Category Archives: Films featuring the Devil
THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE-United States/Germany-1997
Directed by Taylor Hackford
Based on the novel by Andrew Niederman
Keanu and Al’s Hellish Adventure…
(Conversation between two slackers)
“Dude, have you ever, like, seen The Devil’s Advocate?”
“No, Dude; is it, like, missing?”
“Dumbass, The Devil’s Advocate is a movie.”
“Oh yeah? Who’s in it?”
“Keanu Reeves… (Both dudes achieve a ‘more stoned than usual’ look on their faces and begin to bow and raise and lower their hands in reverence)
(Simultaneously at the same time) KING KEANU, WE’RE NOT WORTHY! KING KEANU, WE’RE NOT WORTHY!
“Dude, that’s so righteous! Who else is in it?”
“Dude, the Godfather?”
“You know it, dude.”
“Oh, that is so awesome.”
“Charlize Theron is in it, too.”
“Oh dude, I had the most awesome dream about her. We were at my place and we were gettin’ it on so hot and I knew that I was gonna get so lucky and she says ‘come and get it, big boy’ and I was getting ready to come and get it and I took off my shirt and my pants and I…
“Nah dude, it’s cool; my mom woke me up. I was mad at her for a week.”
“Thank her for me.”
“Yeah, right. So, what’s this movie about?”
“Well, Keanu plays this totally successful lawyer in Florida. I mean, dude, this dude is like 640-0. He’s never lost a case. He’s the dude you go to if you’re a dude in serious shit.”
“Anyway, this other dude, played by Pacino, takes notice of our dude and invites him to work for him at his way cool fancy law firm in New York City. Our dude Keanu and his ultra-hot babe of a wife Charlize travel all the way from Florida to New York so he can work with this dude.”
“Wow. Wait, dude, that doesn’t sound like much of a movie.”
“Then what’s the point?”
‘Well, that other dude, the one in New York?”
“He’s the devil.”
“No freakin’ way!”
“Yes freakin’ way.”
(Dude 2 has to sit down for a moment. Oh wait, he’s a slacker; he’s already sitting.)
“Okay, so what happens next?”
“All kinds of freaky shit; There’s demon’s and people that look like people but are really demons. Charlize goes totally bonkers and gets totally naked and…”
“Whoa, Charlize gets naked?”
“Dude, it’s not a pretty sight, trust me.”
“Yeah, but she wouldn’t even get naked for me in my dream. Oh, and then there was that whole Monster thing. That was worse than when I saw my grandma coming out of the shower.”
“Dude, push your ‘off’ button.”
“Sorry. So, is the movie any good?”
“It doesn’t totally suck if that’s what you’re asking. I mean it’s got Keanu in it and, let’s face it, he may be our righteous king, but he so cannot act.”
“Dude, reality check.”
(Dude 2 ponders for a moment; images of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Speed and numerous other Keanu-tastrophes come to mind.)
“Yeah, you’re right.”
“Dude, if you see this movie, you gotta see it for Pacino and Pacino only. Charlize is good, but not as good as she was in Monster. Pacino is so convincing as the Devil that I think the devil himself saw him and said, “Whoa, that dude is me! I mean, Pacino doesn’t just chew the scenery like he did in Scent of a Woman, he totally swallows it whole.”
“Oh, that is so awesome! I am so gonna check this one out.”
(Dude 2 ponders again as he often does.)
“Dude, I just had the most totally weird thought?”
“Oh yeah? What?”
“Dude, what if you and me were the figment of some dude’s imagination? What if everything we just talked about was because some dude said, “I’m gonna write about these two dudes having a conversation about a movie and he created us just for that purpose. Oh shit, I’m getting brain freeze just thinking about it.”
“Okay dude, chill out. We are not the figment of some dude’s imagination?”
“Oh yeah? Well riddle me this, Batman; do you remember what we did yesterday? How about last week?”
