Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Abby (1974, William Girdler)

William Girdler made some entertaining 1970s movies, and Abby was definitely one of those. I really liked this movie and am very amused at how it willfully ripped off both The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby. It was the 1970s so of course someone decided to make a blaxploitation horror movie centered around demonic possession. Too bad Warner Brothers suppressed this movie in different ways-I watched a subpar print of it via YouTube. Years later The Man is still keeping people down, I guess, and copyright law is wielded decades later to suppress cinema. Lame.

Carol Speed is great in the title role, swerving from being a nice lady to being possessed and out of control. William H. Marshall is the bishop who shows up to perform an exorcism and save her soul, aided by Terry Carter and Austin Stoker. Although certain parts don’t quite work, this is a pretty good movie in it’s own right and has some cool scenes.

I guess I found out what Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood was making fun of with the evil demonic girlfriend scene. I wonder if maybe this movie inspired Def By Temptation in some ways, and it probably did. Criterion should snap this up, release it and give Warner the finger by doing so. It would be the righteous thing to do.

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Scream Blacula, Scream (1973, Bob Kelljan)

While not as good as the first film, Scream Blacula Scream is still enjoyable and decent enough for a sequel. The awesome William H. Marshall returns as the title character, and Pam Grier is a fine addition to the series as the Voodoo queen who Blacula enlists to lift his vampire curse. There are a few good creepy moments, yet the first movie was better in that department. I did laugh at two muggers trying to rob Blacula, as that ends very poorly for them.

However stretches of the film do not work, and perhaps this was rushed out too quckily in an attempt to build off the first film’s success. Too bad there is a limited number of horror films that have been made featuring African American actors and other people of color in the past, although a lot of modern films have seen an effort to feature more diversity. That perhaps can be partly attributed to the Blacula films.

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