In Search of the *Real* FURY OF THE DEMON
Last week I related the saga of FURY OF THE DEMON. According to the extant lore, the film was the creation of one Victor Sicarius, a protégé of the brilliant “Father of the Cinema” George Melies. Sicarius was a practicing occultist and put a curse on his film. Anytime the movie has been shown, it drove audiences insane and caused them to attack each other. In reality, FURY OF THE DEMON probably never existed. This got me to thinking, though, which actual movies might have served as the inspiration for the fictional film? I would like to submit to the court two possibilities, two strong contenders.
Melies’ film THE MERRY FROLICS OF SATAN was released in 1906. HAXAN, or WITCHCRAFT THROUGH THE AGES, a Swedish/Danish film directed by Benjamin Christensen, came out in 1922. Both contain imagery that would have been construed as both wondrous and a little unsettling back in their day. It’s still wondrous and unsettling NOW, for that matter. Given that the world of silent films is largely a lost world today, with only a select few knowing a lot about it, it seems logical that people seeing short snippets of footage either from HAXAN or THE MERRY FROLICS OF SATAN might remember them, without remembering their titles, as goosebump-inducing. Thus when they hear about FURY OF THE DEMON, the “cursed” movie, they would say “Oh, yeah! I saw a bit of that movie one time. It WAS freaky! I could well believe it has a curse on it.” The curse those movies contain, however, is the curse of artistic genius, nothing more.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!