Satanism on the Big Screen

If you’ve read our recent posts on The Da Vinci Code, New Moon, and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, you’re more than likely feeling a little overwhelmed by how topical our movie criticism is; you’re probably thinking, ‘These cats are on the pulse‘.

Well, imagine what happened when we went to see a film at the cinema.

Having not been outside since The Robot, I made a special case of going to what, as you too might take from the trailer, looked like a Planet Terror-style work of genius (it wasn’t). Nicolas Cage busts out of Hell (Hell) to rescue his babygirl granddaughter from Billy Burke’s evangelical satanist cult leader.

But the real Planet Terror stuff came before the film even started.

It seems that during the period I was wearing my cinematic chastity belt I’ve missed a few cultural turns, and all new releases are now satanic in theme.

Keeping in mind that these were pitched as trailers ‘related to the feature you are about to see’, there really is no other explanation. Certainly not the one billed as fact: An entire Rowing Club travels to the alps (perchance to best enter the snowman) and makes a sub-That Rocked movie for… wait, I know this…


*   *   *

Then there was this.

Clearly this is Mad Men stuff. Ridiculous character with gun to head endears viewer to company via alignment over heinous nature of advertising. Verdict: Not even trying.

Now, I actually quite like o2, considering phone companies could, with no real resistance, join the moral elite of estate agents, councils, satanic cults, banks… I mean, I don’t love them, like I love chocolate or Bradley Cooper or anything, but I’ve got no real problem with what they do.

*   *   *

At least it couldn’t get any worse.


Oh, shit! It’s 1996!

Wait, no it’s not, it’s more satanism-in-action — through the devil’s work, Bradley Cooper’s likeness has been used to make a topical film about — wait — no —

Once again, I don’t know who this film is for.

OK, so I’m a banker and a member of the seduction community. I want nothing more than to jet off to Ibiza and court seizures on my long weekends. I like drugs, I wear suits, I know what the stock market is…

I take a magic pill that gives me powers. Not literally; that’d be stupid. Then it turns out that Robert De Niro, reprising his role in Angel Heart, has me by the balls of my Newton’s cradle.

"Mmm... and it tasthes juth like candy..."

The problem with this trailer is that it courts the very same market whose fall it seems to map.

So we’re left with a bitter paracetamol taste in our mouth, and a choice to make: Do we support B-Coo in all that he does, in the hope that there’s some Abrams-style endgame of which we’re not immediately aware? Or do we trust our initial instinct and scratch our eyes out with our fingers?

A quick consultation of the third section of the Malleus Maleficarum reminds us of the following:

You don’t have to be Milo Rambaldi to see this one’s gonna be giant red balls.

*   *   *

One last thing…

The Orange ad.

CGI birds from upcoming movie Rio use an Orange phone to video call.

Remember those awesome Orange ads where celebrities would pitch ideas to the Orange film commitee?

CGI birds from upcoming movie Rio use an Orange phone to video call.

Now I feel even worse for slating o2’s above re-imagining of The Pit and the Pendulum.

CGI birds from upcoming movie Rio use an Orange phone to video call.

It’s awkward, it’s messy, and yes, they’re using their CGI-animal-voices to try to sell things to adults. I can’t actually find any evidence of this atrocity online, so I can only hope that they’re since trying to systematically erase all evidence of this thing from — wait, that’s my doorbell ringing — existence.

So it seems the whole idea of advertising as an art (albeit a dark one) is a historical myth — or at least something that is no longer possible, or no longer in effect. Our choice is between two companies, who simply need to reiterate their presence in order to contend. Advertising is put forward as something that we’ve become increasingly inoculated to, and there’s only so many degrees of reflexivity communicable in this arms race; both ads, indeed, are keen to convey their own dysmorphia.

Never mind, at least Rio is out soon.






I forgive you, Bradley.

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