Faust: Love of the Damned is a dirty little comic, and one that most self-respecting human beings would avoid if they had taste (or at least hide under the duvet, only to read in the solitude of night). The series is an odyssey of sex, sleaze, Satanism and hyper violence, and at times it’s quite off-putting, repulsive and awkward, because there’s only so much sex you can read about in a comic book before you start to feel weird (especially when you don’t get any yourself).
As a young adolescent in the year 2000, I wasn’t well acquainted with my erotic horror. My tastes were just starting to blossom beyond the Goosebumps and Shivers phase of my childhood, but high school was about to corrupt me in the best of ways. One day, my friend’s older brother loaned me 2 VHS tapes: the first was Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness, which introduced me to the world of Evil Dead, and essentially shaped my tastes. The second was the topic of this piece, and my introduction to Brian Yuzna – Faust: Love of the Damned.
Imagine me back then: a pimple faced loser, about to hit my pubic prime, but still innocent enough not to have ever imagined a Satanic cult having a blood orgy. Heck, I hadn’t even seen a decapitated head or dismembered limb in a film. I wasn’t even that accustomed to boobs in movies either, let alone seeing a pair of grow to an astronomical size, then start to melt away and crackle like eggs in a frying pan. Then I watched Faust: Love of the Damned, and it had all of that and more – I was smitten, and forever warped. This would be my gateway to horror B movies, and later on, to horror comics I love to this day, as a fully bearded grown up man child.
Much like the comic counterpart, Brian Yuzna’s film adaptation is all sex, violence and Satanic nonsense. However, there’s just something much more enjoyable about onscreen sex, violence and Satanic nonsense; real life boobs, cheap practical F/X and a bunch of terrible actors posing as cult members is more acceptable perverted smut. Throw in a late 90’s nu-metal soundtrack and you have a winner, especially when you hear Machine Head’s, “The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears’’ accompany a massacre, where a demon of vengeance jumps and hops around chopping baddies to bits with his Wolverine claws.
As for the story, we get bare minimum, but it’s enough to validate the gory romp and anarchy that ensues for the entirety of the film. It’s a take on the old Faustian legend where a man sells his soul to the Devil. In this case, the man is Jaspar (played by Mark Frost, whose performance is hammier than a gammon steak), and he sells his soul to the demonic M (portrayed by the devilish Andrew Divoff) to avenge the murder of his girlfriend, at the hands of some thugs with ties to the occult. However, as you know, it’s never that simple with occult crazies and demons, so Faust gets more than he bargained for. More killing rampages ensue, and so on.
Faust: Love of the Damned was beleaguered from the get go. Following some political mumbo jumbo behind the scenes, and negative reviews before it was even complete (Yuzna was forced to screen an unfinished version of the movie to politicians, studio execs and critics prior to release), it didn’t exactly create any positive buzz or enter the world with a fair opportunity to prove itself. The end product is hardly a masterpiece – it’s as trashy as the come actually -but it does have its charms, and some inventive practical FX considering its limited budget.
Overall, Faust: Love of the Damned is a B movie popcorn flick that isn’t particularly good, but it’s a lot better than it’s given credit for. If you like your flicks gory, cheesy and tasteless, you’ll have a ball with it. It’ll always hold a special place in my heart for shaping me as a person, and it’s a movie I can revisit often and still enjoy. It’s also a great introduction to softcore porn with poorly dubbed Spanish accents.
The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_