(Now they both ponder with confused looks upon their faces. Then they look at the space in front of them as if they can see something or someone visible only to themselves.)
(Again, simultaneously) “Dude?”
Sculptor Frederick Hart and the Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington, DC, sued Warner Brothers over a sculpture that appears in the film and closely resembles Hart’s “Ex Nihilo”, which is situated above Milton’s desk in his apartment. A last-minute deal was negotiated to allow the sculpture to remain in the film.
Connie Nielsen‘s character speaks Spanish in the Italian release of the movie, and Italian in all the others. Nielsen is in fact Danish, and this was her American film debut.
Joel Schumacher was originally set to direct the film in 1994 with Brad Pitt to star as Kevin Lomax. Christian Slater, John Cusack and Edward Norton were then considered for the role.
The character of John Milton is named for John Milton, the author of “Paradise Lost,” the classic epic poem about man’s fall from God’s grace. When Lomax is in Milton’s office at the end of the film, he says “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven,” from Book I Line 263 of the same work.
Each time Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) tries a different color of green on the apartment walls, only to be discouraged by her “friend” Jackie (Tamara Tunie), Jackie is wearing some article of clothing or jewelry that is the exact same shade of green.
- Is It Possible To Defend The World’s Most Indefensible Band? (uproxx.com)
- Who is Sad Keanu Reeves | Celebrity Meme’s (digitalhighrise.com)
- NMC: DeeJay Xtacee Ft Okizona – Clique (naijamusiccity.wordpress.com)
- Devil’s Advocate. (anditsoundslike.wordpress.com)
- Olympus Has Fallen Spoiler-Free Review (thechaosvault.com)
- Devil’s advocate (wnd.com)
- Sympathy for the Devil (breitbart.com)
- Keanu Reeves: Side By Side. One-Off Screening in Athens, Greece (alexandrosmaragos.com)
- Burly Dude (creoleindc.typepad.com)
- The problem with devil’s advocates (sanderssays.typepad.com)
Directed by Harold Ramis
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “John, have you lost your ever-loving, modestly intelligent mind?”
“But Bedazzled is a comedy!”
“So why are you reviewing it? You write a horror film blog.”
Because I want to, because it has the devil in it; and that kind of sort of if you grade on the curve sort of way puts it into my territory. But there is one other main reason I wanted to write about this movie; besides the fact I got to see Elizabeth Hurley in all those fantasy inducing outfits. Hmm, scratch the ‘one other main reason’ part and make it ‘two other main reasons’. The other, other main reason is simply that I love this movie.
Hey, I know; it’s as stupid and ridiculous a movie as you’re ever going to see and I could care less. I’ve watched Bedazzled countless times and I laugh out loud (lol) every time. I personally think this is the best movie Brendan Fraser has ever done. His chance to portray so many characters with so many different characteristics is essentially the cherry on the whipped cream of his career. As for Elizabeth Hurley as the Devil; all I can say is that my reactions changed with each new outfit she wore.
Red Dress: Reowwwwrrrr!!!
Black Bikini (while walking Doberman Pinschers on the beach): Arf! Arf! Down boy!!
Cheerleader: Nice Pom Poms!!!
Traffic Cop: So, tell me officer, do those handcuffs come in fuzzy style?
School Teacher: I have been so bad, Miss Hurley. I really think I need to stay after school.
Nurse: I got a boo boo. Kiss it and make it better.
*Sigh* Huh, what? Oh, sorry. I got drool all over my keyboard.
Anyway, the plot of Bedazzled is this. Brendan Fraser (George of the Jungle, Encino Man) is Elliot Richards, a nerd, dweeb, and loser; just pick one because they all apply. Elliot is in love with Allison (Frances O’Connor, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Timeline); a girl who barely even knows that he exists. When Elliot says aloud that he would do anything to be with Alison he sparks the interest of Old Scratch, Beelzebub, Lucifer (well, “Lucy”-fer); you know, the Devil (Hurley, Serving Sara, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery). Appearing to Elliot in the various aforementioned fantasy inducing ensembles, the Devil grants him 7 wishes in exchange for-you guessed it-his soul. Now, of course, with the Devil and wishing with every wish there comes a curse and Elliot soon finds himself getting a lot less than he bargained for out of this agreement.
