Bestriding the many visual deceits and narratives to be found in early cinema was the singular figure of Satan, the Devil incarnate. From Goethe’s Faust to Dante’s graphic renderings of the Inferno, classic art and literature were the well whence sprang the first cinematic depictions of the Devil, his deeds and his dwelling-place. These feverish imaginings led to more elaborate and complex films which vividly explored the terrors of the fallen angel’s relentless war against humanity.
From Georges Méliès’ diabolic trick-film "Le Manoir Du Diable", shot in 1896, to such mysterious silent works as "Witchcraft Through The Ages", "Faust" and "Birth Of The Anti-Christ", and beyond to the burgeoning sound era, SATANIC SHADOWS documents all of the key filmic invocations of Satan, his victims and his worshippers unleashed in the first four decades of commercial cinema.
SATANIC SHADOWS shows how narratives of sin, temptation and damnation were central to the roots of cinema’s horror and phantasy genres, and how the Devil’s dark, horned figure overshadowed all others in the race to astonish and terrify the spectator.
With a wide array of more than 100 illuminating production photographs – many assembled from global film archives and seldom, if ever, previously published – this comprehensive illustrated filmography references over 250 films, and also includes a full index of titles.