Faust, Love of the Damned

Faust, Love of the Damned

When news came through a while back that Brian Yuzna was setting up shop in Spain with his new Fantastic Factory film company fans of his work (myself included) were thrilled at what was ahead. The first film to be produced is the adaptation of Tim Vigil and David Quinn's sexy and violent comic book 'Faust'. As a fan of the book (hey, I still treasure my signed trading cards), I was ecstatic to say the least. Ominously though, when the film screened at the Dead by Dawn film festival reports came in that the film was not all we had hoped it to be...or was it?

With a Spanish base for film production, it seemed the right move would be to pick up Yuzna's new shocker on Spanish DVD, and a wiser move couldn't have been made - as the Region 2 Pal release from Filmax proves to be an excellent purchase! But first the film...

The story tells the tale of an artist John Jaspers (Mark Frost), who following a savage assault which led to the brutal death of his girlfriend, decides to take his own life. Whilst standing on a bridge ready to jump, he is approached by the leader of a satanic cult called simply 'M' who offers our luckless hero the opportunity to get revenge, but at a price...his soul! Believing he has nothing to live for anyway, Jaspers takes up the offer and becomes the demonic superbeing 'Faust'! Carnage ensues as the now deranged Faust goes on a bloody killing spree, with a police detective (fan fave Jeffrey Combs) and new love interest audio-psychiatrist (the lovely Isabel Brook) in tow seeking to uncover the truth of both Faust and the cult group M.

Violent, sexy, stylish and fun - 'Faust, Love of the Damned' is indeed a fine film moulded in the regulation Yuzna style, with many of his welcome traits on show. As well as being bloody and violent, there's a large element of sexual perversion and physical deformation as seen in the likes of 'Society' etc before. And this mixed in with the frenetic comic book stylee makes for great viewing but perhaps not for the mainstream. Superhero movie adaptations have always been a sore point with the film fan, unless of course their heroes are both clean cut and displayed in a big budget (and often dull) Hollywood manner. But fans of Yuzna's work and the original comic book shouldn't be disappointed with this adaptation as Yuzna's direction is very stylish, creator Quinn handled the screenplay and the pace moves along at high speed delivering lots of visual eye candy that should please both camps no end. Sure, it won't be deemed a classic (which ok it isn't) but for a debut production from a new independent company it should stand proud for what it is - a fun, violent and sexy comic book romp!

And how about this Spanish DVD release? Well, it's a cracker but not without it's (minor) faults. First off, the print used is a gorgeous anarmorphic widescreen print with several nice audio options including not only DTS and 5.1 mixes in various Spanish dialects but a good 5.1 English audio too. There is noticeably some fluctuation in the English audio levels near the start, but this soon settles evenly very early on so isn't a great problem. Curiously, the film is listed on the packaging as running for 101 minutes but the print itself only actually runs for around 97 minutes - whether or not this is simply an error rather than an edited print used only time will tell (when further versions are released onto the market). But the gore (and nudity) levels throughout are very high so a simple packaging error is (hopefully) the more likely candidate.

Another great reason for picking up this native Spanish release is the great extras included on the disc also, as there's a wild selection of stuff here that aren't even mentioned on the discs packaging making an even nicer surprise when the disc was loaded into my player. First off there's a full length commentary by Yuzna, which although he does seem at times a bit awkward in the narrators role he does discuss some very fascinating and informative things about the film and his new company. There's also the films trailer and a couple of TV spots, but annoyingly none of these have any audio (which is a pain). This audio (or lack of it) problem rears its ugly head again during a bonus segment shot on video camera behind the scenes of the films production. Thankfully the problem is gone for the selection of onscreen mini interviews with Yuzna, effects man Screaming Mad George (what a guy!) and the films leads, which while being too short are enjoyable also. There's also an excellent short reel of how they done all the brilliant effects work and a storyboard section too. And if all that wasn't enough there's a couple of music videos too (Fear Factory and Soulfly or Sowfly as the insert amusingly calls them!) that are actually very similar and play like (lovely) extended teaser trailers for the film.

As I said before, maybe not everyones cup of tea, but fans of Yuzna and off-kilter comic book action will enjoy this a lot and the Spanish disc looks to be the best way to enjoy the film. I loved it (more so on repeated viewing) and look forward to future Fantastic Factory productions - check it out!

Review by Alan Simpson

Directed by Brian Yuzna
Released by Filmax
Region '2' PAL
Ratio - Anarmorphic widescreen
Audio - 5.1 English, DTS 5.1 Spanish
Running time : approx 97 mins
Extras :
Loads! (see above)