of an innocent bystander who becomes involved in a struggle between good and evil.
On the advice of his doctor an over-worked executive takes a sabbatical on a lonely Grecian island at the monastery of Agios Demetrios on the island of Melanos; but what was intended as a retreat to recharge his drained batteries, turns into a wild nightmare as he finds himself allied with the monastery’s Abbot in a deadly battle against a coven of effete Satanists and acolytes staying at a remote villa.
To his surprise Allan Collins is invited for dinner at the villa where he meets the owner, Vincent Marat; a balding, middle-aged man of great wealth, impeccable taste and magnetic personality who has surrounded himself with a strange assortment of house guests, including the beautiful Alberta, the saturnine Diego and the self-absorbed twins. It is definitely a menagerie of the unordinary, even the displaced, as he feels he has walked through the looking glass into some fanciful and erotic land.
Brother Evangelos, the Abbot of Agios Dimitrios, warns him that he should not be taken in; that Vincent Marat is a dangerous man, a diabolist and he should be on his guard at all times. Collins heeds his advice but still finds it hard to see Marat, who calls himself Ipsissimus, the highest grade of magician, as more than an egotistical and hedonistic deviant.
Four Adepts, the next rank in the magical scale, arrive and despite their bizarre appearance and mannerisms Collins cannot help feeling that perhaps Evangelos is right and that something evil this way comes as there is talk of a “temple” on the other end of the island being suitable for their purpose.
But what purpose. Marat’s villa with its private temple is the centre of sexual magic rites which Collins and Evangelos determine are being carried out for a darker purpose than simple carnal gratification. Marat is up to something very dangerous but they have no idea what. And then Diego tells Collins he is an undercover agent for the Spanish Secret Police and that Marat is wanted in his country on suspicion of murder.
And then it all starts to go terribly wrong for Collins. Marat realizing his true colours tries to kill both him and Alberta with whom he realizes he is falling in love. Marat’s true purpose is revealed when a young girl is kidnapped and Collins is imprisoned with her in the store rooms beneath the villa. Marat is about to attempt the Rite of Abados which will insure his eternal youth, but for that he requires a virgin’s blood.
Collins now knows that Marat, beneath the urbane exterior, is criminally insane. He escapes from the store room during a violent storm and earthquake, makes a frantic dash for help to Evangelos at the Monastery, and a rescue attempt is organized. Evangelos, Collins several monks and villagers struggle through a wild, stormy night to the temple where a battle of Titans between Evangelos and Marat takes place.
Marat is defeated and the spell boomerangs. There is a violent explosion of what Collins can only describe as hellfire, and then Evangelos staggers from the destruction carrying the girl in his arms – but Marat has vanished, and so has Alberta.
Collins, distraught, returns to the villa but there is no sign of Alberta. Her room is empty, her possessions gone.
Marat is nowhere to be found. Collins is furious. “The bastard’s got away, we’ve failed.” Evangelos says. “No. We saved a young woman’s life.” Collins replies, “But not put an end to Marat. He’ll be back you know. He’s obsessed and will not let it go.”
Collins goes back to England and tries to take up his old life but finds it very difficult. He cannot get Alberta out of his mind and seems to see her in every beautiful woman who looks remotely like her. But one night on the banks of the Thames he manages to say a final good bye and takes up once again where he left off.
Some time later he gets a call from Brother Francis, the Franciscan who advised him to go to Melanos for his sabbatical. Francis tells him that Evangelos is coming to London and wants to see him urgently.
They meet. Collins gets a shock when another man appears from a dark corner of Francis’ room: he looks like Diego and in fact is Diego’s brother? The hunt is still on for Marat. They have information he is in UK and preparing to perform the Rite of Abados again. Collins is very reluctant to get involved again but eventually agrees.
Information leads them, through an arrogant press baron who is under Marat’s influence, to the house in London where he has gone to earth. Marat guesses they are onto him and heads north to the wild Derbyshire moors where he has rented a house by the mysterious and ancient Blue John Caves. Collins, Francisco, Francis and Evangelos mount a 24 hour watch in the freezing winter, see the new set Adepts and Acolytes arrive. There is no sign of a sacrificial virgin, but they prepare to deal with Marat once and for all.
On the night of the full moon everything comes together. The virgin captive is brought in and the black magicians make their way to the cave to perform the Rite, but mayhem ensues; Collins rescues the girl, part of the cave collapses killing some of Marat’s followers, Collins fires a flare pistol, setting Marat alight: he runs screaming from the Cave only to be attacked and horribly killed by the Beast he has called up when his spell boomerangs again. Francis and Evangelos manage to escape the cave and Francisco, using explosive seals it as a permanent tomb.
Much later the siren call named Alberta returns. Collins makes a last pilgrimage to Melanos and finds himself standing in the ruins of the villa, and that time he puts her behind him forever.
Collins returns to the harbour and is about to get onto the ferry to leave when he sees Alberta. She is getting off, looks forlorn and a little older. “Never in my life had I ever seen anyone so beautiful.” She sees him. Both look at each other in disbelief. She drops her bag and runs to him.