Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 October Horror Movie Challenge Movie 2: Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers

I don't know how many of you have heard of Asylum. They're a small moviemaking company, headed by a guy named Leigh Scott, and they release independent movies, but they've gained particular notoriety in recent years for releasing films people have dubbed "mockbusters." See, Asylum's films tend to be released direct to video at times that coincide with big-budget major studio films that have similar titles and budgets. For instance, around the time Rob Zombie's "Halloween" remake was making publicity, Asylum released a movie called "Halloween Night." When "Transformers" was in theaters, Asylum released a direct to DVD movie called "Transmorphers." You get the idea. These movies are often reviled not only for being ripoffs of major studio films but also for being pretty terrible. I've only seen two Asylum movies thus far, "Paranormal Entity" which was released while "Paranormal Activity" was making the rounds, and "Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers" (not at all to be confused with "The Exorcism of Emily Rose") and from that limited experience, I can tell you that I enjoyed both flicks. I'm not saying that they're great cinematic achievements or anything, but they've been entertaining and painless fun to watch.

"Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers" has some problems. The acting from some of the central players leaves much to be desired (see if you can keep a straight face while Rambo the blind Priest is giving his monologues) but the movie hits a lot of the right notes. Gail is a likable character, and I felt bad for her watching her succomb slowly to demonic forces. The woman who plays Gail's sister also gives a good performance. The special effects aren't very special, but the makeup is creepy and Gail's demon voice is effective as she screams and wails in anger and terror (though I often couldn't tell what the hell she was supposed to be saying because her voice is so distorted that a lot of her dialogue is unintelligible). I'm not saying this is a great film, but if you're a fan of satanic/demonic possession movies, you might want to give it a watch.

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