Antichrist is about to possess your local cinema.
We didn't really enjoy the film, but it did get us thinking about who would win in the ultimate fantasy fist fight between the originators of good and evil, Lucifer and Christ.
So we've decided it's time for the ultimate religious throw-down, as we pit movie Jesuses Vs movie Satans to decide, once and for all, who's best.
The build-up has lasted thousands of years. Each contender has millions of fans. There’s everything to lose, and the winner takes it all. And when we say all, we mean all.
So, gentlemen, take your corners. Seconds out, round one... Fight!
Ralph Fiennes, The Miracle Maker (2000)
Who knew Jesus could be this adorable?
He’s got the voice of Ralph Fiennes and the acting capacity of a clay figure of Ralph Fiennes. But – look at his little face.
The Miracle Maker’s stop-motion Jesus could melt even the coldest of hearts. (He could also melt.)
Facial Expressions: 1
Weird Androgynous Confusing Crush Score: 0
Squished into playdough by…
Rosalinda Celentano, Passion of the Christ (2004)
One of the scariest Satans ever to slink onto the screen, Celentano is an ashen, ghostly spectre which haunts Jesus at his darkest moments.
She also has a scary baby.
To be honest, it’s not going to be a very fair fight against TheMiracle Maker's wobbly borrower-Jesus. Poor little feller.
Facial Expressions: 8
Weird Androgynous Confusing Crush score: 10
It takes Jesus quite a long time to get anywhere, because his animator has to move his legs a tiny fraction at a time. Otherwise it would be all jerky.
Satan glides in, and in one fell swoop, he/she’s set a serpent on the animator, and trod on Jesus.
Job done. Fight over.
Jesus 0 - Satan 1
Next: Keitel Vs Sydow
Harvey Keitel, Little Nicky (2000)
Keitel’s Satan is Nicky (Adam Sandler)’s dad, and what a dad, too. Who knew that Satan could be such a loving, caring father?
Satan does start to go downhill a bit when the Fire Gate – the entrance to Hell – is sealed and no new souls can get in. He gets all weak and starts decaying. This may lower his fighting stats.
Embarrassing Dad Factor: 7
Has the socks bored off him by…
Max Von Sydow, The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
The theatrical trailer boasts, “it may run for 40 years!” – and with an arse-aching four hour, twenty minutes original running time, The [Longest] Story Ever Told really does feel like it might just.
Von Sydow’s Jesus is great – but it’s a bit same-y. Peaceful expression, soft voice, the usual. You’d think they’d be able to soup it up a bit. Give him a motorbike or something. Or a bayonet.
Embarrassing Dad Factor: 9 (if he was a dad, that is. His hair is revolting.)
Satan is in bed, in a rather advanced state of decomposition. He manages to poke Jesus in the eye with a horn, provoking Jesus to embark upon a cover-to-cover reading of the Bible.
He barely makes it past Genesis – Satan dies of boredom.
Jesus 1 - Satan 1
Next: Neeley Vs Mortenson
Ted Neeley, Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
Is it Sienna Miller? Is it Elle Macpherson? No, silly, it’s Jesus! Check out those silky locks of spun gold, that Saint-Tropez tan and elegant neckline.
Neeley’s air-punching Jesus definitely offers a refreshing slant on the usual soppy wet blankets that the religious genre serves up. Though he still seems a bit delicate. Less featherweight, more downyfluffweight.
Meets his maker after a run-in with…
Viggo Mortenson, The Prophecy (1995)
Purists might argue that Mortenson played the part of Lucifer, not Satan. Apparently, there’s a difference, to which we say: potato/potato. (That phrase doesn’t really work in writing.)
Never mind spray-tans and GHDs: Mortenson roars, stalks and talks in a crazy hissing voice. He’s creepy, but so goshdarn sexy that you want to be on his side.
As Lucifer/Satan advances, Jesus attempts to halt him with The Power of Song.
It works, but the effect wears off after a while.
Halfway through a stirring rendition of "Gethsemane" Jesus reaches up for a Westlife air-snatch. This exposes an underarm soft-spot. The opportunist Lucifer/Satan leaps head-first into Jesus and eats his heart right out of his body.
