Endora wrote:I think "the crimes are Corso's" because by his investigations he acted as a sort of catalyst, without whom they would not have happened just then. But I don't think he was the devil. However, I now think there is more significance in the scene where the girl smears blood down his face than I first thought...a baptism, perhaps? (And back to a previous question, remember the same scene more or less in Dead Man?)
Too true, Endora
~ Corso was the catalyst for the murders. However, I recall the scene (in either the movie or the book, I can't remember) after the Duchess has been killed in the fire and a cigarette is evidenced to be the cause...someone (Corso?) says, 'She didn't smoke,' and someone else replies, 'She did last night.' We assume the smoking killer wasn't Corso; that he was perhaps being set up to take the fall, but it could have actually been him. Anyway, I really rather like the idea of Corso being gradually possessed by the devil from within. (which would make that quip by The Girl - 'you have the answer within' - take on a new meaning) The idea of the unwitting guy slowing succumbing to demonic possession and acting unconsciously on Satan's behalf has such a nice Stephen King/Secret Window (not to mention Rosemary's Baby) ring to it. That way, the story isn't about Corso going through the process of embracing the devil; it's about the devil going through the process of embracing ('taking') Corso.
Of course, the theory doesn't exactly hold up under analytical scrutiny...but neither do the other theories we've looked at so far!