Wednesday, March 31, 2010

God and Satan in Films

God and the Devil: The Movie

Thought it would be fun to do a blog post on films where the Christian version of God appears in. Not that I believe in Christianity or any of its teachings; I just thought it would make a fun post.

I’m just going to focus on the Christian idea of God, you know, the father of Jesus, the creator of the universe and all that. I’m not counting the times when we only hear gods voice, I’m only counting the films on which we actually get to see God or a part of God, like his hand for example. I’m also going to mention some of the films on which Gods arch nemesis (Satan) has shown up on film.

One interesting thing I discovered while researching for this post is that God likes to appear mostly in comedies, while Satan likes to show up in both comedies and horror films. Hell, Satans even done a documentary (Haxan). I guess it’s true what they say that God has to have a sense of humor, since he only appears in comedies. I mean, look at the platypus! Also, Satan enjoys acting a whole lot more then god does. Feel free to mention all the movies I obviously left out. Also, answer this question: who from this list would be your own personal God or Satan in your own personal universe?

The Devils Advocate (1997) - On this one Al Pacino plays a lawyer who is also Satan! He wants to make Keanu the Anti-Christ. Best part is Satan’s dialogue on this movie, where he accuses God of everything!

Best Line Spoken by Satan: “Look but don’t touch, Touch, but don’t taste. Taste, but don’t swallow. And while you are jumping from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He’s laughing his sick fucking ass off! He’s a tight ass! He’s a sadist! He’s an absentee landlord! Worship that? Never!”

The Devils Rain (1975) - On this one Ernest Borgnine plays Satan who is trying to gather as many followers as he can, so he can take their souls to hell with him! But he needs a magical book that William Shatner has. The ending has all the Satanist melting into a gooey mess. The founder of the Church of Satan had a hand in making this movie “believable” as a result of this desire on the filmmakers part to have as much  authenticiy as possible on this film, we get Satan with a beer belly.

The Stand (1994) - On this one, some kind of virus wipes out most of humanity. The remaining humans separate into two factions: the good guys who are on Gods side and the bad guys who hang out in Vegas with Satan. How come satanists always have all the fun? On this one, we only get  a glimpse at Gods hand (the pic you see above).

"And thanks for creating weed too!"  

Bill and Teds Bogus Journey (1991) - On this sequel, Bill and Ted die and run all around the after life. First they wander the earth as ghosts. Then, they get sent to purgatory, where they end up gambling their fates in a game of Battleship against Death. They also go to heaven and talk briefly to God, congratulating him on an excellent planet. They also go to hell and meet Satan, they let him know that “he’s not such a bad guy”. This movie is all sorts of fun and a one up on the original.

Best line spoken by God: “Station!”
Best line spoken by Satan: “You may go!”

Bedazzled (2000) - On this one, Satan takes the form of super sexy Elizabeth Hurley. She offers Brendan Fraser a couple of wishes in exchange for his soul. He is so desperate for a girl that he accepts.

Best line spoken by Satan: “Paragraph one states that I, the Devil, a non profit organization with offices in Purgatory, Hell and Los Angeles, will give you seven wishes to use as you see fit”

Alucarda (1978) - On Alucarda, two girls (Alucarda and Justine) end up living in the same orphanage, which just so happens to be run by nuns. But Alucarda and Justine are two rebels and they run off into the forest, play around with the idea of lesbian love and stumble upon a pagan celebration where they quickly sell their souls to Satan himself!

Bruce Almighty (2003) - On this one, Bruce is having a bad day and blames God for not doing what a god should be doing, helping a brother out. Suddenly, God appears and gives Bruce His powers. In this way, he gives Bruce the chance to do God’s job for a while. But apparently, its not an easy task to answer everyones desires to win the lotto. On this movie, God comes to us in the form of Morgan Freeman.

