Monday, April 4, 2011

The Greatest Trick: Satan In Film

One of my favorite movie quotes is spoken in my number 4 movie of all time, the Usual Suspects, where Verbal Kint states that, "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he doesn't exists" and quite often, most of the world does just that. This point was driven home to me by a co-worker at my bookstore
This is probably my favorite Devil picture ever!
 job when I was in my early twenties. I was sitting in the back room of the store on my break, reading my Bible, when my co-worker, (a very cute smart busty girl named Darlene that I totally would have had a crush on if I was not already taken by my beautiful girlfriend at the time Bethany, who later became my wife*) saw me reading and struck up a conversation about God, (you would be amazed how many times that happens, they usually open with the line, "I am not really religious" to which I reply, "Neither am I", which messes them up every time) and after talking for a few moments she mentioned something about the existence of evil and when I mentioned Satan she said, "You don't actually believe in the devil do you, that is just silly.", Verbal Kint would have been proud. Now as weird as it may seem, although the devil has done a good job convincing most of the world that he is just a myth, it is the exact opposite for the people in Hollywood, cause they seem to have a firm belief in the
This is not really the Devil I am talking about.
devil, or, at least that the devil sells movie tickets. With that, I thought I would talk about some examples of Satan in film. Now as opposed to my Christ In Film post where Jesus is embodied in characters from a film, in this case, we are looking at movies that actually have Satan as an actual main character in the movie. Now before continuing I will say this, I am not endorsing any of these movies**, I am just using them as examples. So without further reminiscing about cute bookstore girls, onto the films.
So the other night I watched a movie (I know, me, watch a movie, that never happens) called Devil, and that's what sparked the whole, "let's do a post about the devil in film" thing, so here is a quick recap about Devil. Devil is story about 5 annoying strangers that become trapped in an express elevator that mysteriously has stopped. The building security guards can see the people in the elevator on their monitors, and can talk to them, but the passengers
No, I am telling you, it was her who farted!
 can not talk back to them, and it is at this time that lights go out and a quick flash of what looks like an evil face flashes across the monitor, and when the lights come back on one of the passengers is bleeding with what looks like bite marks on her back. From there, everybody starts mistrusting everybody else, cops are called, (they were actually already there, because that is the way M. Night wrote it, how convenient) while one security guard recounts being told tales as a child of Satan taking human form and messing with a selected group of individuals before he kills them in terrible ways and whisks*** them off to hell. Then the lights go out again and the first annoying passenger dies somehow. From there the lights go out a bunch more times and more annoying passengers die and the viewers get to play the fun game, "Which One Of The Annoying Passengers In The Elevator Is Satan"

Next on the list is a movie called Bedazzled, where Satan is an attractive woman who offers a deal to a guy down on his luck.
Basically Satan tells the guy that she will grant him a whole bunch of wishes, to become less of a schmuck by making him into different people. This seems great at first, the only problem is that every time a wish is granted, there is always a catch, something that makes the guy take the wish back. For example, he wanted to have power, so she made him a powerful man, that was also a drug kingpin, he also wanted to be cultured, so she made him smart and well read, but also gay, which sucks cause the main reason he was doing all of this was to get the attention of a girl. Oh that tricky devil, it just shows you can never trust the Devil, no matter how good looking or big he makes his boobs (that is possibly one of the weirdest sentences I have ever written).

Last on my list is the freakiest Satan movie that I have ever seen.
The Devils Advocate is about a small-town lawyer who is enticed into moving to New York to work for a huge and prestigious law firm. When arriving there with his wife they are treated to the good life, being invited to parties and being put on important cases in the firm, all the while though it is clear that something is not right. Well, that "not right thing" is that the head of the law firm, is actually, Jesus (ha ha ha, tricked you) it is Satan, (Played amazingly by Al
Devil Temper Tantrum
Pacino, but now that I think about it, how cool would it be to see Jesus played by Al Pacino, now that is a movie I would go see) So yeah, Satan is the head of the law firm, and he has some ideas for his small town lawyer friend that are too out there and twisted to talk about here, (plus it would give away too much of the story, and I hate it when someone causally lets slip important movie facts****) and from there it just gets freakier and freakier, (this is one movie that my wife refused to ever see again, cause it gives her the hebegebes) and Pacino yells a lot.

So, there are just three movies were the bad old devil is featured, there are tons more that you could talk about, (especially ones where he comes as a little baby or an evil kid) but here is the whole point of this post. If you have the Devil, and in this I mean Satan, the guy mentioned in the Bible, both new and old testaments, if you have him as one of the main characters in your movies, it actually says something pretty amazing, and most of the time, I think it is something that Hollywood doesn't really think about. What I am talking about is that if you have Satan, as a character, doing the evil things that Satan does, then you are also giving credit to the world view that their is a God, and again, most movies that I have seen are using the biblical Devil here, so it is not just any random god, or multi religion god, but the God who hangs with Jesus. Now to give credit
Whoa, he's totally right, I have done two Satan
movies, I better do a Jesus film quick.Wait a minute.
were it is due, the movie
Devil does actually mention this at the end of the film, so kudos to M. Night on that, and occasionally other films do to, (like the movie Constantine, which is a Devil movie that I totally forgot about until now, hey, that has Keanu Reeves in it to, what is up with Keanu and hanging with the Devil) but generally, most movies that feature Satan as a main character, or even as a behind the scenes character,  miss out on the point that you can't have the guy with the horns without also having the guy with the whole world in his hands. So next time you see a movie that has Satan in it, smile, cause that means that God is getting a shout out too, so take that Hollywood*****, in your face. So that's all for now, so until next time, stay away from elevators with annoying people on them, and take the stairs, it's better for you anyway. Stay safe Internet peoples, wherever you are.

* If you know me personally then you already know I am married to Beth, so I just made you read this footnote for nothing, which means I just wasted 12 seconds of your life, unless you are a fast or slow reader, then the time varies, anyway, ha.
**So Josh, don't try and get your parents to let you see them by using this post as a resource, cause it didn't work last time anyway.
***Whisked, now there is a word that doesn't get used enough, I guess it is because it is usually reserved for rich people, who "whisk" their lady friends off to some romantic getaway, usually a tropical beach, secluded cozy cabin or in some rare really rich people cases, their villa in the south of Ivegottonsofmoneyville. You never hear about people being whisked off to Blockbuster or Home Depot (as stated before in another post, I am not sponsored by anybody, but if either one of these companies want to throw some cash my way, I will promise to find a way to work their name into every new post I do) or whisked off to Oshawa. Maybe we should start a trend, this week, make sure you whisk yourself off to somewhere, the more ordinary the better, although I don't want any emails about people being whisked off to the bathroom, be a little more selective in your choosing ok. then tell me where you whisked to, ok, good, whisk away.
****My wife is kinda notorious for this, heck, she let slip that Darth Vader is Luke's father, and that was even before our kids even knew what Star Wars was, thankfully they were not listening, so we dodged a bullet on that one. Love you honey.
*****Just kidding Hollywood, please keep making movies for me to watch, it was just a joke.

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