The latest poll from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reports that only 56% of all people actually believe the devil exists. Be that as it may, that hasn’t stopped Satan (or at least someone using one of his nomenclatures) from popping up in the movies 975 times (and counting), which probably makes Ol’ Scratch the most filmed character in movie history. With that many credits to his name, it’s likely most people have seen at least a few onscreen portrayals of the devil. Some of the more noted ones to take a shot at the role include Jack Nicholson in The Witches of Eastwick, Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate, and Robert De Niro in Angel Heart. But it’s not just Oscar winners in big budget productions who’ve taken the time to examine the character of history’s greatest arch-fiend. B-Movies are also full of interesting takes on Lucifer, ones which illustrate aspects of his character as defined by the Bible.
Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)
One of the oldest portrayals of Satan on the big screen is also one of the most classic, obviously inspiring the look of many cinematic Satans to follow. Director Benjamin Christensen himself suited up in order to offer a vision epitomizing the creature Revelation 12:9 describes as “the huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world.”
The Prophecy (1995)
Before he was wowing the ladies in The Lord of the Rings movies, Viggo Mortensen was trying to destroy their souls in this classic cult film. Viggo obviously must have taken the time to read 1 Peter 5:8 where it explains our “opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour,” because he does his fair share of both in this flick.
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)
John 8:44 tells us the devil “was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him.” Few celluloid Satans personify this better than Billy Zane’s Collector. Sure, he’ll promise you whatever you want, but don’t fall for it, it’s just a ruse to feed you to some zombies.