Devils and demons have possessed the silver screen in many formats, from comedies to cartoons, CGI depictions, psychological thrillers, and fantasy worlds. Yet the most bad-ass, ripsnorting, fire breathing incarnations that we remember are the ones that send chills down our spines. With Devil taking over theaters Friday, I thought I’d compile a list of the 12 most bad-ass Devils in movies. Nothing is better than witnessing your favorite actor playing the ultimate screen villain of old Beelzebub himself. Hail Satan!
While the movie is just a silly combination of John Grisham novels meets the production designer of Rosemary’s Baby, there’s plenty of hot and steamy sex with Connie Nelson and Charlize Theron. Plus Al Pacino plays the devil, so do I really need to say anything more?
Don’t be fooled by the man’s name: Louis Cyphre — say it slowly out loud now. He’ll make you sign deals that you won’t even remember. Robert De Niro plays him with an intensity that chills your soul, and what’s even more disturbing is that he looked to director Martin Scorsese as his inspiration. I knew Marty was into some dark stuff.
While the so-called demon named Puzuzu inhabiting Linda Blair may not be the actual Devil, this is his number one go-to demon in making life a living hell for innocent kids and tired, old priests who have lost their faith. If the scene with the masturbating crucifix scene doesn’t give you the creeps then I’m pretty sure you have no soul to steal.
The Devil in the film can piss fire, take on Arnold Schwarzenegger, and bed a mother/daughter threesome within a three-day period before the new millennium hits. If that’s not bad-ass to the bone multi-tasking then I don’t know what is.
The ultimate ripped and red creature played by Tim Curry battles Tom Cruise for unicorn horns and a mystical land while listening to the 80s iconic dark tones of Tangerine Dream. There isn’t any mention of drugs being passed around amongst the characters in this film, but it’s hard to believe someone wasn’t on set at all times passing out psychedelic stamps or copies of Dianetics to get to another level of crazy. Then again, Ridley Scott knew how to make amazing fantasy worlds and far out demonic images back in the day.
The mysterious hot biker chick played by Polanski’s wife is never officially revealed to be the devil, but once odd book keeper Johnny Depp and her get it on in the forest, it’s implied that his soul now belongs to the devil. Who ever thought that reading could be so dangerous for the soul? Besides Nazis.
The Devil’s hands and eyes may only appear on screen, but he does want a baby, so he finds a nice Upper Manhattan couple who make friends with the wrong kind, elderly next door neighbors. Director Roman Polanski is said to have made a devil’s bargain when making this eerie demonic movie, as it was shortly released before his wife’s brutal murder and his controversial sex scandal.
We all know rich little school boys are evil, but this one happens to be the actual devil incarnate, and poor old man Gregory Peck gets shot trying to end all the evil deeds that little Damien has done. While making The Omen, director Richard Donner was nearly rundown by a mysterious car and even a couple crewmembers were even killed in a horrible set accident. Curse or coincidence for this devil movie?
A heavily bearded Viggo Mortensen makes a brief appearance as Lucifer showing up at the climax in the ultimate battle between B-Movie angels versus humans. At the movie’s climax, Lucifer proceeds to eat the heart of fallen angel Gabriel, played by Christopher Walken, who surprisingly hasn’t played the diabolic demon yet.
The man with the most devilish looking grin this side of hell gets his chance to rattle the bones and souls of the New England town on Eastwick. Jack Nicholson seems very much at home pulling wicked pranks and having raucus orgies with desperate housewives Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Nicholson shows how cool you can be by playing someone so bad.
Max von Sydow has run the gambit of religious roles, from playing Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told to fearful Father Merrin in The Exorcist, to playing The Devil himself in Needful Things. The movie itself is a pretty poor adaptation of Stephen King’s mega novel about The Devil coming to the fictitiously famed town of Castle Rock to collect souls for his antique shop, but Sydow with his deep voice and retro clothing style gives the movie a much needed boost in how to scare the old fashioned hell out of you.