Tuesday, April 2, 2013

THE POSSESSED (1977) movie review

Possessed, The
d. Thorpe, Jerry (USA)

Clearly set up to be a pilot for something along the lines of “The Exorcist: The Series.” James Farentino stars as a fallen priest who nearly dies in a car accident; during his brief spell in the afterlife, he is assigned the task of facing down EVIL wherever it exists. (Sheesh, talk about your tall work orders.) His first call of duty is to contend with a pyromaniacal spirit menacing a girls’ school attended by the likes of Ann Dusenberry, Diana Scarwid, Dinah Manoff and PJ Soles.

A pre-Star Wars Harrison Ford plays a cad of a biology teacher who likes to fool around with the student bodies, as well as that of the headmistress Joan Hackett. For this, of course, he is burned to a crisp. The final showdown between Farentino and the possessed individual is pretty darn hilarious, entailing flames, nails-and-red-Kool-Aid spitting and one big hug. One has to wonder if this was screenwriter John Sacret Young’s doing or some producer who didn’t care if any of this made a lick of sense, or bothering to explain why the possessions start or stop. Pretty entertaining, if silly stuff.

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