Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Curse of the Demon by BryanBaugh Curse of the Demon by BryanBaugh
ABOUT THE MOVIE:

Here’s a really entertaining old horror movie that modern horror fans seem to have forgotten about. Jacques Tourneur, who had already directed two of the most iconic films of the 1940’s (“Cat People” and “Out of the Past”) made this excellent adaptation of the classic story “Casting the Runes” by M.R. James. Niall MacGinnis is great as the demon-summoning cult leader Karswell, a performance obviously inspired by Aleister Crowley. The movie is very atmospheric with some really surprising scares and the story moves along at a good, steady pace.

Late in his career, when people started taking Tourneur seriously as an artist, he claimed that he was embarrassed by the big, furry, bulldog-faced demon-monster in this movie, that he only intended to suggest a demonic presence and never wanted to actually show a literal monster at all. He liked to say that the inclusion of the monster was forced upon him by his producer, who thought a horror movie needed to have a monster – and that all shots of the demon were filmed in post-production and edited into Tourneur’s intended final cut, after the fact.

…But the great film historian William K. Everson has called B.S. on this.
In his 1974 book, “Classics of the Horror Film”, Everson points out that at the time of the film’s release, Tourneur did interviews in which he seemed proud of his monster, and that if you examine the placement of the monster effects shots, and the way these scenes are cut together, you can clearly tell that the Demon could not have been an after thought, but must have been planned to be there from the start. Everson suggests that maybe the older Tourneur was just being a little dishonest in his efforts to be viewed as a ‘serious filmmaker’.

Well, who knows.
Personally, I LOVE this old monster! The Demon from “Curse of the Demon” is one of the wildest and woolliest looking monsters of the 1950’s. His drooling, ferocious face, with that big, mad-dog smile, is one of the film’s visual thrills and the movie would be less fun to watch if he was not there.

In England the film was released in a longer version titled “Night of the Demon” – which is actually the superior version. But I used the “Curse” title on this illustration because the film is better known by this title. A DVD has been released with both versions of the film.

On a final note, I probably should have put the hero Dana Andrews and the heroine Peggy Cummins in there, too… I really like them both in the movie… But what can I say… I was only in the mood to draw the Demon and Karswell.



-B
Add a Comment:
 
:iconchaoschamp:
chaoschamp Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2015
Love this movie, nice tribute to it.
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Good to hear that from a fellow fan!
Reply
:icongrassa48:
grassa48 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is one of my favorite horror movies and one of the most occultly accurate. In the version I saw first run in the theater, the monster didn't appear until the last scene, where he eats Karswell. Personally I prefer that version to the one in which the monster shows itself in the beginning. To each their own.
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for your comments... but there is a larger issue to address here...
You saw "Curse of the Demon" first run in the theater? That is great and I am insanely jealous of you.
I've always had the feeling that I was born about 2 or 3 decades too late.
Reply
:icongrassa48:
grassa48 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, well... I saw the Korean and Vietnamese wars, Dr. Wertham and McCarthy "first run" too. The fifties and sixties weren't all sweetness and light, despite what some ex hippies and beatniks try to tell you.
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Far be it from me to debate history with someone who lived through it!
But I was just thinking of the entertainments of the era.

And don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the era I was born and raised in. The 70's was a sweet decade to be a kid, and the 80's was a super cool, totally radical decade to be a teenager!

But I sometimes think, if I'd been born in the early 20's, so that I could have been, say, 10 years old in the early 30's, then I could have grown up with the Universal monster movies coming out one by one. And that would also put me in my late 20's, early 30's with just the right timing to be a 1950's horror comic artist. The 60's might've been a little bit of a drag, but then I could have comfortably settled into drawing horror stuff for Warren Magazines or doing paperback book cover illustrations in the 70's, and 80's. That sounds nice. Haha.

Yeah I know there would have been a Great Depression and a few pesky wars and political assassinations mixed in there, but whatever. Not to be dismissive, but I'm just saying, I have never paid as much attention to reality as to art & imagination, anyway. 

Haha.
Reply
:iconardashir:
ardashir Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014
Great art and a glorious tribute to what it probably the best demon-conjuring sorcerer and his monster in any movie ever made.

And how about the subtle way Karswell was characterized? No cackling villain here, but a man who loved his mother and as frightened of his own followers and demon as any outsider. Even more so, because he knew exactly what it was capable of.
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
YES! You summed up the appeal of this film well. In fact you are making me want to sit down and watch it again.

Oh and thanks for your kind words. Glad you like my drawing!
Reply
:icononeders63:
oneders63 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014
Today is Niall MacGinnis' birthday. He would have been 101 years old. Love your rendering of Karswell and the Demon!
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Interesting! I didn't know that.
But thanks for commenting!
Reply
:iconjapender61:
japender61 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
Great work! I really appreciate your tribute to a great horror movie that I feel is way underrated. The atmosphere of the film kept you on edge the whole time, and while the Demon was awesome (gave me nightmares as a kid), the fact that you didn't see it at first was terrifying. Wonderful movie, and great tribute. Thank you.
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for appreciating my artwork of a very unappreciated film!!
Reply
:icondoctor3uk:
doctor3uk Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014
Strunning.
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thnak you!
Reply
:iconmobstrez:
mobstrez Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013
Superb!  One of the best movies of its time and one of few b&w movies I can think of where I was glad that they didn't show the monster a lot
Reply
:iconmonstermyth23:
monstermyth23 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013
Love this movie! Though, for some reason, I prefer the movie's UK title, "Night of the Demon"
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
That IS a good title.
Reply
:iconkaiju-brawler911:
Kaiju-Brawler911 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013
Curse of the Demon! Love that movie.

