14 November 2013

Project Terrible: "ABBY"

Alex (Mondo Bizarro) made a baffling choice by giving me this excellent 70s gem as final movie of this round. What is wrong, Alec? Next time, you better give me some serious crap ;-)


USA, 1974
Director: William Girdler


Seriously, who needs "The Exorcist" when you can have "Abby"? Trashmeister William Girdler's ("Grizzly", "The Manitou") blaxploitation version of William Friedkin's overrated cult classic is a fabulously entertaining piece of 70s trash and undoubtedly the best of all Exorcist ripoffs - though also the rarest since the film's distributor American International Pictures was sued by Warner Bros. (guess why?) and so they had to pull it from theaters. And because of uncertain propriety of distribution rights, it got never released on VHS.
First official DVD release: 2006!

Aside from "The Exorcist III", I'm not a big fan of exorcism-themed horror films, especially because they're all basically the same (possessed girl in a room, levitating, vomiting etc.) and mostly feel like religious propaganda. Gladly, "Abby" is different. There's not much church / priest nonsense going on, and religious symbols are kept to a minimum.

Here, we get to see young girl Abby getting possessed by the sexual African demon Eshu, turning her into ball of energy who's going downtown to seduce and fuck men in hearses, beating and throwing people around the room, talking obscene stuff with a demonic but also groovy voice. She goes completely over the top, laughs, screams, jumps around, and it's all pretty hilarious, but at the same time, it's surprisingly pretty uncanny because possessed Abby looks freaking creepy, especially when she's drooling or when she's baring her teeth.

The acting is terrific, most notably William "Blacula" Marshall as exorcist, Juanita Moore as chicken-eating momma, Austin Stoker as detective, and of course Carol Speed who's just awesome as Abby. There's lots of cool and funky music, very good photography and a few very decent special effects. Highlights: the scene where Abby gets possessed in her shower, the scene where Abby cuts herself, the whole sex-in-a-hearse sequence ("Oh, Jesus!" - "Do you have to be so damn religious about everything?") and the ridiculously amazing
Exorcism-in-a-Disco finale!

"Abby" is a true gem and definitely one of the coolest exorcism flicks
I've ever seen.

1 comment:

  1. I have not seen it - but I have a real fondness for Girdler's movies. Need to see it!


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