The devil on film.

Discussion in 'Movies' started by autophobe2e, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    me and a friend are currently writing (well, she's writing, im just offering suggestions/editing) a short film featuring a faustian pact and are looking for inspiration, does anyone have a favourite on-screen depiction of lucifer (or satanic/diabolic characters in general)?

    here are a few of mine:

    1) Michael Kitchen- Brimstone and treacle

    couldn't find a clip

    this is brimstone and treacle, a play written by dennis potter for the play for today series (where mike leigh made his name), it was banned for 11 years by the director of TV programs on the grounds that it was "nauseating" although "brilliantly made". you can see why, Dennis potter was in the midst of a personal crisis, and it appears he poured all of his hatred, bile and anger at the world into this work, its incredibly nasty.

    the thing about this satan, or "martin" as he's known in the film, is how mindlessly evil he appears to be. this isn't to say that he lacks intelligence, most of the play features him ingratiating his way into the house of a middle class couple through extreme, calculated emotional manipulation, but he just doesn't seem to have any goal beyond being evil for the sake of being evil, this is a real strength for his character, and i'm not sure i've ever seen a portrayal like it. Usually the devil has some understandable objective, not here, it's practically nihilistic.

    2) Joseph Mawle- hearltess

    Phillip Ridley's heartless is a proper faustian pact film and takes a lot of its cues directly from the faust legend, there's a lot of familiar devil imagery here- such as the limp and the withered right hand, even his servant belle, named after the demon belial (although its possible to read a devilish deception here; is "papa B" really Beezlebub? and if so, would that make the innocent seeming belle, the one that jamie trusts, Lucifer himself?)

    the thing that really stands out about Mawle's performance is how tired and world-weary he is, resigned to his role. he really has that depressed, cast-out-of heaven misery going for him.

    3) Robert Mitchum- night of the hunter

    so, not technically the devil (but then, its hard to prove it of the previous two either) but Robert Mitchum's character in Night of the hunter is pretty devilish in many ways, like martin in Brimstone and Treacle, he passes himself off as being a kind hearted man in order to ingratiate himself into a polite household, but with a secret malevolent puropse. spectacularly sinister, and prone to violent rages, he's a really great screen presence here.

    4) Faust (1926)

    just included this because it's awesome, seriously, lookit.
  2. odonII

    odonII O"]Accepting Evil from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Thirteen) - YouTube

    I guess my fave' is The Usual Suspects.
  3. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    would it make you happy if i instead of simply writing "couldn't" in future i could actually include the implicit "be arsed to" ?

  4. odonII

    odonII O

    Yes [​IMG]

    Btw, my suggestion is to make it like a Woody Allen film
  5. Manservant Hecubus

    Manservant Hecubus Master of Funk and Evil

    Best Devil Ever: Tim Curry"]
  6. bokonon

    bokonon Senior Member

    Ha... I hadn't heard of this Faust fella before. Only man I'd heard of selling his soul to the devil was Robert Johnson down at the crossroads. So I went and had a read and that's what made me chuckle, wikipedia reckons 'Ghost Rider' is notable shout in popular culture! Don't imagine that helps much :)
  7. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    robert deniro did the devil pretty well in angel heart. Pacino's was pretty godawful, but he was hampered by a shite script."]Harry Angel vs Louis Cyphre - YouTube
  8. NoxiousGas

    NoxiousGas Old Fart

    I love "The Accountant" from Drive Angry.
    William Fichtner is a great emissary of Satan."]Drive Angry - The Accountant "You! Fat fuck" - YouTube

    that's the way he likes it...."]Drive Angry - Thats The Way I Like It - YouTube

    remember, if The Accountant asks you something, just
    ...question"]Answer. The. Question. - YouTube
  9. NoxiousGas

    NoxiousGas Old Fart

    Then again, Satan could conceivably appear in any personage;

    :mickey:"]The Collector - Devil montage - YouTube
  10. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    lol true, they do a really good job of suggesting omnipresence in "the exorcist" when the demon looks into the priest's mind and impersonates the tramp who he didn't give money to.

    andy hamilton's satan in "old harry's game" was pretty funny and had a fair bit of pathos:

    (it was a radio show, this was a pilot for putting an animation over it, never got picked up)

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