If you take Bedazzled seriously as a piece of cinematic art then there is really something wrong with you. The only way that you can take this movie and get any sort of enjoyment out of it is to see it for what it is: good, sexy, dumb as bricks fun.
The Devil’s dogs in the beach scene are named Dudley and Peter, a reference to the writers and stars of the original Bedazzled, Dudley Moore and Peter Cook.
- Fab Flash: Liz Hurley Makes Jordache Sexy (fabsugar.com)
- Behind the Seams: The Bedazzle Bonanza (fabsugar.com)
- Trend Alert: Razzle Bedazzle Rhinestones (fabsugar.com)
- Look of the Day: Chambray After Dark (fabsugar.com)
- 20 Makeup Tips Every Bride Should Know (bellasugar.com)
- Bedazzled… Am I? (apeksha23.wordpress.com)
- Screenplays – ‘Django Unchained’, ‘Looper’, ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’, and many more (simongilberg.wordpress.com)
- This company will bedazzle your shoes for you [Sweet] (bazaardaily.com)
- Elizabeth Hurley injures back (bigpondnews.com)
- Curbed Maps: Where To Be Bedazzled By All The Holiday Lights This Season (dc.curbed.com)
THE NINTH GATE-Spain/France/United States-1999
Directed by Roman Polanski
Screenplay by John Brownjohn, Enrique Urbizu and Roman Polanski
Based on the novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Confession time; I have only seen one Roman Polanski movie. The other movie was of course Rosemary’s Baby; so it is interesting that the other film would be The Ninth Gate. Also interesting is that both films deal with the subject of the devil, or Lucifer, if you prefer. The former film is about an innocent woman who gives birth to the devil’s child; the latter about a not so innocent man, in fact he’s downright unscrupulous, and his search for the truth about a rare book supposedly written by Satan himself.
Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Donnie Brasco) is Dean Corso, a rare book dealer whose only moral compass is the percentage and the dollar sign. At the beginning of the film, Corso is appraising the library of an old man, a stroke victim. When he comes to the four volume edition of “Don Quixote”, he offers the man’s son and daughter-in-law a paltry sum. The camera closes in on the old man’s hands, unseen by Corso as they clench in anger. I thought this was a clever way of conveying the depths that Corso would go to get what he wants.
Corso is hired by Boris Balkan (Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon, Dracula), the new owner of a book entitled “The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows, a book written in the seventeenth century by Aristide Torchia and of which only two others are known to be in existence. Balkan reveals that only one is genuine and was reputedly authored by the devil himself. Suspecting that his copy may be a forgery, he arms Corso with a hefty check and sends him to Europe to find and acquire the other two copies at any cost and by any means necessary.
Liana Telfer ( Lena Olin, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Romeo is Bleeding), the wife of the previous owner of the book, who hanged himself after selling it to Balkan, wants the book back for her own reasons; the book was a gift from her husband. She is also willing to go to any means to reunite with the rare volume. The owners of the other two editions meet with violent and mysterious deaths after meeting with Corso. There is also the matter of a mysterious young woman (Emmanuelle Seigner, La Vie En Rose) who tails Corso wherever he goes. There is enough evidence beaten into our skulls as to her true identity, but I will not reveal that and will pretend that the film is a little more subtle than it actually is.
The Ninth Gate is a mixture of mystery, international thriller and quiet horror and therein lays the problem. The film is so altogether uneven that it was difficult to get a grip on it. Just when the pace would pick up director Polanski brings it all to a screeching halt and starts all over again. This method became so frustrating that I nearly turned the film off in anger. The book in the film is supposedly about the methods required in summoning the devil himself. I don’t know if this is true, but I do know that I wish that Polanski had not made his audience jump through so many hoops to get to the end of this movie.
