The Tenth Circle: IKEA

“In a rare and revealing interview with the Ulster Fry, the Devil has admitted that he has created a Tenth Circle of Hell – in the form of a Bank Holiday shopping trip to IKEA.

“The former Argos delivery driver told us that he’d been attempting some home improvements at his bachelor pad in the Ninth Circle district, when he stumbled upon the new form of torture. ‘I was doing up the bedroom when it occurred to me that I could do with some storage for my CD collection,’ he said, ‘so I thought I’d pop down to IKEA and pick something up. Say what you like about IKEA, but they do have an impressive range of storage solutions.’

“’When I got there, I ended up wandering around aimlessly for hours, and instead of just getting some CD shelving I soon found that I had a trolley full of shite I never wanted in the first place. That’s when it hit me – I could build an extension onto Hell where the truly evil could be condemned to an eternity looking for a non-existent item in IKEA on a Bank Holiday.’

“’As soon as I got home I put my evil minions to work, although it took ages as it came in a flat pack from Sweden and we lost the wee hexagonal yoke you need to put it together.’” [. . .]    —The Ulster Fry, August 31, 2015.

Read the full post and check out more from The Ulster Fry on their website.

Go To Hell! The Game

“Whoever thought that telling someone to ‘Go to Hell!’ would be a compliment? Gather your friends and family together for a devilish dash through the fiery pits of Dante’s Inferno! Compete with your loved ones to be the first to make your way through all seven deadly sins and go to Hell. It includes one gameboard, one die, four game pieces and 20 Hell Cards! Just don’t get sent to Heaven unless you have the Get Out of Heaven Free card. It’s a race to the bottom that’s so much fun, it’s sinful!”    —Archie McPhee, 2018.

You can buy Go To Hell! The Game on Archie McPhee’s website.

Contributed by Austin Wilkes, Florida State University, 2017

Devilman Lady Vol. 16 Chapter 7 – Demon Lord Dante

“Ryo Utsugi makes another appearance in one of Go Nagai’s works,’Devilman Lady‘. This time, he is the reincarnation of Dante Alighieri, Mao Dante. He can be found in Hell where Devilman Lady must combat him.” — Contributor Savannah Mikus

Check out the full chapter here. Devilman Lady Vol.16 was originally published by Kodansha on July 21st, 2000.

Click here for another post about Go Nagai’s 1971 manga Mao Dante.

Contributed by Savannah Mikus (FSU 2020)

Fantasia (1940)

“The last segment of the 1940 movie Fantasia features the devil Chernabog who awakes on Bald Mountain and is seen torturing restless souls and throwing them into a fiery volcano.  What I particularly love about that piece is that Chernabog is banished by the chorus of monks chanting Ave Maria as the journey into the nearby cathedral.”    -Samuel Gray

(Contributed by Samuel Gray, University of Mary Washington, ’18)

Homer Simpson’s Donut Hell

Hell-Ironic-Punishments-Division-Door-SimpsonsThe Simpsons’ “Treehouse of Horror IV” (S05E05): after losing his soul to the devil in a bargain over a donut, Homer is subjected to punishments in Hell’s “Ironic Punishments Division,” where the demon in charge of force-feeding him donuts is astonished at his capacity.

See a clip from the episode on YouTube.

See also the action figure released by MacFarlane Toys (pictured below).

Donut-Hell-Ironic-Punishment-Simpsons

Dante as guide in “Coco” (2017)

Miguel and Dante

 

[…] “Miguel, the 12-year-old protagonist of ‘Coco,’ embarks on such a quest. Along with his companion, a stray dog fittingly named Dante, he treks through the underworld while facing obstacles and bad omens that pop up constantly. (In Spanish ‘coco’ means ‘boogeyman,’ which is a nickname for the devil.) But since this is a children’s movie, the challenges bring laughter, which isn’t altogether alien to Mexico’s approach to death. To laugh at death in Mexico is to be courageous.” […]    –Ilan Stavans, The New York Times, December 11, 2017

Sympathy for the Devil: Satan, Sin, and the Underworld

Witkin, The Devil as TailorStanford University’s Cantor Arts Center is running an exhibit focused on the tradition of portraying Hell and the Devil in art, titled “Sympathy for the Devil: Satan, Sin, and the Underworld“. It explores the way the concept of the Devil has changed throughout the Western canon; we can think about how Dante’s silent Satan in frozen Hell fits into the story.

