Deliver Us From Evil: The Danger of Possessing Men

As we have repeatedly seen during this project we are calling Tensions in Exorcism Cinema, there appears to be a narrative made popular by the success of The Exorcist (1973). There is a reason we like to say that the 1973 movie is the one that started it all, even though there had been films…

Legion: Or, the Exorcism Movie that Makes Me Sad for Roddy Piper

I recently came to be interested in professional wrestling. For awhile there — as in most of my life — I thought wrestling to be beneath me, an entertainment that degrades those who do it and those who watch it. I was wrong: there are many layers to this sports entertainment, and it is quite…

Feminist Tensions in The Last Exorcism and The Last Exorcism Part 2

At the Midwest Popular Culture Association‘s 2014 conference, Chris and I presented the first analysis from our exorcism cinema project. The presentation is titled: Feminist tensions in exorcism cinema: Case study analysis and comparison of The Last Exorcism and The Last Exorcism Part II. What follows are the notes for the presentation, which constitute an…

Sir Anthony Hopkins Performs an Exorcism in The Rite

Sir Anthony Hopkins is one of those interesting actors. Best known as an incredible actor throughout his entire career, sometimes he will do movies that are, for lack of better words, slumming it – doing a movie for a paycheck. Freejack. Alexander. The Edge. The Wolfman. Red 2. To be fair, I cannot really blame…

[REC]2: When Possession Becomes Infectious

If you are not aware of it, then I should warn you — we are kind of in a period where zombie fervor has some what taken over American pop culture.  We’ve been in this period for awhile now, over a decade in fact, tracing back to movies like Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later… (2002),…

Amityville II: The Possession and Incest

So…this movie. The Amityville Horror (1979) has had a long lasting cultural impact, spawning a remake in 2005 and numerous sequels, prequels, sidequels, TV references, and more. Based on a true story, and another example of a supernatural occurrence investigated by the Warrens (of The Conjuring fame), the original film focuses on a family where…

Blackwater Valley Exorcism: Equating Demonic Possession with Sexual Assault

When The Exorcist (1973) was first released, it spawned numerous foreign rip-offs and B-movie exploitative versions.  From Şeytan (1974) in Turkey to the reworking of the Italian film ‘Lisa e il diavolo’ (1974/1975)into The House of Exorcism, foreign producers created their own takes on the story of young women being possessed, with more or less…

The Devil Inside: The One that Pissed Off People

A good found footage movie relies on its ability to trick you into thinking, just for a second, that maybe this could have been happening.  We all know it didn’t — the fact that we are seeing a “movie” is the largest proof against that idea — but we still like to trick ourselves in…