Around the World in 31 Days: Belgium

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The Devil’s Nightmare (1971) is credited as an Italian/Belgian production. Italy has a legendary horror movie tradition so I’ll give this one to Belgium.
Now, I don’t know what if anything The Devil’s Nightmare had to say about the Belgian national character in 1971 (definitely some post-war Nazi anxiety there), but it was an absolute delight. At times I could have sworn I was watching a precursor to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, what with tourists trapped in a spooky castle and creepy pale skulkers a la Richard O’Brien’s Riff Raff (Daniel Emilfork as the devil himself.)

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Five Modern Exorcism Films to Watch

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source: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498519090/Possessed-Women-Haunted-States-Cultural-Tensions-in-Exorcism-Cinema

October 13, 2017 – When I first stumbled onto the blog It’s Playing, But With Research, I was jealous. Jealous! With envy as green as the pea soup streaming out of Regan’s mouth! Academics CarrieLynn D. Reinhard and Christopher J. Olson not only studied exorcism cinema for a living, but they compiled a comprehensive list movies featuring an exorcism (the list is continually revised).

What?! Someone has watched more exorcism cinema than me?? Impossible – I wasn’t having it! So I went on a bender thanks to their list, and we began a correspondence that ended with me having a credit on their book Possessed Women, Haunted States. What a lovely honor. I urge you to read the book (which analyzes the tropes of exorcism cinema and puts them in sociological context), check out their blog and listen to their podcast, Pop Culture Lens. Continue reading

Six Trash Movies From the Satanic Panic Era!

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PamDawberMuffinOctober 12, 2017 – As I’ve chronicled on a prior version of this blog, satanic panic is de rigeur in recent horror cinema. From the possession and exorcism genre revived by The Exorcism of Emily Rose to retro satanic cult thrillers like House of the Devil. From the franchising of Ed & Lorraine Warren’s infamous devil-busting “true stories” to the conflation of witchcraft with devil-worship (Lords of Salem, The VVitch). From flirtations with affirming the 1980s moral panic of Satanic Ritual Abuse (HBO’s True Detective) to challenging it (Regression).

My suspicion is that current filmmakers are as fascinated as I am with it, some of them having studied its history and some of them having lived it. But I also suspect it’s failing to strike any basic nerve or chord with today’s audiences, except perhaps in the more insane conspiracy theory circles out there.

So I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight six made for TV movies made straight out of the Satanic Panic era! I chose these primarily because they earnestly traffic in the lurid prurient headlines of the times with zero irony and Lifetime TV Production panache. Some have very high profile actors involved, which makes them simultaneously awful and delightful. Continue reading

Am I Perfection? (The Chillerpop Exorcist Retrospective, Part 5)

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Perhaps not, but you’re fascinating and worthy of the Exorcist legacy. Continue reading

The Chillerpop Exorcist Retrospective

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It’s been a rather possessed August.  When personal misery overwhelms, a supernatural/horror obsession is something of an anodyne.  Don’t ask me why.

I’ve been reviewing criticism of ‘The Exorcist’ and its sequels, reading interview after interview with William Peter Blatty, Linda Blair, William Friedkin and others involved in the most amazing and frightening film ever made.

And you know what?  Many fine minds are weighing in – from this excellent podcast, to this academic who, to my delight, is providing analysis and criticism on the recent wave of exorcism themed films.  I wrote a lot about this recent wave of films when this blog was on Open Salon.

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