“What is light without dark? What are you without me? I am a part of you all. You can never defeat me. We are brothers eternal!” -The Lord of Darkness
Happy Monday! So this post is arriving less than a week after my last post. I don’t know if I’ll maintain that momentum moving forward, but I’m enjoying this “Drawn to the Bad Guy” concept that I have going, so we’ll see how this goes.
Ridley Scott conceived of and directed the cult classic Legend, starring Tom Cruise as Jack, Mia Sara as Lili, and Tim Curry (entirely unrecognizable) as the Lord of Darkness. Scott wanted to tell a Brother’s Grimm style fairytale, but crafting a new story to work seamlessly with the medium of film rather than trying to twist an ancient tale to fit haphazardly into a medium that it wasn’t designed for. The result was a modern classic of light versus dark, innocence vs corruption, pitting Jack–a simple forest dweller–against the personification of evil himself, the Lord of Darkness. As with many cult classics, this movie was not a commercial success during its initial theatrical release, though it soon became a huge underground hit. I remember seeing it numerous times as a child on cable channels such as WGN and TBS before I ever saw the full, uncut version on DVD.
4. Lord of Darkness
Number four on my list of favorite movie villains is the Lord of Darkness. No stranger to cult classics, Tim Curry rose to prominence portraying the character Dr. Frank-N-Furter in another cult classic, The Rocky Horror Show (incidentally, I recently read that Tim Curry will be returning to The Rocky Horror Show in the fall of 2016, playing the criminologist narrator). I remember watching a documentary about the making of Legend, and as I recall Tim Curry wore so much makeup and prosthetics for the role of Lord of Darkness, there’s not a single bit of “Tim Curry” shown in the film. As part of the costume, Mr. Curry had to walk on stilts and wear a massive set of horns atop his head; when fully attired he was an impressive 12-feet-tall from the base of his cloven hooves to the tips of his blackened horns (this info is from memory–if anyone wants to correct me in the comments, feel free). And “impressive” is the only word truly befitting the prosthetics. Even by today’s standards they’re incredible–and the movie was released in 1985.
In the movie, the Lord of Darkness was more than an imposing figure. Yes, he was evil, yes he wanted to kill the last of the unicorns and absorb their power casting the world into eternal darkness. But nobody’s perfect. The Lord of Darkness is still a flawed character, and flawed characters can be made likable through their flaws. In the course of his hunt for the unicorns, his minions kidnap the fair maiden Lily (inspiring Jack to rescue her), and while in his “care” he clearly starts to have feelings for her (although he does try to force those feelings to be returned via some magical seduction and a little black dress). Ridley Scott could have easily selected an actor who already possessed the size and musculature required of the lead villain, but Tim Curry is the one who brought charm to the character, making even the epitome of evil a likable force.
OK, enough chit-chat. You came here for my digital illustration, so here you be.
I’m already working on number three on my list, so keep an eye out for that. And as I’ve mentioned previously, if you’re a fan of vampire fiction, stay tuned this spring for my big reveal!