Graphic Horror: Faust: Love of the Damned
Faust: Love of the Damned 2000
And with just a few days left before Halloween, I finished my goal of watching the last horror movie on my list of films based on comics. This was a bit of an odd one, I even tried watching it about a year ago but only made it about a half hour in before I got sidetracked with other things and just never got back to it until now. It’s a low budget horror movie that has elements of exploitation cinema with just a touch of a superhero plot mixed in. It’s incredibly bizarre with a guy who sells his soul to a demon, a lot of sex, a bit of torture, plenty of gore, and a demon summoning ritual slash orgy at the end. There’s even a bit of a love story mixed in, but it’s so bizarre and convoluted that it’s difficult to put into words.
The crux of the story follows a guy named John Jaspers. He’s an artist who just happens to be dating a woman who owes money to the mob. Apparently they kill her and beat him up which causes him to be distraught enough to try and commit suicide only to be interrupted by an old guy who makes him a deal so that he can seek revenge. And in return, he gets a cool set of Wolverine-like ninja claws. But it also comes with a vampire-like curse where he becomes addicted to killing. And is also a servant of the old guy who goes by the name M. And later on starts turning into a demon with a cape that’s supposed to look like wings. And also goes catatonic after a major killing at some random foreign embassy which puts him in a mental hospital where he meets the female psychologist that he eventually falls in love with, but also becomes a sacrificial host in an orgy slash party to summon a giant monster and make the old guy immortal. Deep breath, or something along those lines. It’s all very convoluted and doesn’t always make a whole lot of sense.
What makes things worse is that it isn’t entirely told in a linear fashion. It’s not exactly a timeline that’s too hard to follow, but we do start with the embassy massacre before getting the origin story told through flashback once Jaspers starts to talk to the music therapist. The plot also bounces between a few different characters each with their own mini-character arc. We honestly start out with detective Margolies played by Jeffrey Combs. He’s the typical “plays by his own rules” detective that captures Jaspers without killing him despite orders to the contrary by the police commissioner who ends up working for M. There’s also the music therapist who connects to Jaspers but gets caught up in the entire mess. Meanwhile we also get to see bits of M’s journey as he prepares for this important ritual that will give him something or other. M doesn’t quite seem to be the devil himself, but does have plenty of demonic powers that come into play here and there. But if that wasn’t all, we also get to follow quite a bit with his right hand woman Blue who seems to be some type of demonic succubus who wants to have sex with anyone that comes across her path.
Even though there are plenty of characters with their own little story arcs, none of them really have anything in the way of actual character arcs. Several of the characters change personalities, but the reasons are typically from external forces rather than internal changes. Jaspers himself begins the story as a mindless killing machine that for some reason decides not to kill detective Margolies. He then becomes a mostly catatonic mental patient. In his flashback, he’s supposed to be a sensitive artist who suffers from the loss of his girlfriend while slipping in an out of a vaguely Southern accent. And by the end, he becomes this gleefully sadistic demon of vengeance. All of these changes aren’t exactly explained outside of satanic forces. These forces also eventually get to both Margolies and the therapist who ends up getting sexed up by M in order to summon a giant penis-like demon. Blue is another odd character, she seduces pretty much every man she comes in contact with, including Jaspers, and as punishment for one of these transgressions, M uses his power for a bit of bizarre body horror where he enlarges her breasts and buttocks to such an extreme that she becomes this four pronged blob with her head in the middle.
The effects overall were quite good for a film of this budget level. Aside from the weird cape-as-wings, the demonic make up for Jaspers looked great, including several slight variations that were used depending on the level of transformation. There were also plenty of moments of blood and amputations as well as a few moments of body horror similar to the one with Blue, including a bizarre scene where M pulls a live, giant snake out of Blue’s belly button. There was also quite a bit of sex throughout the film, most of it did come from Blue who rarely had a scene where she didn’t show her breasts, though many of the sex scenes weren’t played up for their eroticism, instead it was an odd combination of eroticism and horror. This was especially true when the film revealed the sexual trauma in the therapist’s past that continually comes back to haunt her. There were some interesting moments throughout the film, but it was mixed in with a plot that never really made sense. It was trying to make Jaspers sympathetic, even though he went on a mass killing spree, including one where he killed several cops. There was a bit of an overlying mystery as several secondary characters were revealed to be working with M and his satanic cult. But ultimately, none of it ever added up to anything worthwhile, and the mediocre acting performances didn’t help either. Not exactly a so-bad-it’s-good movie, but far from anything watchable either, it’s just a bizarre little oddity of a film. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.