Movie Review: Faust: Love of the Damned (2001)

Horror, Movie Review

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Faust: Love of the Damned will always hold a special place in my heart as I spent the majority of my early teens watching it obsessively.  This was long before I was ever a fan boy of the director, Brian Yuzna, whose work I regard as some of the most enjoyable in horror.  But when I was in my formative years as a budding horror buff, this movie was one of the first to get the ball rolling, so to speak.  I remember borrowing it from my friends big brother, who had it recorded on a blank VHS along with Army of Darkness (1992) and scenes from a late night soft core sci-fi porno.  Suffice to say these movies made an impression on me growing up; especially that soft core sci-fi porno.  Anyway, having not watched Faust: Love of the Damned in about 10 years, I thought it was time I paid a visit to an old friend to see how he was holding up; and much to my delight he was doing just fine.

The fable of Faust is a German legend about a man who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for omniscience and worldly pleasures.  Throughout the centuries it’s provided source material for all forms of artistic merit, ranging from literature, music, art, poetry and film.  Faust: Love of the Damned is based on a comic book of the same name written by Tim Vigil and David Quinn, and is about a man who sells his soul to a devilish character named M in exchange for vengeance for his murdered girlfriend.  Vengeance comes in the form of Wolverine-like claws, which allow him to hack and slash his enemies.  But when you bargain with the Devil and his agents you’re in his debt, and Faust’s is to kill on behalf of M.  However, once he meets a psychiatrist by the name of Jade, his humanity is restored somewhat, and with the power of Hell in his blades he sets out to exact vengeance on M before he summons the Homunculus; a dragon from the underworld.

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While far from being a masterpiece, the critical lambasting this film took upon release was unfair and misleading; critics lampooned it for its excessive, tasteless schlock, low budget effects and poor acting, but it did receive praise for the same reasons by notable horror publications.  Although cheesy and corny, it’s actually an insanely fun romp with a high body count, plenty of gore and impressive special effects courtesy of Screaming Mad George.  As for the acting: Aside from a hilariously bad performance by the lead, Mark Frost, the supporting cast are solid, with genre legends Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator) and Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster) as good as they’ve ever been.  It’s not Yuzna’s best movie, but it’s in the same vein as his typical output, which has garnered him iconic status within the horror community.

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Faust: Love of the Damned is a perfect movie for switching your brain off to and watching bad guys get decapitated.  There’s plenty of blood, T&A and corny one liners to provide cheap, mindless fun and that’s it.  It’s a great popcorn movie with more positive aspects than negative.  So leave your brain at the door and let it dazzle you like the seductive little fiend it is.  7/10

Director:

Brian Yuzna

Writer:

Tim Vigil, David Quinn, Miguel Tejada-Flores

Starring:

Mark Frost, Jeffrey Combs, Andrew Divoff, Isabel Brook

Genre:

Horror

Running Time:

98 min

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