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An old witch seeks vengence through the daughter of the politician who had her thrown in jail. Soon the little girl's head is spinning around, and an old priest is called in to perform an exorcism. Written by
Spanish horror director Amando de Ossorio will always be best known for his Blind Dead series and rightly so because they're good films, and also because most of the rest of the stuff that he directed isn't up to much. Italian and Spanish filmmakers would often make their own versions of popular American films, and it's not surprising that Exorcist rip-offs almost became their own sub-genre after 1973. The Possessed is clearly yet another copy of Willian Friedkin's groundbreaking horror hit, and while it's not very good and has nothing on the earlier classic; to my greatest surprise, this film is both not bad and definitely one of the better Exorcist rip-offs. The plot focuses on the daughter of a politician who becomes possessed. Sometime earlier, an old woman suspected of being a witch is accused of kidnapping young children and kills herself by jumping out the police station window. The politician's daughter later has an encounter with a strange woman who gives her a necklace. It's not long before the girl is speaking foreign languages and turning her head round one hundred and eighty degrees...
Despite being a rip-off, this film actually has a few good ideas of its own. The idea of the girl being possessed by a witch rather than some demonic force actually works quite well and the film has a couple of subplots, such as the one that sees the token young priest being chased by a girl against his wishes. This plot doesn't have much to do with the film's central idea, but it's interesting and amusing. It also seems like director Amando de Ossorio was trying to have a swipe at the church through a lot of the events in this film - including the subplot with the girl and the priest. The film was obviously made on a shoestring budget and as such there isn't much room for anything spectacular. The special effects are largely inept and unconvincing and the acting is matched by some truly atrocious dubbing. The only real notable cast member is Marián Salgado, and she is only notable for the fact that she was cast in the film because she was the Spanish dubbing actor for Linda Blair in The Exorcist (a nice touch in my opinion). Overall, The Possessed is lacklustre, but it's not a bad way to spend ninety minutes and it is one of Amando de Ossorio's best films outside of the Blind Dead series.
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