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Film / Faust: Love of the Damned

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Faust: Love of the Damned is a 2000 action-horror movie starring Mark Frost, Jeffrey Combs, and Andrew Divoff, and directed by Brian Yuzna, based on a comic book series of the same name by Tim Vigil and David Quinn.

After artist John Jaspers's (Frost) girlfriend is murdered by a bunch of thugs, he is offered "the power of vengeance" in exchange for his soul by a mysterious figure known only as "M" (Divoff), the leader of a satanic organization called The Hand. Jaspers becomes a superpowered demonic entity who exacts revenge on those who wronged him, but it turns out that M has other plans for him in mind to bring about the end of the world.

This film provides examples of:

  • Ambiguously Human: There's very little to suggest that Claire is anything more than a normal woman with a sadistic sex drive, but that she's aligned with M — a demon — and doesn't die from being melted into a grotesque blob and catches fire after M pulls the snake out of her stomach might call her humanity into question.
  • Anti-Hero: John Jaspers stands somewhere between Unscrupulous Hero and Nominal Hero. He only kills the bad guys, but he has to restrain himself from killing or otherwise harming innocents.
  • Asshole Victim: Mephistopheles kills his aide Claire by materializing a snake inside her and cutting open her gut to pull it out, then setting her on fire. She really deserved this, given her previous track record as a sadomasochistic rapist and serial murderess.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Jaspers defeats the Homunculus by stabbing that pentagram on its forehead.
  • Baby as Payment: As Mephistopheles is torturing John for foiling his plans, Jade begs to let him go. He demands "the soul of your unborn child" for John’s life. She reluctantly agrees to the deal, (wrongly) assuming that her infertility means he won’t be able to collect.
  • Bad Boss: M's minions do not have a great live expectancy. While he's not as Ax-Crazy as his mistress Claire, he's incredibly brutal towards anyone who even thinks of defying him, and he happily sacrifices his entire cult to summon the Homunculus.
  • The Bad Guys Are Cops: Most of the cops turn out to be working for "M" and his satanic organization.
  • Beast of the Apocalypse: The Homunculus is a giant serpent demon who will bring about Hell on Earth.
  • Belly Mouth: "M" kills one of his followers (the satanic-aligned police commissioner) for running his mouth off by unbuttoning his shirt and then eating him alive in front of everyone.
  • Big Bad: M, the demonic being trying to bring Hell on Earth.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Played two ways:
    • Jaspers' Black girlfriend, Blue, is chronologically the first person to die in the story.
    • A Black henchman is Jaspers' first kill.
  • The Blank: Jade has childhood nightmares about a faceless man who raped her that she called "Smooth Man".
  • Blasphemous Boast: A fairly subtle one, but Margolies is borrowing the words of Jesus when he says "I am the truth!"
  • Blood Oath: Jaspers' contract with M for demonic superpowers is, of course, written in blood.
  • Bondage Is Bad: M's Dark Mistress Claire is a sex-obsessed sadist with a fondness for torturing and killing her partners. After apparently killing her boss, she locks up Jade in a BDSM dungeon before proceeding to torture her with whips and an electrified cage.
  • Breast Expansion: There's a scene that goes from breast expansion right into Body Horror without any warning when "M" punishes his mistress Claire by briefly transforming her into literally nothing but tits and ass.
  • Buried Alive: After John Jaspers refuses to aid the villain's plans, he has Jaspers captured and buried alive in an open grave.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: M just can't seem to go without reminding everyone that he's the bad guy and that he "thrives on chaos". Adding to that, he's introduced watching frickin' war footage like it's perfectly normal television programming, and he openly admits to Jaspers that he'll regret his deal with him someday.
    M: (on the Homunculus) Isn't it obscenely beautiful?
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: M has to receive regular injections to keep his physical/host body alive. Late in the film, Claire exploits this, persuading one of M's lackey's to sabotage the injections so that it kills him. Temporarily, at least.
  • Dark Mistress: Good lord, where to begin with M's mistress Claire? She tries to seduce basically anyone in sight and is very clearly a sexual sadist (she proudly calls herself a whore), even torturing the female lead with electroshocks. Or as one reviewer described her, "Slutula, Princess Of The Night".
  • Depraved Bisexual:
    • Claire, M's Dark Mistress who willingly goes along with his scheme to destroy the world, hits on every man she sees, slits a guy's throat during sex, and engages Jade in some nonconsensual BDSM.
