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An artist, John Jaspers sells his soul to the mysterious "M" in order to get revenge on the people who killed his girlfriend. Soon, he realizes everything has a price, and he is transformed into a horned demon with a passion for killing. He learns that M plans to release the Homunculus, a giant Lizard-like monster onto the earth, opening the gate to hell. Now, Jaspers must stop M before he can let the apocalypse begin... Written by
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"Faust: Love of the Damned" is a fun and gory action film with a few slight problems.
Following a tense hostage scenario, Police Lt. Dan Margolies, (Jeffrey Combs) finds that John Jaspers, (Mark Frost) is the only survivor, apparently the one responsible for a mass slaughter. When Jade de Camp, (Isabel Brook) arrives and takes the case over to the Feds, and while investigating him, he begins to experience the memories of what happened to him, including meeting the mysterious M, (Andrew Divoff) who gives him a newfound sense of power by turning him into an immortal being and sets about on a path of vengeance, ripping apart those who have wronged him in the past. When he chooses to disobey M's orders and give up the lifestyle, he starts a war against him, with Lt. Margolies and Jade trying to find out why. As they finally get the clues necessary for the real reason why he has been left, they team up to stop his nefarious plans to take over the whole world.
The Good News: This is a lot of fun. The effects are the main thing to be enjoyed in this. Faust's makeup and the various mayhem that ensues as our demon fighter gets busy with his wrist knives are clearly the main focus, and they do not disappoint at all. The costume itself isn't terrible. The facial makeup during the two stage transformation of Faust is excellent, and combined with his wise-cracking and frankly insane dialog delivery, brings the character to life. The rest of the costume is acceptable, as it's a rubber red "Batman"-like suit, sports "Wolverine" rip-off claws and owns a "Spawn"-like cape. Those claws are it's most striking feature and provide lots of the gore. Several have their arms sliced off, the claws pop out of almost every body orifice imaginable, several victims are burned alive, eyeballs are popped out and there's even some minor scenes that are over-the-top, including some decapitations, a couple of stabbings and a slit throat coming out incredibly gory. Not to mention the fact that there's one scene where snakes burst out of people's chests which is quite inventive and gives it a really brutal tone. There's a scene definitely worth mentioning that has to be seen to be believed. As part of a punishment, a character has her breasts and buttocks enlarged to ridiculous proportions before being melted down to a lumpy mass. She is then somehow reborn from the remaining fleshy pulp in a scene that is beyond bizarre, and is one of the best scenes in the film. The over-the-top aspects also appeal to it's sense of grandeur and scale. There's plenty of big action scenes in here that would feel right at home in a more traditional fantasy film, including a hallucination while being buried alive that is quite impressive, and several showdowns during the vengeance moments are nicely action-packed. The final encounter, held during a Satanic Black Mass, is suitably enthralling with a gigantic demon, a massive orgy, a massive amount of bloodletting and much more inside a really stand-out scene that really makes the movie. As a final trump card, it's sex and sleaze are quite sexual, including sexualized electro torture, lesbian paddle whacking in stocks, the aforementioned orgy one character performing fellation on a giant snake. It's out-there and quite sexual, and make this a really over-the-top, sleazy entertainment piece.
The Bad News: This does have a few problems with it. The first problem is the convoluted screenplay. The first problem is that the story is told in a semi-disjointed fashion, with much of the key information presented in flashback. This leaves us watching characters in the early going and wondering just who they are or how they figure into the plot. Then, there's the feeling that story-wise, they tried to cram in everything but the kitchen sink. Characters seem to make random changes throughout. One starts out for at least half the film as quite sympathetic, then suddenly makes a random change to become one of the slavish acolytes. Another is able to sell their soul but then is just able to stand up and reclaim it later on, while more importantly Faust wavers between being a bad guy mass murderer and a sympathetic avenging hero without clear distinction. The biggest plausibility gap is where, after selling his soul to M, is for no particular reason suddenly able reclaim it and affect a complete resurrection from the dead. There's a stunning lack of how and why he is able to do such a thing. It tends to be that selling a soul is something that should have a total and utter finality of choice to it and it should be irreversible, which is completely lost here and doesn't make any sense at all. Even less confusing is the lack of passion to the romance. When you consider that the heroine is someone they have come back from the grave because he loves her, the failure to invest any type of passion in the relationship amounts to an almost complete indifference to the tone of the film. Even more confusing is the sense of how they come together, as every time they meet, he's either killed or about to kill someone. It's really unbelievable, and really captures what the film's flaws are.
The Final Verdict: An extremely gory and sleazy action film that's a lot of fun if only confusing, this one is a really entertaining movie. It's mostly for the fans of the comic, who will love it, or fans of the previous films, and all those that find a lot of enjoyment in it's sleazy appeals are encouraged to check this out.
Rated R: Extreme Graphic Violence, Nudity, Graphic Language and several sex scenes
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