I wanted to like this movie. I tried to give myself over to its over-the-top cheese. I mean, I loved Brian Yuzna’s Bride of Re-Animator. I liked his Beyond Re-Animator. But alas, he couldn’t save this movie if it was a 37 year old man drowning in the kiddie pool. This film would actually be halfway decent if they took everything about Faust out of the movie. But as this is (quite unfortunately) the bulk of the movie, I guess it would leave us with a 30 minute short film starring only Jeffery Combs (not that that’s a bad thing). Mr. Combs as Detective ‘Hound-dog’ Margolis is the only bright spot in this movie. His acting is miles above the rest of the cast, and his character is at least entertaining until they screw him over in the end. But we’ll get to that.
I’ll sum up this movie. It’s about a man whose girlfriend, named Blue, gets killed by the mob so instead of committing suicide like he originally planned and should have done, he makes a deal with Mephistopheles (or M. as they call him). M. is played by Andrew Divoff who seems to be reprising his role as the Djinn from Wes Craven’s Wishmaster. And like any deal with the devil’s minion there is a catch. Most of the movie deals with Margolis trying to figure out the mystery of who The Order of the Hand is. It’s M. and his cronies who want to raise the mighty Homunculus during the ceremony of Red Giving. The other part of the movie is about Faust trying to screw this psychologist that he falls in love with for unknown reasons only days after his girlfriend is killed and he makes a pact to vow revenge on her killers. That last sentence doesn’t make any sense to me either.
Before I go any further I need to point out that this movie was filmed in Spain. Trying to pass itself off as America. All but 4 of the actors are actually English speaking. Everyone else is dubbed; and dubbed badly. This serves no purpose to the rest of the review, but I just hate how every movie has to be set in the US. Can’t Spain have crappy superheroes too?
The movie starts off with Margolis going to the scene of a bloody dinner party. He breaks the rules by going inside to investigate (isn’t investigating the main part of his job?) and finds a bunch of people murdered by a catatonic man with blades on his hands. The man is John Jaspers/Faust, or as I like to refer to him Ace Ventura portraying Richard the III. He is taken away to jail where he is put in a padded room where he draws on the walls with what I can only assume is feces because I don’t think he was able to procure a pen anywhere. Here we meet the love, invoked in the title. Psychologist Jade DeCamp comes to work with John, to try to cure him. With music therapy. Because Vivaldi’s Four Seasons could have saved Jeffery Dahmer from eating people. I’m not sure what college she got a degree at because in her selection of music she brings heavy metal, and the same heavy metal that was playing while John’s girlfriend was killed. What a coincidence! Psychologists listen to a lot of Iced Earth and Cannibal Corpse. This music sends Jaspers into a mentally retarded rage. This is where we get our first look at the toilet this movie so delightfully jumps into.
Now, I’m not a casting director, but if I was, I would take a long look at who I was casting to play the lead role, whether it’s a $100 million dollar blockbuster, or a community theater production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. For some reason, someone looked at actor (god, how I use that term loosely) Mark Frost and said “Hey, I really want to end my career and Mark Frost is my ticket to homeless town.” Perhaps Mr. Frost got hit by a bus on the way to the set and lost most of his higher functions because that is the only excuse for his representation of Faust/John Jaspers. Every time you see him as John Jaspers he’s got his eyes crossed or a look on his face like he is currently crapping his pants or has his balls in a vice grip. I thought at first he was doing this just as coming out of his catatonic state, but this continues throughout the entire movie. Any time the movie tries to bring some kind of seriousness, here comes googly-eyed magoo to fuck it up. How could someone not tell him that this was a poor choice or better yet fire his ass? Even in his love scene his got his eyes crossed. He also switches accents from a southern bell, to a British man, to a midget tough guy. He should change his name to Mark Overacting Frost. He plays each scene so over the top that he’s flying through the goddamn stratosphere. I had to check the DVD a couple times to make sure I hadn’t started watching the outtake reel instead of the actual movie. He makes this character so unsympathetic and so unlikeable that each second he’s on screen is like getting a very intense and thorough prostate exam. He’s also bi-polar because he goes from literally eating the heart of one of his enemies to telling M. that he won’t kill anyone ever again all within a span of 2 minutes. I guess he had a ‘change of heart’. Hardy har har. His performance is like two hours of someone dropping to their knees and shouting ‘NOOOOO’ to the heavens. Here’s a taste of what you’ll get with Mr. Frost’s ‘acting’. They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
And if you think he’s bad as John Jaspers, you’ll hate him even more as Faust. I don’t know if Faust is supposed to be a superhero, but I do know that he is extremely annoying. Before he is turned, M. goes on a speech about how he will be “the rage of the angels, the killer of dreams, unstoppable. Go forth and mutilate”, from what I was able to gather from the movie, Faust’s only powers are the ability to jump back and forth short distances, i.e. 5-6 feet, and to make embarrassing one-liners that don’t fit the tone of the movie. I guess angels hate one-liners as much as I do. I don’t count razor claws as ability. He does use them to cut off a lot of limbs thus invoking a phrase in a tone that makes you want to jam a letter opener into your ears ‘I make such a mess when I play’. Everything Faust says is obnoxious and his suit that comes onto his body like flesh looks ridiculous. He grows horns that, like most horns made of bone; jiggle around every time he moves. Sometimes his eyes glow red with an effect that looks like those motion activated jumping skeletons you see around Halloween. You can tell Faust is about to come into the scene because this awful thrash metal starts playing. And it’s usually the same exact song with powerful lyrics that go something like “1000 years ago, the demon seed was born. I like to sing about Satan, so girls won’t talk to me!”