    • M himself, a powerful demon who is having an affair with Claire and demands John Jaspers' head to fornicate with.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: In an attempt to release John Jaspers from his pact with M, Jade offers up the soul of her unborn child, which M accepts, making him vulnerable to John's attacks. The kicker? Jade no longer has a uterus due to the aftermath of being raped in her youth. Though M himself claims he can work around that.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: John Jaspers manages to destroy Mephistopheles after he is released from his contract, but he then dies in Jade's arms as the only thing keeping him alive were his hellgiven powers.
  • Disposable Woman: John Jaspers' first girlfriend is only seen in the same scene where she is violently murdered by a group of thugs to give him a reason to angst before making a deal with the devil so he can go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: M's small inner circle is racially diverse and also includes a little person.
  • Evil Stole My Faith: After artist John Jaspers' girlfriend is murdered by a group of criminals, he becomes a suicidal nihilist. He is then approached by M, who remarks that selling his soul shouldn't mean anything for someone who believes in nothing anyway.
  • Expy: The title character himself is a mish-mash of parts from just about every comic character who was considered "edgy" during the time the comic was released.
  • Fanservice: There is loads and loads of sex and nudity throughout. However, there's plenty of Fan Disservice, too.
  • Faustian Rebellion: This is the premise of the movie, in which the Faustian character John Jaspers uses his powers to become a superhero, and, in typical b-movie violence, takes on the hordes of Hell. Though to his credit Mephistopheles (known here as "M") is at least smart enough to make it impossible for Jaspers to harm him directly until he releases him from his contract.
  • Finger-Twitching Revival: After Claire tries to have her master "M" killed to take his place, the first thing indicating that he's Not Quite Dead are his fingers moving.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Jade falls in love with John after acting as his psychiatrist for a brief period. Overlaps with Rescue Romance, since he also saved her from the bad guys before they fall into each other's arms.
  • Genre Blind: Lt. Margolies, an honest cop who's been investigating The Hand (a syndicate responsible for satanic sacrifices), just walks straight into their headquarters after he sees his corrupt boss go there for a meeting with M. He probably didn't think that M was really the devil himself, but even leaving that aside it was an incredibly stupid move to just introduce himself and walk into a crime syndicate's base of operations with no real plan or back-up whatsoever. Sure enough, he gets captured and brainwashed by the bad guys after spying on them for a bit.
  • Ghostapo: We're shown a framed photograph in Mephistopheles' office where he's seen shaking hands with Adolf Hitler just in case the viewer might still be confused that he's supposed to be evil.
  • Hell on Earth: "M"'s plan is to bring about about Hell on Earth. Who would have thought?
  • Heroic BSoD: John Jaspers loses his demonic superhero form and goes into catatonia when he sees his love interest under the mind control of the villain.
  • The Hero Dies: John Jaspers dies in the process of defeating the Devil, which required nullifying the contract that kept him alive.
  • Historical Rapsheet: M has a framed photograph displayed on his desk in his office where he's shown buddying up with Adolf Hitler, and another implying that he was behind the accident that killed Princess Diana.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Not only is M destroyed as a result of a Faustian Rebellion, but initially it was fool-proof: as part of their contract, John Jaspers couldn't harm him. It's only because of M's greed to claim the soul of Jade's child as well that he relinquishes the original agreement and removes the leash he had on Jaspers.
  • Hollywood Satanism: The Hand. Orgies, human sacrifices, wishing for the death of all humanity, led by the Devil himself, it's all there.
  • Horrifying Hero: John Jaspers' superhero form, in true Faustian Rebellion style, is a giant winged demon with Wolverine Claws. You would be forgiven for mistaking the character featured on the cover for the villain.
  • Human Sacrifice: Most of "M"'s followers sacrifice themselves in the orgy/ritual to summon the Homunculus.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The homunculus-creating ritual takes place on Walpurgis Night.
  • I Am the Noun: As he's about to be killed in a satanic summoning ritual, Lt. Margolies shouts "All my life I've wanted to know the truth... now I AM the truth!"
  • Large Ham: Jaspers almost outdoes Nicolas Cage in his scenery-chewing.
  • Lighter and Softer: The comic series it's based on is ultra-violent, extremely gory, and pornographic. All this is toned down considerably in favor of more of a B-Movie tone, with casual gore and a few softcore Fanservice scenes.
  • Little People Are Surreal: Mephistopheles' entourage includes a random dwarf.
  • Louis Cyphre: The villain that the protagonist sells his soul to in exchange for the power of revenge is a white-haired man known simply as "M", an alias for Mephistopheles.