Best Line Spoken by God: “Parting your soup is not a miracle Bruce, it’s a magic trick. A single mom working two jobs, and still finds time to take her kids on to soccer practice, that’s a miracle. A teenager who says no to drugs and yes to an education, that’s a miracle. People want me to do everything for them. What they don’t realize is that they have the power. You want a miracle son? Be the miracle.”

God: Sorry Steve, but The Office has been canceled!
Steve: Nooooooo!

Evan Almighty (2007) - On this one God appears to Steve Carell. He gives him instructions to build a giant ark, just like the one Noah built in the bible. Why? What is Gods ultimate purpose? I didn’t like this one so much because it becomes too preachy, something that the first film was never guilty of. But it does have some nifty effects in its last 10 minutes.

Best Line Spoken by God: “One nation, under ME, indivisible…”

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983) - On this one, we see God three times. The first time is  during the opening animated sequence, where God is looking at two planets, one is square the other is  a circle, with a face like, he's trying to figure something out. The other time is  when Gods hand comes out of the skies and blows a military officer out of existence with a bolt of lightning. And then, on another occasion during the last frames of the films, where all of the characters that have died in the film are in heaven, and God comes down to welcome them all to heaven. God is played by Graham Chapman in that last sequence.

Best Line Spoken by God: “It’s Christmas in heaven, there’s great films on TV. The Sound of Music twice an hour and JAWS one two and three”

Monty Python’s The Holy Grail (1975) - God appears briefly in one scene, talking from heaven.

Best Line Spoken by God: “Every time I try to talk to somebody its “sorry this” and “forgive me that” and “Im not worthy”

South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut (1999) - On this one Satan is a big cry baby who gets verbally and sexually abused by Saddam Hussein.

Best Line Spoken by Satan: “You treat me like shit! I’m leaving you Saddam!”

Mulholland Dr (2001) - I’ve always seen The Cowboy in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive as God. Why? Well, he is the one “driving this Doom Buggy” and you got to do what he says. He brings that girl back to life, he is running around the background through out the whole movie, like some omnipresent watcher. And since Lynch’s films are so open to interpretation, I say he is God to me in that movie. I bet I’m not alone in thinking this either.

Best Line Spoken by God: “No, your not thinking. You’re too busy being a smart aleck to be thinking. Now I want you to “think” and stop being a smart aleck. Can you try that for me?”

Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922) - This documentary is all about “witches” and how basically anyone who didn’t believe in Catholicism got burned at the stake or worse. Tortured. When these women who were accused of being witches were tortured, they told the people who tortured them anything so the torturing would stop, including stories of having seen the devil in a Black Mass and all that. The documentaries bring these tall tales to life. The devil on this one is one evil dude, he seduces women in the middle of the night, has orgies and parties with every witch in town and even sacrifices babies!

Constantine (2005) - Peter Stormare plays Satan in Constantine, a film about the son of Satan wanting to turn against him.

Best Line Spoken by Satan: “No. You will live, John Constantine. You will live so you will have the chance to prove that your soul truly belongs in hell. Oh, you will live. You will live.”

Dogma (1999) - On this one two rebellious angels who were kicked out of heaven are looking for a way to go back in. They find a loop hole in Catholic mythology that will allow them to do it! Problem is that they will unmake all of existence in the process! God herself, played by Alanis Morisette has to come down from heaven to fix the mess these two rebellious angels are doing.

Time Bandits (1981) - On this one a crew of time traveling midgets who work for the 'Supreme Being' steal His map of the universe and use it to travel through time so they can steal priceless artifacts and have adventures through time. God is played by Ralph Richardson. On this one God is fair, just and wears a suit and a tie, a very classy version of God. Satan is played by David Warner. Satan is obsessed with nuclear weapons, lazers and technology.

Best Line Spoken by God: “I should do something very extroverted and vengeful to you. Honestly, I'm too tired. So, I think I'll transfer you to the undergrowth department, brackens, more shrubs, that sort of thing... with a 19% cut in salary, backdated to the beginning of time”

Best Line Spoken by Satan: “If I were creating the world I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o'clock, Day One!”