The opening credits feature the camera floating through nine sets of doors before the film begins.
The two booksellers Corso encounters in Toledo are actually the same actor, José López Rodero. Writer/director/producer Roman Polanski used a motion capture rig to use the same actor twice. The same man appears again later, playing two workmen cleaning out the bookstore. Rodero was an assistant director and production manager, not a professional actor. He was hesitant to accept these multiple parts.
The pen that Dean Corso uses is a limited edition Montblanc Agatha Christie ballpoint.
The car that Corso and ‘The Girl’ drive in France is a Chrysler Dodge Viper. The brand logo of Chrysler is a pentagram, the model name is Viper (which refers to the snake from Adam and Eve) and the car itself is painted red, the color of the devil.
- Roman Polanski, the Sequel (thedailybeast.com)
- Roman Polanski To Helm Screen Version Of ‘Venus In Fur’ (deadline.com)
- Polanski to helm ‘Venus in Furs’ (variety.com)
- Film: Newswire: Roman Polanski directing a comedy about an “erotic power play” involving a director, because screw it (avclub.com)
- Depp and Paradis split (elleuk.com)
- Polanski to direct Seigner in Venus in Fur (guardian.co.uk)
- Movie Goodness: Horror> Demons & Devils (dawningcreates.com)
- [Sleepy Hollow] : A Child’s Thriller (mercvision.wordpress.com)
- Roman Polanski Taps Wife Emmanuelle Seigner For Latest, Venus In Fur (movieline.com)
- International Trailer and Poster Premiere for The Hypnotist (dreadcentral.com)
PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE-United States-1974
Written and Directed by Brian De Palma
Do you want to know the worst thing that can happen to a critic? It’s when they watch a movie or a play or read a book or listen to music and they don’t have an opinion one way or the other about the experience. They watched it, read it, listened to it and that’s it, done. Nothing moved them to tears or made them laugh. No character touched their hearts with love or filled their souls with hatred. The entire thing was just…there…and it was nothing more. For a long time I’ve wondered about when that was going to happen to me and how I was going to deal with it when it did. Well, that moment has arrived and it comes in the form of “Phantom of the Paradise”. The whole time I was watching I was completely disinterested and the reason for this is because I’ve seen it all somewhere before in parts easier to swallow. There is no originality to the film. The film rips off elements of “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Faust” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray“. Add to that parts lifted from “Frankenstein”, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and even The Who’s “Tommy”, “The Twilight Zone” and “The Godfather” and what you have is one seriously effed-up mess of a motion picture. The only things about the film that I found even remotely interesting were a star-making performance for Jessica Harper (“Suspiria”) and the formations of some of the trademarks (split-screen, voyeurism) that director Brian De Palma (“Carrie”) would work into his later films. “Phantom of the Paradise” was De Palma’s next film after “Sisters”. When I was a kid, “Sisters” scared the shit out of me. As an adult “Phantom of the Paradise” merely bored it out of me.
One more thing; my friend Ben Kenber sent me an article he wrote reminding me of one little detail that I missed in “Phantom” : the soundtrack. The words and music were written by Paul Williams, wh0 portrays Swan. Williams has written songs for Three Dog Night, The Carpenters, Helen Reddy, Barbra Streisand and The Muppets just to name a few. There’s a reason he is referred to as a legend in the music business. His amazing words and music for Phantom of the Paradise are the reason I’m raising my rating for the film.
Jessica Harper beat out Linda Ronstadt for the part of Phoenix.
Much of the movie deals with birds: The names Phoenix and Swan, the Phantom’s bird-like costume, Phoenix’s dress after her first appearance, her feather jacket, Swan’s bird vest, Beef’s bird tail during his number. Even the logo for Death Records is a bird. A possible nod (or rip-off) to Hitchcock’s Psycho, perhaps?
