Around the World in 31 Days: Mexico

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Movie poster.

Feliz Dia de los Muertos! I hope this day gives you much wonder, and that you remember – or commune with the spirits of – your loved ones beyond the veil.

Since I began my correspondence with the folks at It’s Playing, Just With Research, I’ve been obsessive about chasing down every last possession/exorcism movie out there. That’s how the terrific Mexican horror film El Habitante (The Inhabitant), came to my attention. I had a deep fear as I began this movie: that it would be as rote and derivative as 99.6% of all modern exorcism films since the release of The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

I was happily wrong. Continue reading

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Around the World in 31 Days: India

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Official movie poster. Source: IMDb

It was a circuitous streaming road that finally led me to Pizza for my India pick. At first I clicked on a movie called Hiss because I thought I needed a killer cobra goddess in my life. I probably still do, but in the first five minutes the movie’s bad-looking production values and dubious acting turned me off. Since India is a country with a storied and exceptional film industry, I knew I could do better.

I then started Pizza, but decision freeze caused me to jump elsewhere – 706, Lupt, Mythily Veendum Varunnu, Savita Damodar Paranjpe, 706 – until I finally decided to return and commit to Pizza due to its charming conceit. And I am glad that I did.

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Pink Pazuzus: The Chillerpop Exorcist Restrospective, Part 4

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“The possessed person looked and acted just line Linda Blair – in ‘Repossessed'” – Ain’t It Cool News

We’re on the day of the premiere of The Exorcist TV series on Fox (I’m frustrated that I can’t currently access it).  And as I figure out how to view it, I continue my retrospective of The Exorcistseries with what I consider to be the true shame of the franchise- Exorcist: The Beginning.

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Wonderfull Lives: The Chillerpop Exorcist Retrospective, Part 3

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Plot summary: “Lt. Kinderman and Father Dyer cheer each other up on the anniversary of the death of their mutual friend, Father Damien Karras, by going to see “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the local theater in Georgetown, near Washington D.C. But there’s no cheering Kinderman while a particularly cruel and gruesome serial killer is at large. His murders, which involve torture, decapitation and the desecration of religious icons, is bad enough; but they also resemble those of the Gemini Killer, who has been dead for fifteen years. (SOURCE: IMDB.COM andWritten by J. Spurlin)

 

In this Washington Post article, William Peter Blatty, director of “Exorcist III and author of the novel it’s based on, “Legion,” makes a few salient claims, one of which is that he “hates horror movies.”

That’s all well and good, but he directed two of the most curdling, shocking horror movie scenes I have ever seen in my life.

In the film’s opening scene , a Catholic confessional is used to stage a nightmarish murder.  One where you hear a croaking, teasing infantile voice chuckle as its owner is about to commit something unspeakable.  You only see the violent aftermath later, but that image pales in comparison to what comes before, where you see nothing but are left unnerved beyond belief. Continue reading

Pazuzu, Kokumo, Ooo I Wanna Take You: The Chillerpop Exorcist Retrospective, Part 2

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“Once the wings have brushed you, is there no hope?”

I love Exorcist II: The Heretic.

There, I said it. It’s liberating. I have voiced the most shameful secret any horror fan could harbor. I and others like me can now march in the streets with our locust flags flying high, in pride.

I adore this loony, insane, beautiful mess. And a mess it is. Universally reviled, considered one of the biggest turkeys in cinema, Heretic holds up for me as an unintentional comedy and as a weird, original, meta-philosophical bit of art house cinema. It is the perfect example of the 1970’s excesses of visionary egomaniacs with relative carte blanche to make vanity masterpieces, or disasters.

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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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