The exhibit’s description reads:

“The Cantor has Rodin’s famous masterwork the Gates of Hell. As Jackson Pollock’s important painting Lucifer comes to Stanford as part of the Anderson Collection, it is interesting to explore the visual history of the Devil and his realm. Also known as Satan, Lucifer, Mephistopheles, etc., the Devil and Hell itself are only briefly mentioned in the Bible; yet this source inspired artists.

“During the period from about 1500 to 1900, the Devil evolved from the bestial adversary of Christ to a rebellious, romantic hero or shrewd villain. In the 20th century this long tradition of graphic representation largely disappeared, as Hell came to be seen as an aspect of this world and its denizens as ‘other people.’ 

“Based upon the collections at Stanford and augmented by several loans, this exhibition traces the dominant Western tradition over approximately four centuries. A variety of prints, drawings, sculpture, and paintings— including works by Albrecht Dürer, Hendrick Goltzius, Jacques Callot, Gustav Doré, Max Beckmann, and Jerome Witkin—reveal how artists visualized Satan and his infernal realm and draw inspiration from religious sources and accounts by Homer, Dante, Virgil, and Milton.”

The exhibit runs from August 20th, 2014, until December 1st, 2014, and is open to the public.

Le Cabaret de L’Enfer: Turn-of-the-Century Paris Nightclub Modeled After Hell

Cabaret-L'Enfer-Paris-Theme-Bars“As a general rule, theme bars are embarrassing affairs. You have your corny waitstaff, your overly literal decor and a sense of forced performance that’s… annoying. Once in a blue moon though, there has been a theme bar so fucking cool you would sell your soul to get in. Tragically, you would have to strike some kind of deal with the devil to go to Le Cabaret de L’Enfer, since the Paris red light district nightclub opened around the turn of the last century and closed sometime during the middle of it. Very little information exists on L’Enfer, but the detail in the decor is absolutely gorgeous—almost Boschian detail of twisting human, animal and skeletal forms—couldn’t you just die?”    –Posted by Amber Frost on Dangerous Minds

Cabaret-L'Enfer-Paris-Theme-Bars-Interior

Futurama, “Hell is Other Robots” (1999)

Futurama

In the ninth episode of Season One of Matt Groening’s Futurama, the robot Bender is condemned to Hell after violating his contract with the Temple of Robotology.  In their search for Bender, his friends track his scent to the Inferno ride at Reckless Ted’s Funland.  Meanwhile, the Robot Devil leads Bender around the circles of Robot Hell in a song.  The Devil explains: “We know all your sins, Bender, and for each one we have prepared an agonizing and ironic punishment.”

Click here for more information about the episode.

Watch the video clip of the Robot Devil’s song here.

“The Devil Wears Crocs”

the-devil-wears-crocs“With modern presidencies, we have to watch the poignant tableau of such leaders realizing that they have squandered their chance for greatness even as they suffer the indignity of rejection by those who once sought their blessing.
These painful periods for W. and Bill Clinton, falling low after starting with such grand hopes, are recounted in two new books. . .
The pen-and-tell by Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer, ‘Speech-less,’ is being denounced by some former Bushies and Republican commentators as a ‘Devil Wears Prada’ betrayal. (Except, in this case, the Devil wears Crocs. Preparing to make a prime-time address explaining why the 2008 economic bailout wasn’t socialism–‘We got to make this understandable for the average cat,’ the president tells his speechwriters–W. pads around the White House in Crocs, an image that’s hard to get out of your head.)
‘The guy is a worm,’ Bill Bennett told Wolf Blitzer about Latimer, adding: ‘He needs to read his Dante. He probably hasn’t read The Inferno. The lowest circles of hell are for people who are disloyal in the way this guy is disloyal, and at the very lowest point Satan chews on their bodies.'” [. . .]    –Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, September 26, 2009