Jesus 1 - Satan 2
Next: Hurley Vs Defoe
Elizabeth Hurley, Bedazzled (2000)
Whilst actress Celentano brought a haunting, non-gender-specific Satan to the screen, actress(ish) Hurley is so undeniably female that, after five minutes’ of watching Bedazzled, you’ll have to wipe the condensation off your screen and open a window.
Although Hurley’s Satan is easy on the eye, she’s utterly insufferable. It’s not long before you'll stop fantasising about doing rude things to her and start fantasising about doing painful things to her.
Fabulous Rating: 10
Is sent straight back to Hell by…
Willem Dafoe, The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
He doesn’t look quite as fabulous, does he?
Scorsese’s film controversially featured a Jesus who was prone to all the temptations humans are likely to succumb to (including lust. Oo-er).
Although this gives him a bit of an edge, he doesn’t actually appear to do anything ‘untoward’. He just imagines it. Which is disappointing.
Fabulous Rating: 0
Satan, in an effort to tempt Jesus, dons a slinky red catsuit and pole-dances around his crucifix.
Jesus imagines yielding to the temptation, but very soon Satan’s annoying voice and shocking acting skills start to grind his gears. He nuts her in the face and mashes it up a bit with his crown of thorns.
He wins, because we like him more than her.
Jesus 2 - Satan 2
Next: Pacino Vs Sutherland
Al Pacino, The Devil's Advocate (1997)
John Milton the leader of a massive, hugely successful and morally corrupt law firm. He’s also Satan in a suit.
With fantastic lexical dexterity to prop up his talent for manipulation, Pacino’s Satan is smooth, charming and very persuasive.
If only he could persuade Keanu Reeves to go away.
Beard: 0 (although it’s probably for the best that he didn’t attempt a goatee)
Natty Get-Up: 9
Just A Lovely Man Score: 0
Sees the light after a confrontation with…
Donald Sutherland, Johnny Got His Gun (1971)
In Dalton Trumbo’s adaptation of his own anti-war novel, Donald Sutherland plays, quite possibly, one of the coolest Christs in cinematic history.
He’s gentle, but bold, and brings a calm, measured presence to the screen. Appearing in a vision, Jesus is philosophical and charismatic, handing out whiskey and doing some nifty card tricks.
He might not wear snappy suits, but you’ll want him to be your best friend.
Natty Get-Up: 3
Just A Lovely Man Score: 10. We want a cuddle.
SATAN (after a particularly long ramble) : … and that’s why you’re going to die.
JESUS: Chill out, man. Have a scotch.
SATAN: Oh, cheers.
The two play cards for a while. Satan is so bowled-over by Jesus’ loveliness that they start cuddling.
SATAN: Why were we fighting again?
JESUS: Violence knows no logic.
SATAN: I love you, Jesus.
Fight over. World Peace ensues. Score Draw.
Jesus 3 - Satan 3
Next: Parker Vs Caviezel
Trey Parker, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
You were waiting for this one, weren’t you?
We love South Park Satan. We love him so much that we can forgive all the naughty things he does. He doesn’t mean any harm – he’s just misunderstood.
We even feel sorry for him when Saddam treats him badly. Satan, he’s not worth it. You can do so much better.
Unfortunately, the brutal nature of Battle Royale doesn’t leave much room for niceness. Satan might be a bit too soft for this round.
’Ard as Nails Score: 2
Red Score: 10. He’s about 100% red.
Gets a sandal in the groin from…
James Caviezel, The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Dubbed by one critic as “The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre”, Mel Gibson’s film dedicates a lot of screen space to nails, thorns and butchered flesh. Poor old Jesus has a rotten time.
He must be jolly tough to endure all that torture. Although he’s not too hot on ‘attack’, and even worse at ‘defence’, he sure can take a good beating, so whoever he’s up against had better have a lot of stamina.
’Ard As Nails Score: 10
Red Score: 7. He’s about 70% red by the time he’s all tacked up to the cross.
The fight goes on for ages because neither side wants to attack.
Eventually, God gets fed up and intervenes, conjuring a huge gust of wind. This causes Jesus’ crucifix (with Jesus affixed thereon) to topple over and crush Satan.
As Satan dies, a single tear rolls down his cheek. Where it hits the ground, a tree grows, with rainbow-coloured leaves. Doves nest in its branches and children play in its boughs.
Reader, remember him.
Jesus 4 - Satan 3
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