This is one of my favorite cinematic demons.
Reply
:iconbronxboy53:
bronxboy53 Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Man.. you are riffing on all my old favorites and I'm digging it... good work!
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconlongpaw:
Longpaw Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013
Love this movie and your artwork! It was only after seeing "Curse of the Demon" that I realized where the snippet "It's in the trees...It's coming!" came from in the song Hounds of Love by Kate Bush. :D
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for commenting on my work!
Reply
:icongreglakowske:
GregLakowske Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
nice picture,great likeness
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:icontofutiles:
tofutiles Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Love the demon design in that movie, but Karswell deserves some mention for that dope beard.
Reply
:iconhawkheart29:
Hawkheart29 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I loved the movie.....mostly 'cause my uncle is scared sh*tless by the demon and considering how much he picked on my dad when they were kids I can't help but feel some sense of vengence in seeing him scared.
Reply
:iconlegendysonicfan:
LegendySonicFan Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Hobbyist
That thing reminded me of a Djinn
Reply
:iconbrianthomasx:
BrianThomasX Featured By Owner May 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Truly a great film. A fine illustration. If only the kids could accept glorious black and white horror nowadays.

BTX
Reply
:iconjlfletch:
jlfletch Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
Amazing artwork - love the workd of M.R. James and the movie.
Ring/Ringu has nothing on this in my humble opinion.
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much.
Reply
:iconmonkeybob64:
MonkeyBob64 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012
Oh Wow! My favourite movie-and what an awesome tribute!
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconsmitebringer:
smitebringer Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012
nice they don't make movies like this anymore I think I enjoy the old movies than some of todays
Reply
:iconebriah:
ebriah Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2012
this is brilliant, i just orderd my copy off ebay
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Ha, cool!!
Reply
:iconsxgodzilla:
SXGodzilla Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Remember seeing this a few years back, was a pleasant surprise and an enjoyable film. The demon was awesome.

Also had a very sort of Lovecraftian feel to it at times.
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Well, Lovecraft was inspired by M.R. James, who wrote the original story "Casting the Runes", which this movie was based on. So that makes sense.
Reply
:iconsxgodzilla:
SXGodzilla Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
*makes a circle in the air* it's all connected. :D
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Indeed!
Reply
:iconsxgodzilla:
SXGodzilla Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
right-o!
Reply
:iconstrangewingz:
Strangewingz Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There are tons of these books on ebay right now, btw...
Reply
:iconstrangewingz:
Strangewingz Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, I should have asked before, but is this art for sale?
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I tend to have a hard time letting go of my art - but I have sold some pieces here and there in the past. I am very happy with this one and wouldn't take less than $120.00 for it. But if you are seriously interested, contact me in a private message (called "Notes" on Deviant Art) and make me an offer.
Reply
:iconstrangewingz:
Strangewingz Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have an old book called "A Pictorial History of Horror Movies" by Denis Gifford that I bought as a young boy and on page 24 it has a small full body picture of the demon, in case you need more reference (especially the legs) for future sketches...
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Ha! You know what, your recommendation sounded familiar, so I looked on my shelf and guess what, I already own that Denis Gifford book!! haha. You will be hard-pressed to find a book about horror movies published in the 1970's and 1980's that I don't already have in my collection!

But I must say, it's been a while since I took that one down and the photo you refer to on page 24 is so small I must have forgotten or overlooked it. Oh well!

If you like 1970s hardcover books on horror movies, full of glorious black and white photos (and if you don't already have this one) then I must urge you to get a copy of "Classics of the Horror Film" by William K. Everson (referred to above in my descriptive text on this illustration). The photos are great but Everson's writing is even better. He is full of knowledge and educated opinions on the films he reviews. Plus he is old enough to remember actually going to the movies in the 1920's. So his insights on many classic films are based on the experience of having seen them at the theater, in their original run. Highly recommended.
Reply
:iconhedorah1971:
Hedorah1971 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
AWESOMESAUCE!!!
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!!
Reply
:iconmjbivouac:
MJBivouac Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012
And I almost forgot! In the film "The Burbs" Tom Hanks is seen reading a book on black magic and the author is Julian Carswell.
Reply
:iconmjbivouac:
MJBivouac Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012
One of my favorite horror films! And did you know the film is called "NIGHT OF THE DEMON" in England?
Reply
:iconbryanbaugh:
BryanBaugh Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Did you read the text I wrote to go along with this drawing?
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
March 21, 2012
Image Size
536 KB
Resolution
753×975
Submitted with
Sta.sh
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
5,257
Favourites
214 (who?)
Comments
123
Downloads
245
×