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3 items from 2010

Perhaps the greatest black film ever made?

23 December 2010 6:57 AM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Of course I’m talking about the 1974 The Exorcist rip-off and cult favorite Abby or as the poster tag line for the movie said: “Abby doesn’t need a man anymore. The Devil is her lover now!” O.K. so maybe I exaggerated…just a little. So it may not be one of the greatest black films ever made, but it’s sure as hell one of the most fun watching.

Written and directed by Louisville native William Girdler, (who went on to have a very busy career as a filmmaker during the 70′s directing several films including  the Jaws rip off Grizzly and the unbelievable and truly weird The Manitou which was released after his sudden death in a plane crash in 1978)  Abby with Carol Speed and Blacula himself William Marshall as the exorcist is about about a woman who like Linda Blair is possessed by the Devil. But »

- Sergio

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Short Horror Movie: Antivirgen 1: Chi Sei?

23 August 2010 6:00 AM, PDT | Underground Film Journal | See recent Underground Film Journal news »

The devil wants your mommy in Michael Frost‘s disturbing short horror movie Antivirgen 1: Chi Sei?, which reworks footage from two classic Italian Exorcist rip-offs from the 1970s and transforms them into exactly the kind of nightmare that you wished the originals actually were. Warning: This film is very Nsfw, unless of course you work for Fangoria or something.

In the ’70s and ’80s, Italian horror filmmakers where especially fond of taking original American horror movie concepts and beating them down into a bloody pulp. While Exorcist fever gripped all sorts of shlock directors, from blaxploitation trash like the late William Girdler‘s Abby to the crappy legitimate sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic, Italian maestros seemed to churn them out by the bucketful.

Chi Sei? was one of the more popular and notorious of the possession set, especially when it was released in the U.S. under the title Beyond the Door. »

- Mike Everleth

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Not Available on DVD: Abby

1 April 2010 9:54 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Director William Girdler.s 1974 film Abby was a clone of The Exorcist with an all-black cast starring William Marshall, fresh off his triumph as Blacula, in the Max Von Sydow role. Shot for a meager $200k, Abby was an urban hit, grossing four million dollars in its first month of release. Apparently the powers-that-be at Warner Brothers, who had produced The Exorcist, thought Abby.s plot was too similar to that of their cash cow so successfully sued Girdler and the films distributor, American International. Aip was ordered to destroy all of their theatrical prints, and the film has never officially been licensed for home viewing. The Exorcist was the top grossing film of 1973 and spawned a virtual cottage industry of knock-off imitators, mostly from Europe, that flourished for the rest of the decade, so it seems an odd fate that Abby was singled out for legal punishment and remains »

- Tom

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