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) - Rosemary has been targeted by Satanist to be the vessel for the anti Christ! Rosemary gets raped by Satan himself on this one!

Angel Heart (1987) - Robert Deniro plays Satan. Mickey Rourke owes him something and Satan wants him to pay up. DeNiro plays Satan very cool, very educated, but he will take out his sharpened paws if he has to!

Best Line Spoken by Satan: “They say there's enough religion in the world to make men hate each other, but not enough to make them love.”

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) - This is a “what if” take on the Jesus story. What if Jesus didn’t die on the cross, but instead decided to have a wife and kids? Interesting take on Jesus’s story. Satan appears in the form of a hungry lion in the middle of the night, just like the bible describes him, like a lion who comes for our souls in the middle of the night.

The Passion of Christ (2004) - This is the story of Christ told by a bloodthirsty Mel Gibson. A pretty cool take on the story if I say so myself! Satan on this movie is brooding in the background, always present.

Best Line Spoken by Satan: “Do you really believe that one man can bear the full burden of sin? No one man can carry this burden, I tell you. It is far too heavy. Saving their souls is too costly. No-one. Ever. No. Never.”

The End of Days (1999) - A girl is born, she has the mark of the one who will carry Satan’s son! On New Years Eve 1999, its up to Arnold Schwarznegger to protect this girl from Satan and his followers. Satan is played by Gabriele Byrne.

Best Line Spoken by Satan: “Something good happens, "It's His will." Something bad happens, "He moves in mysterious ways."”

Little Nicky (2000) - This movie has Adam Sandler playing Little Nicky, the son of Satan. Actually, he plays one of three sons. They are all fighting to become the next one to sit on Hell’s throne. Unfortunately, Satan doesn’t want to give up his power just yet, so two of his three sons get angry and  decide to, in a fit of anger go to earth to wreck havoc. On there way out of hell, they close the gates of hell! Nicky, Satans favorite son, is sent to earth to stop them. Rodney Dangerfield plays Satan, Keitel plays the antichrist.

Best Line Spoken by Satan: “In exchange for eternal damnation of your soul? You're too nice of a guy for me to want to do that to you, Mr. Marino.”

Ghost Rider (2007) - On this one, Nicholas Cage screwed up a pretty cool concept by handing this film over to an incompetent director. Not to mention the fact that he himself sucks as the spirit of vengeance! Peter Fonda plays Satan, who owns the Ghost Riders soul! Not a particularly inspiring portrayal of Satan. 

Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny (2006) - On this one, JB and KG try to become “the greatest band in the world” but first, they have to find the mystical “pick of destiny”, a guitar pick with supernatural abilities that grants its wielder the ability to rock! Unfortunately, the pick belongs to Satan! In the ending of the film, the Tenacious duo have to face Satan in a rock off! Winner takes all! It should be noted that Dave Grohl, lead man for Foo Fighters is the guy who plays Satan on this one. Interesting note to all you Satan fans out there: Grohl also played Satan before in a music video for Tenacious D, the song? "Tribute".

Prince of Darkness (1987) - This one is about Satan trying to make his way to our world from another dimension, which is of course, presumably hell. But first he sends the antichrist to pave the way for his coming. Unfortunately on this one we only see Satans hand as he is about to emerge. Still, we get a glimpse of the evil one. Had this movie had a bigger budget, maybe they could have afforded it, but Carpenter made this movie with a meager 3 million dollars! 

The Devil Rides Out (1968) - Devil Worshippers want to sacrifice a virgin, its up to the good guys to stop them. In an unusual role for actor Christopher Lee, who normally played villains in these old Hammer films, he actually plays one of the good guys on this one. 

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (2009) - Dr. Parnassus is the owner of a traveling theater group. He encounters Satan who wants to strike a deal with him. All the devil asks in return is the soul of Dr. Parnassus’s daughter after 16 years have passed. Now Satan has come to collect! Will Parnassus hand over his daughter to Satan or fight for her soul? Satan is played by non other then Tom Waits. While the God like figure comes to us in the form of Christpher Plummer, in the god like role of Dr. Parnassus. Good vs. Evil battling for the souls of humanity, an interesting premise. 

