It is a truth universally acknowledged that villains are often the hottest. There’s a reason we’re all horny for characters like Loki, Maleficent, and Kylo Ren. Power can be extremely seductive, especially if you have the cheekbones to match. However, sometimes a villain calls for a more grotesque design. The Uruk-hai, nearly every demon on Buffy, and the Daleks (seriously, take a look at them outside of their metal casing if you need a reminder) are all reminders that sometimes you just want your monsters to be a little less f***able.
This idea gets a little trickier when you get into the realm of demons and The Devil. While there are certainly some gross ones out there, the Devil is often portrayed as seductive (looking at you, Lucifer). One of the most popular iterations was Elizabeth Hurley as the Devil in Bedazzled. At the peak of Hurley’s fame, her turn as Satan has become one of the most iconic and readily remembered when thinking about female demons. Many female villains trade on their sex appeal because that’s the way the patriarchy has warped society, but sometimes it’s nice to see a piece of media buck the trend.
Hello, Good Omens. While David Tennant’s Crowley oozes sex appeal and worldly demeanor thanks to his fondness for and time spent among humanity, the average hell-dweller is profoundly foul. Wart-covered toads rest upon their heads, some sort of sludgey puss drips down their faces, and clouds of flies buzz around their rotting bodies. It’s disgusting, it’s distinctive, and frankly, it’s glorious.
The best part? The female presenting demons get the exact same look. While Good Omens’ otherworldly creatures are not restricted by human things like gender, demons like Beelzebub (Anna Maxwell Martin) and Dagon (Elizabeth Berrington), who are played by female actresses, are given the same vile design. As the demons cheer on the end of the world from their hellish domain, everyone, and I mean everyone, looks on the edge of disintegrating into a puddle of rot and bile.
The idea of letting women be ugly on camera shouldn’t be such an unheard of thing, but it is. Look at every hairless woman on a desert island or perfect smokey eye that somehow survives battle. Give me more crones! Give me more “ugly” women! While this may play into the complicated relationship between ugliness and evilness in media, which is admittedly, pretty messed up, it is nice to see the male and female actors getting the same treatment.
While we’re clearly big fans of thirst around here, sometimes the moment calls for something a bit more creative. Crowley and his sunglasses are there to set our loins aflame. Let Dagon’s goopy exterior remind us that hell is not for the faint of heart.