Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Disco Exorcist: Jay's Movie of the Week #8

What is the cut-off for historical costume drama? The Disco Exorcist wears all the trappings to reenact a Seventies drive-in movie, from the Grindhouse-style effects that “damage the print” to the clothes, pacing, and score. The hair (especially lead Michael Reed's wig) is never quite right, and the stage blood is of too recent a vintage, but a lot of love went into capturing the style. There are exceptions, but the naked girls snorting coke with our “dashing” stud of a protagonist, Rex Romanski, can be forgiven their blue and pink hair.

The jokes are pretty painful, usually in the style of “hey this is a Seventies spoof, remember Quaaludes? Do a bump!” When lothario Rex (Reed) meets Rita (Ruth Sullivan) at the disco, it's supposed to be understood that this is just a one night stand, free-love-style. (Rita even overhears her own trio of “witches” warning not to get involved, so really only has herself to blame.) So when he throws her over for Porn Star Amoreena Jones (Sarah Nicklin) the very next night, Rita overreacts, pitching a fit worthy of Carrie at the prom, and makes with the cursin'. While Amoreena recruits Rex build the porn and nose candy-fueled relationship of their dreams, Rita decides to snatch some porn souls, raise the dead, and massacre an orgy.

Director Richard Griffin has made several light and entertaining horror-comedies, including Splatter Disco (complete with a musical number), and here displays a deft, crowd-pleasing touch. Disco Exorcist has a pretty full plate of nudity, silly sex, and comic relief characters. It feels like a high-concept, spoof-trailer made for Youtube that somehow got bankrolled into a full feature, but also a labor of love. Vulgar, over the top and trying too hard at times, this is a Saturday night exploitation lovers' delight that'll leave a smile on your face. I, for one, will definitely be seeking out more of Griffin's work.

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