For inexplicable reasons; Jade falls in love with Faust. Even though Margolis spends half the movie trying to help her and is obviously the better choice for her. I have no clue why she picks Faust, because anytime he’s around her he switches from her protector to a clown that says lines like, and I’m not making this up, “I’m the pornography that makes you hot”. In a scene Faust corners her and she says “Are you going to rape me?” and then for no reason , they end up making love in the most awkward scene full of open mouths trying to swallow noses. I don’t know about you but this is definitely not the pornography that makes me hot. Falling in love with a demon/grand mal seizure sufferer is the least of Jade’s problems. Immediately after they consummate their 2 day relationship, Jade reveals to Jaspers that she was raped as a child by someone she calls ‘the smooth man’ who looks like a giant piece of melted wax. This movie has more subplots than Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov; it also has more rubber demons prancing around.
While we are on the topic of Faust: Subplots of the Damned, I would be remiss not to mention the subplot of M.’s wife, Claudia. She’s played as the embodiment of lust I guess because she’s well endowed. She has sex with Faust and some other guy whose throat she slices while having sex with him, while M. watches through a 2-way mirror. What follows is a scene that is one of the weirdest things I’ve seen in a movie. M. wants to prove his dominance over her so he makes her boobs and her butt grow so huge and the rest of her body melts until she’s just a pile of goo and T&A. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be played for laughs but it is funny as hell. After this, Claudia is a little perturbed and hatches a plot to kill M. and take over his power and change her name to C.
It’s at this point in the movie that it switches not from just a bad movie but to kind of a sick movie. Margolis is able to infiltrate M.’s mansion. And as an injustice to the character they turn him to the dark side after he has just spent the last hour and a half being the one likable person in the movie who is trying to do right. He tricks Jade into coming to the mansion. Claudia manages to kill M. for about 10 minutes, enough time to dye her hair red and run to the local dominatrix shop for a wardrobe change. She gives the old Hellraiser spiel about ‘pain is pleasure’ and makes Jade confront the smooth man while electrocuting her in a cage. I now understand the angelic verse of Maya Angelou. It’s revealed that the smooth man was her father. Now you would think this would devastate Jade, but in this movie’s logic it turns her into a nymphomaniac who just giggles and moans. This is messed up on more than one level. But it gets worse. M. comes back to life and takes back his power just in time for the Ceremony of Red Giving.
So the Red Giving starts and like any satanic mass, it’s filled with people chanting fake Latin and having an orgy while stabbing themselves as a sacrifice to the all powerful Homunculus. M. takes a giant snake out of Claudia’s stomach, naturally, and then feeds it to a naked and mud-covered Margolis, all while Jade is dancing like a buffoon in the background. This serves the purpose to get use out of a fake head that was lying around the prop room. And the symbolism of M. putting his snake into a man’s mouth is not shown with subtle aplomb. Mr. Combs, you don’t deserve this. I wish just once in a movie depicting this kind of ritual, it would show one guy just surveying what’s going on, then getting up and leaving. Red Giving my ass. Finally, Faust wakes up from his post coital hibernation and shows up at the ceremony. Just in time to watch M. have his way with Jade, not before M. declaring that he’s got ‘something special for daddy’s little girl’. Ew, why did they feel the need to include this line? Scenes like this just make me want to take a long shower. So long story short, they do it, and then it’s time for the big reveal of Homunculus. And he does disappoint. Monky, as I call him, looks like a mix between a sandworm from Beetlejuice, Roger Corman’s Carnosaur, and a turd with arms. But to distinguish himself he has a pentagram on his forehead that shoots demonic lasers. What the fuck is that? Demonic lasers? Give me a break. Has Satan been spending too much time watching Battlestar Galactica? Faust fights the beast by jumping up and down swinging his feeble little baby arms at it and then finally defeating it by stabbing it in the pentagram laser portal. This movie spends so much time establishing that Monky will destroy the world. Then he shows up, shoots a couple of lasers and gets killed. If you have a weakness that is located right in the middle of your big stupid head you have about as much chance of conquering the world as this movie has of getting a sequel (which it desperately wants). Can we put a moratorium on summoning beasts from now on if they only serve the purpose to show up and then get killed without any apparent trouble? I only watched this movie 3 days ago, but already I can’t remember how it ends. I think Faust kills M. and Jade goes back to normal but I could be wrong. I can without any question of doubt guarantee you that the closing credits reprised that terrible Metal song.
So what is the point of F:LOTD? I guess that Love Conquers Lasers. This movie is not only bad, it’s boring. It’s better than any Uwe Boll movie I’ve seen and it does have the unintentional humor that at least makes it somewhat watchable. And then it also has a message. A message that rings true and loudly. In a world that has seen both joy and horror, the unequivocal highs and lows that spring from the depths of humanity, we can take comfort in the joy the message brings. That message is: FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THE WORLD, PLEASE DON’T HIRE MARK FROST EVER AGAIN. I would take a demonic laser to the face before I would watch anything with Mark Frost in it.