F.W. Murnau’s Faust (1926) - A deadly plague spreads through Faust’s home town. Faust tries using his alchemy and science to find a cure, but is unable to do it. He decides to conjure up Satan so that he can rid his town of the plague. Unfortunately, Satan is interested in Faust’s soul! This version of Satan is equal parts gothic, and equals part cartoon. Lovely visuals dominate this classic of German expressionism.


Simon said...

Tom Waits is my favorite Devil, Alnis Morissette is my favorite God. Cool.

Franco Macabro said...

Ha, thats a great idea, mixing your favorite god and devil from that list, and saying who would be your favorite in your own universe!

I think Id go with the God from The Holy Grail, cause it just looks so freaking funny, with that deep voice they put on it.

And the devil would be the one from Tenacious D, cause the dude can rock!

I Like Horror Movies said...

Another excellent, excellent post Franco, and so happy to see LITTLE NICKY on there, I still say that was a hilarious if not stupid Horror Comedy

Franco Macabro said...

Yeah, Little Nicky is funny, I like that cameo on it by Quentin Tarantino, the one where Tarantino plays a crazy preacher on the streets!

And when they turn that guys head into a pair of tits, so he goes around the whole movie with a pair of real tits on top of his head...funny stuff.

Shaun Anderson [The Celluloid Highway] said...

Interesting piece there buddy...keep up the good work!

Franco Macabro said...

Thanks Shaun, as I was typing it I was like "damn, this is gonna be one of those epic posts!"

It could have been longer though, I left out a couple of movies from that list for example, these three films in which God appears as played by George Burns:

Oh God!
Oh God! Book Two
Oh God! You Devil!

Unknown said...

A very cool post indeed! Nice mentions of PRINCE OF DARKNESS and ANGEL HEART - quite possibly my two fave representations of Satan.

Another one I like is from the much maligned THE NINTH GATE with Ms. Polanski herself Emmanuelle Seigner playing either Satan or Satan's messenger. Not a bad way to be seduced to the dark side. Also, the film gets points for Frank Langella playing Satan worshiper who foolishly thinks he can summon the Prince of Darkness only to torch himself to death.

Franco Macabro said...

I remember seeing the Ninth Gate and loving it. I didnt put it on this list because I didnt remember Satan himself appearing, I remember this being a big point in the movie.

The lady I think was more of a demon, but what a great movie! Frank Langela does eat up the screen, his portrayal as a satanist is one of the best in cinema.

Unknown said...

Yeah, there is some debate as to who the mysterious girl really is as the film never really spells it out for you and leaves it up to the viewer to figure it out. Personally, I like to think she's the personification of Satan but hey, that's just me. ; )

Franco Macabro said...

Yeah, but to me, it never really mattered because the movie did such a great job of building up the suspense, and the intrigue! When Langela starts covering himself in gasoline...I was like...were gonna get to see Satan! And Hell! Wow!

I soon discovered it wasnt going to be that kind of a film, which was fine by me, cause I loved the pitch perfect ominous feeling the film gave me. Polanski is such a master! I wish he'd do yet another horror film.

Cal said...

Jonathan scott-taylor in Damien:Omen 2, not realy the devil actually the antichrist but still a great film

Franco Macabro said...

The devil never actually makes an apperance in The Omen films, only his son. But I think Jesus appears in the ending of the first film if I remember correctly.

Cal said...

jesus appears at the end of the third when Damien has been killed

Franco Macabro said...

Strange how the devil never makes a single appearance in what is considered one of the most satanic franchises of all time!

Kaijinu said...

Alanis Morisette was adorbs as God(dess)! That Headstand at the near-end was plain cutesy to hate!

Peter Stormare was awsome as Satan. Brief, yet his pressence is very unnerving in that white suit. (plus, he can rip out cancer! Now that's useful!)


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