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Six Six Six Creepy Portrayals of Satan on Screen

In 2 Corinthians 11:14, the Bible says that “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” That’s as far as the Bible goes in actually describing Satan’s physical appearance, as well as those of his demons, who are similarly described as in disguise as “apostles of Christ” and “servants of righteousness.” The artists’ renditions of Satan – encouraged by the Church’s assimilation of pagan deities as “false idols” and pagan traditions as “evil” – make Satan out to be an amalgamation of various gods from the cultures that preceded them and that were being stamped out and slandered by Christianity. To me, Satan and his henchmen sound more like modern-day evangelists, Westboro Baptists, and sex-offending Catholic priests – pretending to be the bastions of good, using their power, privilege, or mind-boggling self-righteousness to use and abuse people who believe in them. Funny what a small percentage of Christians make that rather obvious connection…

Anyway, cinema has played its part in shaping the 20th and 21st centuries’ perception of the greatest evil on earth. Satan has been played in his more traditional, red, and horned supernatural state, as well as in human form, with an all too familiar aura of human evil. Below are six movies that did Satan justice in their portrayal of him (in no particular order):

Angel Heart (1987)

We like Robert De Niro. We like Lucifer. The two together as one are a perfect marriage of creepy charm and evil. We even did a shirt featuring Louis Cypher.

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

1987 was a good year for Satan in film. Jack Nicholson is Darrell Van Horn, a weird, hilarious and scary guy who is probably the Devil. Satan’s handmaidens turn against him. And there’s some destruction of patriarchy metaphor in there as well.

The Devil’s Advocate (1997)

Al Pacino as the Devil. If De Niro did it, then you know Pacino had to do it. He’s fucking pissed as only Pacino can be. And Keanu’s emotive ass is in it. It doesn’t get any better!

Prophecy (1995)

Viggo Mortensen as a young, hot, mean as fuck Satan. “I can lay you out and fill your mouth with your mother’s feces.” Now that’s fucking evil! Christopher Walken plays Gabriel, and the two get good and gory together. Moral of the story: all angels are evil.

Passion of the Christ (2004)

Christians orgasmed over this sadistic gore porn from Mel Gibson. Anti-Semitic propaganda, no doubt. But this Satan, while fleeting, is definitely one of the most chilling of any I’ve seen, and carrying a creepy baby to boot. And in true Mel form, Satan is a deathly pale woman, played by Rosalinda Celentano, who almost looks and sounds transgender, the antithesis of the hairy, manly, bronzed Jesus. Mel hates women, non-cis-gendered people, and Jews. I could be wrong, I’ve never seen the movie on principle, but this scene makes me want to watch it.

Legend (1985)

Tim Curry as an almost cartoon-like Satan, but fucking awesome in every way. He’s the Lord Darkness, the fucking Unicorn Slayer. If only he slayed Tom Cruise, this movie would be perfect. Watching this with the kids tonight.

Any more suggestions? Who’s your favorite cinema Satan?

Spotted on Bloody Disgusting

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. Corrie

    April 24, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Tilda Swinton in Constantine.

  2. Dave Mack

    April 23, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    The bloke in Crossroads. Mint

  3. Dylan Kuhn

    April 23, 2016 at 11:14 am

    My favorite portrayal of satan is in the messenger. Story about joan of arc. It isnt as a horror type, just the antithesis of faith. Reason and logic, trying to persuade her away from faith. Joan appears delusional or to others, on a spiritual quest.

    https://youtu.be/9oSJdSL8YOE

  4. Thomas Proskow

    April 22, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    I don’t think the Lord of Darkness in Legend was meant to be Satan, but some other role in a completely unrelated mythology.
    He’s shown speaking to a statue he calls “Father”, whom I assume was the previous Lord of Darkness. Their relationship being more akin to Melkor and Sauron in Tolkein’s mythology.

  5. Tomasz

    April 22, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Hellraiser’s Leviathan obelisk. Just an object emitting beams of dark negative energy

  6. Rich Chadwick

    April 22, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Doesn’t Corinthians 11:14 say “does not nature teach you that, if a man has long hair, it is a shame to him”?

    • Paul Tarsey

      April 23, 2016 at 12:26 am

      Corinthians also says “a man of rotund stature is a Good Man and all shall show him homage”

    • Rich Chadwick

      April 23, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Perhaps we need to rethink who the godparent is on Sunday then?! 😋

    • Paul Tarsey

      April 23, 2016 at 12:32 am

      Go and take photos of tube stations then. #trainspotter

  7. Mike Wilcox

    April 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm

  8. Uriah Phillips

    April 22, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Satan was hot in The Passion. And Baby Uncle Fester Antichrist seemed pretty cool too.

  9. Tom Küven

    April 22, 2016 at 10:32 am

    😉

  10. Jonathan Owen

    April 22, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Interestingly this post comes just below one about Pierre Clementi, who played a memorably melancholy, hippified Satan in Bunuel’s The Milky Way.

  11. Josh Saco

    April 22, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Was this lifted from Bloody-Disgusting? List is the same.
    http://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3387901/deny-maker-6-utterly-chilling-portrayals-satan-cinema/
    Admittedly your headline is better.

  12. Chris Elliott

    April 22, 2016 at 9:04 am

  13. Lisa Lightner

    April 22, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I like Viggo Mortensen. Kind of subtle but really sinister.

  14. Christian Creek

    April 22, 2016 at 7:46 am

    svtvn is soooo rvd

  15. Gabriel Rocha

    April 22, 2016 at 6:15 am

    Tom Waits in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

  16. Dean Cardillo

    April 22, 2016 at 1:59 am

    Peter Stormare in Constantine, only in the movie for like one scene but certainly memorable.

  17. Davyd Skull

    April 22, 2016 at 1:52 am

    The cover photo is just a young Iain Duncan Smith..

  18. Dondi Welvaert

    April 22, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Whats the baby on top of the article from?

    • Eris Strata

      April 22, 2016 at 2:04 am

      The Passion of the Christ. That Mel Gibson movie.

    • Dondi Welvaert

      April 22, 2016 at 2:20 am

      Thanks. Have it at home, but never came around to watch it, is it any good aside from the gory whip scenes?

    • Jose Luis Bravo

      April 22, 2016 at 8:42 am

      It’s actually a quite good movie, historically accurate and well made

  19. Seb Tanaka

    April 22, 2016 at 12:56 am

    http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/movie/gospel_matthew/31satan.jpg

    Satan in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “The Gospel According to St Matthew.”

    Satan, like Jesus, is a human being, nothing more, nothing less.

  20. Jukus Sepada

    April 22, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Rudolph John Doane

  21. Tiago Silva

    April 22, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Satan in “The Devil Rides Out” is also pretty cool.

    https://maniacosporfilme.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/as-bodas-de-sata-4.jpg

  22. Deerg Tsul Yvne

    April 22, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Jukus Sepada Francisco Maria Arvin Marcial

  23. Dino Garduno

    April 22, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Legend, the Prophecy and Constantine for sure.

  24. José Rodríguez

    April 22, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Wicked child jaja

  25. Tal Wallace

    April 22, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Peter Stormare in Constantine is a favourite.

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