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Sympathy for the Devil

Guest Faded Sanity

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Guest Faded Sanity

We give the Devil his due and look back at cinema's best and worst depictions of the Prince of Darkness

By Kathleen Murphy

Special to MSN Movies

God knows, Hollywood produces plenty of Satan spawn: Freddy Krueger, the bloodsuckers of "Blade," dead kids with big-time grudges and lethal videotapes. But His Satanic Majesty rarely appears in person on the silver screen. The Lord of Lies ain't camera-shy -- but even the most imaginative director finds it damnably difficult to conjure up something grand or soul-shriveling enough to embody stone-cold metaphysical Bad. What species of Mephistophelean monster could electrify moviegoers whose nerve-endings and eyeballs are Novocained nonstop by seriously hellish F/X flicks and video games?

Back in the day, when audiences took sin seriously, the devil harvested souls as a leering demon -- a randy, horned goat rather than the fallen angel who was once God's favorite and most beautiful son. But bat-eared whack-jobs in red underwear who brandish pitchforks while dipping the damned into red-hot magma are so last century. Nowadays, Lucifer looks like us -- only better. We secular souls buy Beelzebub as a CEO, stud, lawyer, megalomaniac or even a politician. Today's Mephistopheles is like The Donald, gleefully tempting yuppie Adams and Eves with the Big Apple.

As "The Amityville Horror" returns once more to haunt us, let's rate His Evilness as a movie star.

10. "The Devil's Advocate" (1997)

Picture blank-faced Keanu Reeves as The One. No, not the Christ-like savior of "The Matrix," or even the chain-smoking demon-slayer of "Constantine," but as the one and only son of Satan (Al Pacino). Dad would like his boychik to spawn an Antichrist with tempting sister Christabella (Connie Neilsen). But Keanu's hotshot young attorney knows nothing of this diabolical plot when mogul John Milton (get that? Pacino's devil's named after the author of "Paradise Lost"!) summons him to Manhattan, takes him up to the top of a skyscraper and invites him to become his corporate lawyer (translation: sell his soul). Pacino slices his 1996 performance as bad boy Richard III into ham: Going all icy-eyed while he bares his teeth in ferocious grins, he indulges in Serpico-like rants about human corruption, and vamps around his penthouse lair crooning "It Happened in Monterey" while eyeballing his son and daughter doing the nasty. Pacino lets it all hang out -- for the money or for the hell of it. Hoo-hah!

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Guest Pirate Chasin' Booty

Fuck the whole list, The Stand rocks, its a TV movie that still pisses all over Hollywoods expensive pants.

EDIT: Half of this films aren't even 'Satan' movies anyway, just because they have a devil in it? whoopey.

Edited by muddatrucker
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Anyone else remember Little Nicky?...No? just me then

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Guest concretedog

I just saw The Devil's Advocate. Seriously: The movie sucked. Predictable and badly pieced together.

The only good thing in the whole movie was Reeves and Pacino until they actually revealed Pacino was the Devil/Father of Reeves. But this does proof that, even for half the movie, Reeves can play a more serious role.

Edited by concretedog
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