The Painter and the Thief
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a pathetic attempt at filmmaking. the idea was to make a black exorcist, but it's an exceedingly modest effort. its a cut above blackenstein but doesnt come close to the great Blacula or Sugar Hill! however your options are rather limited when it comes to 70s black horror. another great one was ganja & Hess
This movie takes me back to the Lyric theatre in Asbury Park, 1974. Great times there.
Equal parts campy and creepy.
'Campy' best describes 'Abby'.
It's working title was The Blaxorcist, which says it all--Wild Blaxploitation Twist On The Exorcist!!
A minister's wife becomes possessed by a demon that was probably unleashed by his father while he was excavating in Nigeria. If you take 'The Exorcist', 'The Amityville Horror' and 'Scream Blacula, Scream', and mash them all together, you have 1974's 'Abby'. I was not expecting much from this film and maybe that's why I am SO shockingly surprised at it's quality. It's not "so bad it's good", it's just good! Although the disco music seems out of place in a horror setting like this, the acting is decent and the story is well told. There is no doubt that the plot is a REALLY close copy of a much more popular movie, but to me that doesn't hurt it one bit. In fact when you see the lead character Abby starting to act weird, you almost feel true sorrow for her and her family because if you ever watched 'The Exorcist', and I'm sure 99.998% of you saw that film before this one, you have some idea of what is in store for them all. Because of Abby's age, they are allowed to show a little more sexual deviance which is a nice evil touch, especially from a minister`s wife. The special effects are well done and the constantly changing voices within the possessed lead female are great. The movie itself has a very creepy element to it and it is a little more action packed than it's big studio twin (slightly older twin). In fact, if you just look at it as a sequel to 'The Exorcist' rather than a rip off, I think you'll enjoy it much more. Trust me, Friedkin would much rather have 'Abby' as his sequel than the real 'Exorcist Part 2'! The crew of 'Abby' had plenty of original ideas outside of the film that they were copying and the movie deserves a lot more respect.
Released Christmas day 1974, Abby was A.I.P.'s blaxploitation answer to The Exorcist, so much so, that Warner Brothers sued and got the film pulled from release. But, not before it made a ton of cash on it's low budget investment. Abby tells the story of a holy man (the great William 'Blacula' Marshall) who, while investigating an archeological dig in Nigeria, pertaining to their ancient Yoruba religion, accidentally releases the evil entity Eshu. The vile spirit shows it's gratitude by possessing his daughter-in-law Abby (Carol Speed). As the spirit takes hold and Abby becomes more and more vile in her behavior, Dr.Williams (Marshall) returns home to do battle with the demonic entity. Abby is played very straight despite delivering some unintentional laughs. It's low budget so it's FX are limited to blowing wind, bizarre sounds and throwing furniture around while Abby speaks in an almost comical dubbed man voice complete with echo. Exploitation filmmaker William Girdler writes and directs and, despite trying to play it straight, most of possessed Abby's vulgar talk and behavior just elicits laughs not chills. I do give credit to Carol Speed for just going with it and giving it her all despite how silly some of this comes off. And, of course, William Marshall who, once again brings a power and nobility to his role and maintains it despite how ridiculous things get. Still, you gotta like a movie that stages an African themed exorcism in a bar. And in Abby's defense there is some nice 70s nostalgia and unintentional laughs are a form of entertainment so, Abby is by no means a boring movie, it's just not very scary or chilling. With a few beers it can be a hoot to watch and that's just fine. Also stars Austin Stoker(Assault On Precinct 13) as Abby's police officer brother.
EXTRA TRIVIA: Again actor William Marshall was involved in adding African culture to a film as he did with Blacula. It was he who added the use of the Yoruba religion in the film, though he apparently was still unhappy about the film's final script. I don't blame him. Not sure how some of this stuff didn't appear silly from the get go. Rating based purely on a camp/nostalgia level.
Although laced with some humour unlike The Exorcist, this was a great movie.
As a fan of William Girdler's work, this was one of the last films of his that I ever expected to see, but finally got a copy. This used the themes that The Exorcist used just a year or two before and really crafted it into it's own creepy little low-budget blaxploitation take on the same theme. Full of funny lines and somewhat shocking special effects, this is a very unique piece in time with all of the circumstances surrounding the film, since it was nearly buried shortly after release.
Interesting blaxploitation take on The Exorcist. Has the fantastic William Marshall, so thats good.