Everything Has it's Price

A film, based on a comic book by David Quinn and Tim Vigil that is loosely based on the original Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The film, directed by Brian Yuzna, was produced in South America for apparently an extremely low budget. The largest actor in the film is Jeffrey Combs, who does his usual bang-up job of being a quirky nerd. He is probably the only entertaining thing about this movie, as the solid acting that made him a B-movie legend was the best of cast.

The thing that makes this incredibly horrible film hard for me to swallow is that I loved Quinn and Vigil’s comic book. It was a prime example of erotica meets horror. Every issue was full of scenes of either women with huge breasts getting screwed by giant demons, or Faust would be disemboweling someone for about three or four pages. Faust was the ultimate anti-hero. It was very juvenile, and since my friends and I were a ripe age of fifteen when we first spotted it, we thought it was the best thing we’d ever seen.

There was John Jaspers, Faust, who was driven by revenge into selling his soul to M, the devil, for the power to get revenge over the death of a lost love. He went crazy after being given this power, and was prone to erratic killing sprees. M was using John as a tool in his plan to gain power through the “rite of red giving”. The rite was a seemingly endless orgy that evoked some sort of primal energy, and at the climax of the story M’s acolytes moved in and killed most of the participants, releasing this energy. M’s partner and concubine, Claire, was a whore who he used to control many different characters. She was the catalyst in the rite, and eventually she decided to double cross M and try and steal this power for herself. Jade De’Camp, another main character, was a psychiatrist who while trying to help John deal with his inner demons (no pun intended) fell in love with her patient, and was therefore drawn into this seedy and satanic world. Tim Vigil’s artwork on this series is truly amazing, his main influences were clearly such EC Comics legends Berni Wrightson and Jeffery Jones. The writing was pretty good too. While visceral and tormenting in it’s dialogue at times it really remained focused on the concept and storyline, and paced it rather well. The only real problem with this comic was in its production, that its schedule was erratic. Faust would sometimes come out three or four times a year, then at times over a year would pass before an issue would come out. Regardless, my friends and I remained loyal to the book, and we eagerly awaited each issue.

Near the completion of this original story, I believe that there’s been a number of spin off stories by Quinn and Vigil since, we began to hear rumors of a movie being made. We heard that Bruce Campbell has been cast as the smirking demon title character, and we all rejoiced. We would hear about scripts floating through hands in Hollywood, and how the film would likely have an X or NC-17 rating because of all the gore and the sexual nature of the story that seemed to embedded in the heart of it to let go of. We foamed at the mouth when we heard about it, and we would debate for hours of the implications such a film would have on both the movie and comics industry. Eventually the rumors died down, and we forgot that such a film was in the works. We abandoned the idea as something that was “indeed cool, but would never come out. They’d never allow it.”

A few months ago Templeton and I were walking through the local rental store looking for that evening’s entertainment. I was walking down the DVD section of this tiny store when something jumped out at me. Faust: Love of the Damned. The cover showed a demon character shrouded in darkness, and a person squeezed into an alley corner trying to escape something. I quickly picked the case up, and after seeing that David Quinn had actually written the screenplay I begged Tempie to let me take it home. She agreed, begrudgingly, and off we went to watch a film that was a thing of fantasy from my childhood.

While the main story points hold true to the comic, and that’s about the only good thing I can say about this film. It’s painfully obvious that the movie was made in South America not because of their lower standard of censorship, but because they had next to no budget for the project. Faust’s entire costume was obviously foam rubber, and looked about as menacing as Bozo the clown. Scratch that. At least Bozo could instill queasy feelings when he put his hands all over the little children on his show. Faust was merely laughable. The cinematography was amatueristic, and while I thought since Brian Yuzna has directed such H.P. Lovecraft cult hits as Necronomicon and Bride of Re-Animator the mix of camp and horror in Faust would work great it didn’t. Even the end of the film, the climactic final showdown between Jaspers and M was depressing in its ability to deliver the big payoff.

This film is a let down for everyone. If you are a fan of Rebel Studios books don’t rent the film. If you’re a fan of B-movie horror films don’t rent it either. There is nothing, from the casting and acting to the all-hardcore musical score, endearing about this movie. Faust should have never left the pages of comics, and the minds of my friends and I. They’ve not seen it, as I quickly reported the disastrous news to as many of my friends as I could get a hold of, and hopefully they never will. Yucky Faust… Bad Trimark!

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