Standing as Satan’s second in command is Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies. This leader of the underworld has great name recognition but they don’t have as much pop culture play as the reigning king of Hell, which means the depictions of Beelzebub in film, television, and literature are quite diverse. Many versions of Beelzebub paint him as a creature surrounded by flies, but there are also iterations of the character that ignore any historical context.
Beelzebub doesn’t get a lot of face time in the Bible, but their station as Lord of the Flies is gripping enough to keep people interested. This demon has wormed its way into movies, television, and even manga. Many of these Beelzebub depictions are downright creepy, but some of them are just weird and complex.
Lord of the Flies is the story of a group of young boys who are left alone on an island to fend for themselves. They quickly devolve into a tribe of heathens who are ruled by physical power. Beelzebub appears in the flesh when the quiet boy, Simon, speaks to a pig's head which has been mounted on a stake.
Beelzebub, literally the "Lord of the Flies," is believed to be the spirit of evil controlling everything on the island. This isn't to say that the boys are being led by something supernatural but rather that the narrative focuses on the pig as a metaphor for the natural instinct for sin.
In the film Summer of Sam, Beelzebub takes the form of a black dog that barges into David Berkowitz’s apartment and commands him to take lives. Writers got the idea for the character from letters written by the real David Berkowitz, or the "Son of Sam." Berkowitz was a serial slayer in New York in the '70s who described himself as "a little brat," a "monster," and "Beelzebub." He wrote to police:
I am the 'Son of Sam.' I am a little 'brat.' When Father Sam gets drunk, he gets mean. He beats his family. Sometimes he ties me up to the back of the house. Other times he locks me in the garage.
Behind our house, some rest. Mostly young... their blood drained - just bones now... I feel like an outsider. I am on a different wave length then (sic) everybody else... I am the 'monster' - 'Beelzebub' - The 'Chubby Behemouth' (sic).
In Isaac Asimov's Flies, Kendell Casey is a chemist who has become bitter with his life and a specific problem that he can't escape - he’s constantly being followed by flies. Everywhere he goes, flies zoom around him and worship him as their god. He's a reluctant Beelzebub and the subject of entertainment for his friends.
Readers never discover why or how Casey has become a thing of worship for the flies, but Asimov makes it clear that the chemist is a modern-day version of the demonic entity. The strange thing about this version of the character is that everyone except Casey seems to know that he's Beelzebub.
Beelzebub's Daughters is a short film from 1903 directed by Georges Méliès, an illusionist and director. He's most famous for A Trip to the Moon, but in this short, he told the story of three witches created from the fingertips of Beelzebub.
There's no surviving footage of this short that’s made it outside of a collector's archive, but descriptions of the film state that Beelzebub has the ability to bring young women to life via his magical hands. Once the women are created, they dance in a magical flame without burning.