  • Mephistopheles: Mephistopheles is the Big Bad, using the alias "M" as a pseudonym. M is behind an international conspiracy to further Hell's goals, spreading corruption and death and tempting mortals into a Deal with the Devil.
  • Minion Manipulated into Villainy: John Jaspers is motivated to make his Deal with the Devil with M after his girlfriend is violently and pointlessly murdered by a group of criminals. However, these criminals were working on M's orders in the first place, as his Evil Plan required a man overcome by despair to agree to his offer of demonic powers and become M's instrument of death.
  • Morality Pet: Jade just barely keeps Jaspers from going off the deep end.
  • Mystical Pregnancy: At the end Jade makes a deal with M for "the soul of her unborn child" in exchange for him releasing his contract on her love interest Jaspers' soul. Then she points out that it's a meaningless concession anyway since she can't bear children as a result of her being raped in her youth. He just retorts that he works miracles.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Apparently M finds the Homunculus to be "obscenely beautiful".
  • Offing the Mouth: M kills the corrupt police commissioner he's allied with for getting far too uppity about M's failure to control Faustian superhero John Jaspers by eating him alive.
  • One-Letter Name: The main bad guy is known only as "M", though it's short for Mephistopheles.
  • Orifice Invasion: During the ritual to summon the Homunculus, M pulls an albino snake out of his mistress' abdomen before forcing it down the throat of an honest cop that he brainwashed to follow him.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: The homunculus is one in name only. Far from being a miniature humanoid created through alchemy, instead it's an enormous, serpentine Beast of the Apocalypse whose summoning will herald the end of the world.
  • Out with a Bang: A mook who escaped the hero's clutches reports what he has seen to Claire, who proceeds to mount him before slitting his throat in mid-coitus.
  • Parental Incest: It turns out that "M" had possessed Jade's father in the past to molest her as a child, in order to indoctrinate her so "M" could later impregnate her as an adult with his demonic spawn. She can only recall traumatic flashes of a faceless man having his way with her.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: M is annoyed when his Dark Mistress Claire slits the throat of one of his goons before the guy could give a complete report on his previous run-in with the supposedly dead hero. While M is a Bad Boss himself, he's not Stupid Evil.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Rape as Backstory: Jade was raped when she was only 11. She is still plagued by flashes of a faceless man breaking into her room at night. This is later revealed to be her own father, whose body was possessed by the devil.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Faust is many things, but subtle isn't one of them.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: John Jaspers makes a Deal with the Devil for demonic superpowers so he can track down and kill the criminals who raped and murdered his girlfriend.
  • Sadist:
    • M, a powerful demon who's willing to torture, rape and murder anybody he has to to bring about the Apocalypse.
    • Claire, M's Dark Mistress, who willingly goes along with her lover's apocalyptic scheme, slits a guy's throat during sex, and tries to overthrow him.
  • See You in Hell: A literal example when Jaspers tells M that they'll meet again when M sends him to Hell. M gives a typical retort.
  • The Starscream: Claire tries to kill her demon master M and take control of his organization The Hand by convincing his doctor to sabotage the routine injections that M needs to sustain his human body. He recovers soon enough, and is none too pleased.
  • Summoning Ritual: A rather grandiose one is performed near the end by the Satanists to summon an apocalyptic demon serpent, involving human sacrifice, an orgy, and shoving a snake down someone's throat.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Claire, the devil's right hand and psychosexual sadist, claims that all women fulfill one of two roles: victim or whore. Female Misogynist doesn't begin to describe her.
  • To Hell and Back: After Jaspers is Buried Alive, he briefly finds himself in hell being attacked by a burning skeleton. He destroys it and races back to the land of the living.
  • Transformation Exhilaration: Used and subverted; in one scene, M uses his powers to make Claire's breasts grow, a process that she clearly finds incredibly pleasurable... up until she collapses under the weight of her now-gigantic bosom. Her enjoyment soon turns to horror as her backside expands to ludicrous proportions, her limbs wither into stumps, and she melts into a giant mass of literal T&A - until M finally restores her to normal.
  • Villain Respect: In the climax Mephistopheles, with his entire cult wiped out and his plans to summon the Homunculus ruined, acknowledges the Faustian superhero main character to be the best student he ever had.
  • Wolverine Claws: As part of his demonic superhero form, John Jaspers has huge blades attached to his hands.
  • World of Ham: Just about every major character gets their chance to take a big chomp out of the scenery.
  • You Taste Delicious: A female on female example when the Bad Girl Dark Mistress licks the Good Girl Love Interest during a BDSM-themed torture session.