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Doesn’t pay to deal with the Devil

At least two films coming out in the next year illustrate that you just can’t win when you enter into business with the Devil or his ilk. First, there are the more subtle deals that don’t pay off. Nestled in MoviesOnline’s in-depth look at the updated remake of The Omen (a movie this blog has been following) is this paragraph:
"These are complex people, real people," adds [Director] John Moore. "By making the characters more accessible, the audience must consider, ‘If a man this strong and relatable can fall, then it could happen to anyone.’" Early in the story, Robert makes a decision, purely out of love for his wife, which proves to be ruinous. John Moore says: "The film asks the questions: What would you do if you truly loved somebody? What would you do to make them happy? And what Thorn does – protect his wife from the devastation of a child lost at birth – is seemingly benign. People adopt children; it happens all the time. But from this ‘innocent’ lie and his attempts to do some good, that evil is able to come into his life and into the world. "It’s a tragedy on an intimate scale, in how it affects his family," Moore continues. "On a global level, Robert has opened a doorway to evil because he has, without realizing it, shaken hands with the devil."
(By the way, lest you think this Omen is your common B-rated flick, remember that Julia Stiles and Mia Farrow are among the talent cast.)

Then there are more the straightforward deals, like the one Johnny Blaze makes in Ghost Rider, a comic-book-gone-big-screen (and this blog likes comic-book movies) whose plot ComingSoon presents this way:
In order to save his dying father, young stunt cyclist Johnny Blaze sells his soul to Mephistopheles and sadly parts from the pure-hearted Roxanne Simpson, the love of his life. Years later, Johnny's path crosses again with Roxanne, now a go-getting reporter, and also with Mephistopheles, who offers to release Johnny's soul if Johnny becomes the fabled, fiery Ghost Rider, a supernatural agent of vengeance and justice. Mephistopheles charges Johnny with defeating the despicable Blackheart, Mephistopheles' nemesis and son, who plans to displace his father and create a new hell even more terrible than the old one.”
And just how exactly does the Ghost Rider deal justice? Well, according one of the summaries on IMDB, he can “force you to re-live tenfold all the sins you have perpetuated in your life . . . if there are too many sins, you'll burn up and incinerate.” Ack. You can see the trailer for that one at on Apple (thanks for the heads up, Shane). Like The Omen, Ghost Rider isn’t your typical B-flick, either—Nic Cage is Johnny Blaze and it boasts among its cast Peter Fonda and Sam Elliot.

The Omen is set for release on June 6 and Ghost Rider, originally scheduled for August, is making its debut in February 2007. Don’t think I’ll make it to the theater for either one (when you need to pay for sitters, you become a bit more choosy about the movies for which you pay), but they’ll make my NetFlix queue.

(Images: The Omen 20th Century Fox; Ghost Rider Sony Pictures)