Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Exorcism aka Exorcismo (1975)
Midnight Video | Review by Dan Taylor

Leila hasn't been the same since her boyfriend came back from Africa and introduced her to Satanic rites involving undulating nubiles, blood-filled chalices, demon statues, hippie freaks and the crazy strains of bad acid rock. When the car she's driving crashes and she tries to twist off the head of her Harry Nillson-esque boyfriend, everybody starts to think that maybe Leila is wired a little wrong.

Brother John wants Richard to keep his distance from Leila and even visits an old family friend (Paul Naschy), a reverend who collects odd and bizarre artifacts and books: "It's my greatest love," he says, "collecting anything that's unusual."

It isn't long before John learns not to be such a buttinski and gets his head twisted around like a 50-cent top before he gets stuffed in a poolhouse closet. Which was something I didn't see coming.

A tough cop investigating the murder – and some subsequent head-twistings – isn't sure that Naschy's priest isn't responsible for the murders. He's athletic-looking and collects weird books, so that makes him an obvious suspect, right?

Or is it the creepy-looking, bathing-suit fondling, nude-photo-snapping chauffer who looks like a buff Alister Crowley?

Unfortunately, EXORCISM takes its sweet old time getting to more naked Satantic rites – featuring more guitar and some big ol' Eurobush – as well as what we've all tuned in for, The Exorcism Scene.

Naschy suggests that he wrote EXORCISM before the more famous EXORCIST, but that's a tough claim to swallow after seeing the final fifteen minutes where Naschy works his anti-Satan mojo on the possessed Leila and fights off a vicious German Shepherd (played by "Gero").

A fun, zany take on exorcism flicks where just about every guy has some sort of 70s facial hair.

 


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