In this weekend’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Johnny Blaze, played by Nicolas Cage, joins a long line of movie characters in the ultimate fight — battling Satan! Everyone from Jack Black to Viggo Mortensen to Santa Claus has been hell bent on battling Old Scratch on the big screen.
In Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Jack Black and Kyle Glass play heavy metal musicians who must play a musical battle with Lucifer.
“The demon code prevents me from declining the rock off challenge,” says Old Scratch before they engage in a metal showdown.
If they win, they’ll be superstars and the keepers of the magic pick made of Satan’s tooth. Lose and Kyle gets a new roommate — the prince of darkness.
The Devil in Prince of Darkness takes a slightly different form than Pick of Destiny’s traditional ruby-skinned imp.
In this John Carpenter chiller the Devil is an alien life form trapped in an alternate world.
Meanwhile, his son lives on our planet, boiled down into a vat of sinister-looking green liquid.
E-critic.com hated the movie, suggesting the advertising tagline for the movie should be: It’s NEW and IMPROVED LIQUID SATAN!!!, but it has some good thrills, a moody synthesize score, a cameo by Alice Cooper and a great performance by Donald Pleasance as a priest who does battle with the Devil.
One critic called The Prophecy “Paradise Lost reimagined as a droll B horror picture.”
Christopher Walken plays an angel trying to wage war against God. You might imagine that would put him in league with the Devil, but you’d be wrong.
“Your war is arrogance,” says Mephistopheles, who looks a lot like Viggo Mortensen, “That makes it evil. That’s mine.”
The movie spawned four sequels, but the original remains the best, if only to watch Mortensen deliver lines like, “While heaven may be closed I am always open, even on Christmas.”
And speaking of Christmas, one of the strangest cinematic demonic battles happens in the Mexican fantasy film Santa Claus. Described as “Ho Ho Horrible!” by one critic, it’s cut-rate and cheesy but has a certain kitschy charm.
Sometimes referred to as Santa Claus Conquers the Devil, this weird movie sees St Nick shoot the Devil with toy arrows.
Though marketed to kids, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 folks summed it up best when they said the movie is “good old-fashioned nightmare fuel.”