Saturday, June 28, 2014

1977: Guilty Pleasures

Three quickies and an epic here.  Quite frankly, this entire post is merely an excuse for me to finally watch the last movie I'll be talking about here.

Charles Band and Christopher Lee make for an interesting combo in this somewhat offbeat flick about strange radio signals being linked to disasters, a convent run and populated by aliens and of course, the potential end of the planet.  It's a weird one and the f/x are endearingly cheap.  Lee is the best reason to watch this and I gotta say, it moves quite well considering other Band fare of the period.
Chuck Norris's first starring role is an agreeably cheesy b-grade martial arts/trucker film with Big Bad Chuck as a trucker who goes to a small town run by the obligatory corrupt official to rescue his younger brother.  It gets a little pretentious towards the end (the final fight is in slow motion for no real reason other than the director wanting to seem 'arty') but for the most part, this one is quite easy to sit through.

I've written so much about this, it almost seems redundant to do so again.  Let';s just say it's one of the most amazingly fun bad movies you will ever see as Richard Harris goes up against a huge killer whale in a re-working of Death Wish with the whale in the Charles Bronson role..

And here is the main event, folks.  The ultimate guilty pleasure of 1977 and maybe of all time.  In 1973, The Exorcist grabbed audiences by the throat and scared the piss out of them, rocking them to their very core (Dramatic, ain't I?).  In 1977, a sequel came out and... Well, the folks who saw it certainly were affected by it.  Laughing in the aisles certainly counts.

Exorcist II: The Heretic is one of the great Bad Movies.  Directed by John Boorman (who apparently didn't think much of the first one or horror in general), it is an amazingly ludicrous movie that posits that even after all the crap that went on in the last twenty minutes or so of the first movie, whatever was inside of Regan (Linda Blair) is still there.  The overall effect is not unlike paying a couple hundred to get your car working only for it to break down a few days later.

Just about everything in this movie is insufferably silly from the overdone hammy over and underacting by Richard Burton and Louise Fletcher (Burton plays a priest investigating the events of the film and Fletcher is Regan's shrink), to the notion that the Mesopotamian demon inside Regan was drafted by Satan to possess and off some legit decent near-saintly folks to the hilarious conclusion that sees both Burton and Linda Blair hamming it up so bad it defies comprehension.

Honestly, this one should really be on the worst of the year list but it's so hypnotically, wonderfully bad that it just entertains the hell out of me.  I'm not sure you will get more laughs out of the best horror/comedy than this supposed "serious" horror movie. Dear lord, what an experience!

It's a real treasure trove of hilarious delights from the revelation that the first exorcism Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) performed that nearly killed him (mentioned in the first film) probably did so in part because the site of the ritual was at the top of a huge mountain to the utterly bizarre James Earl Jones supporting part as the now grown scientist who was the aforementioned exorcism subject.  There is far too much to laugh at for me to adequately describe, it really has to seen for itself.

Coming soon: The Best of 1977

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.