When Swan (Paul Williams) is adjusting Winslow’s voice, the singer is not William Finley but Paul Williams. This makes it a little in-joke when Swan announces that the voice is “perfect”.
Gerrit Graham was so sick the day that the “Life at Last” scene was filmed that he could hardly walk.
- The Phantom of the Opera (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- ‘Phantom of the Paradise’ Tribute Concert & Paul Williams live at Cinefamily! (dangerousminds.net)
- Los Angeles: A PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE Tribute Concert… With Paul Williams! (badassdigest.com)
- ‘Paul Williams Still Alive’ opens at NYC’s Anjelika this weekend; Paul doing Q&As at screenings (brooklynvegan.com)
- My Recent Mini Obsession Brian De Palma’s Movies (moviesinpurgatory.com)
- Quint chats life, addiction and documentary filmmaking with Paul Williams Still Alive team Stephen Kessler and Paul Williams! (aintitcool.com)
- The Good Guys and Bad Guys That I’ve Been: Paul Williams on ‘Paul Williams Still Alive’ (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Live Streaming At 6PM Pacific: Paul Williams Q&A And PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE Tribute Concert (badassdigest.com)
- Phantom of the Paradise (superradnow.wordpress.com)
- Malick and De Palma lead Venice (bbc.co.uk)
- ICY Challenge: 1 – I Hate Phantoms! (maple-news.com)
- Palace Theatre to show movies again (lfpress.com)
- Electric Violin “Phantom of the Opera” by Lindsey Stirling (thecontrapuntist.com)
- ‘Phantom’ to overtake Temecula stage (swrnn.com)
- The Fabled Coast by Sophia Kingshill and Jennifer Westwood – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Paul Williams Still Alive (superradnow.wordpress.com)
- Behringer Xenyx 502 phantom power (gearslutz.com)
ANGEL HEART-United States-1987
Directed by Alan Parker
Screenplay by Alan Parker
Since its release in 1987 I’ve probably watched Angel Heart a dozen times or more. I know what the film is about; a down on his luck detective is hired by a mysterious client to find a man who disappeared years before. I know all about the controversy surrounding the sex scene between Mickey Rourke and Lisa Bonet. I know that the film walks a thin line between horror film and detective story. The role of Harry Angel may very well be Mickey Rourke’s finest performance of his pre-The Wrestler career. Harry Angel is a twitchy, edgy untrustworthy son of a bitch and Rourke plays the role to perfection. Throw in Robert De Niro as the mysterious Louis Cyphre and you have what could easily amount to an acting powder keg. There are just two nagging problems that keep the film from achieving that explosion.
First of all the film is just too slow for its own good. I’m not saying that it should move at a breakneck speed, but it would have helped to pick up the pace just a tiny bit. The pace of the film is but a minor speed bump when compared to the second faux pas. There’s a reason why Lisa Bonet isn’t a name you hear very often anymore. Her performance in Angel Heart is as wooden as you’re likely to see. No emotion, no personality and a steamy, yet disturbing sex scene do not a commanding performance make. The pace of the film can be forgiven, Bonet’s performance cannot. The performance of Rourke and Robert De Niro help to balance things out, but let it be known that Bonet’s lackluster performance nearly steals the film for all the wrong reasons. The Cosby Show may have lost a daughter, but the world sure as hell didn’t gain an actress.
Robert De Niro’s performance is an impersonation of Martin Scorsese.
Louis Cyphre is shown wearing a mood ring, colored brown, which represents “restlessness”.
In the novel the entire story was set in New York. In the movie much of the action of the film occurs in New Orleans. This change was suggested to Alan Parker by William Hjortsberg himself.
Alan Parker claims that Robert De Niro’s performance as Louis Cypher was so eerie and realistic that he generally avoided him during his scenes, letting him just direct himself.
- Mickey Rourke among the Immortals in film (canada.com)
- Mickey Rourke Out, Woody Harrelson In For ‘Seven Psychopaths’ (screenrant.com)