by Bob Freville
Genre fans are going to lose their shit when they get an eyeful of Exorcism at 60,000 Feet. A balls out tribute to horror’s golden age from the boys and girls at Girls and Corpses, Exorcism at 60,000 Feet is everything you would expect from the title and so much more.
Director Chad Ferrin (Someone’s Knocking at the Door, Easter Bunny Kill! Kill!!) has rounded up all the best and bloodiest talents from the genre, unleashing them on a plane for what promises to be this year’s most garish, gory and unforgettable splatterpiece.
Only Ferrin could give us an aesthetic worthy of William Friedkin while acknowledging the playful silliness of the Robert Rhine and Daniel Benton script. Each sequence is imbued with knowing camp and plenty of sight gags.
Those with a special nostalgia for the rotten and strange will relish the presence of Kevin J. O’Connor (Lord of Illusions, Deep Rising, The Mummy), however ephemeral, but serious nostalgia nuts will cream their Puppetmasturbating asses almost at once with the oh-so-familiar orchestral score by none other than Richard Band.
Indeed, there is something so Eighties about Exorcism at 60,000 Feet, but not in the mass marketed way that Stranger Things or even the It reboot is considered reminiscent of the Eighties. More interestingly, it is the film’s subtle spirit of the Eighties, something that recalls cult classics like Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Combat Shock and even Night of the Demons.
From the exorcist’s struggles to hoist a dead body into the back of a hearse to the nonchalant way that the plane’s pilot (Lance Henriksen) and co-pilot (O’Connor) share some harsh hooch, everything about this screams the Age of Excess, a time when things could be dark and fucked up without fear of earning a detention demerit for its wickedness.
It’s a common cliche to write that a location in a movie is a character in and of itself, but I’d be lying if I didn’t note how the deliberately seedy airplane interior lends a distinct je ne sais quoi to the proceedings. Viet Kong Airways is one airline I would love to get lost on.
In terms of stars there really is no equal to Bill Moseley who gives his most indelible performance since The Devil’s Rejects or, at least, Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. With that said, the show really belongs to Bai Ling (The Crow, Crank 2: High Voltage) who keeps us pissing our pants with laughter until the final scuzzy frame.
This is one of those movies where you can’t help but fall in love with each and every character, regardless of how offensive or obnoxious they are. And it is to the filmmaker’s credit that he has managed to turn this love of the annoying and ugly into a career-long endearment.
Frankly, I can’t think of a single Chad Ferrin title that didn’t feature at least two hideous ghouls as major players and the more hideous these so-called humans are, the more we cheer.
This delightful subversion of the traditional filmic formula reaches its apex in Exorcism at 60,000 Feet, a celebration of trash and travel hell…or heaven, depending upon your particular(ly) warped perspective.
It’s rare that you come across a horror-comedy that honors the legends of comedy as much as it does the masters of the macabre. ‘Exorcism’ is one of those flicks, a movie that owes as much to High Anxiety-era Mel Brooks as it does to Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone.
One of the lamest offenses perpetrated by many B movies is their unwillingness to acknowledge what they are. Consequently, viewers get stuck with a crappy film starring second-rate actors trying their damnednest to turn laughable material into something genuinely dramatic.
Exorcism at 60,000 Feet flips the script, giving us a glorified hornet’s nest of seasoned performers doing their absolute best to convey the sheer absurdity of the source material and relishing in the unbridled madness of the same.
Few microbudget genre movies spend this film’s time on character development and the effort pays off. The jokes and jabs are that much nastier once we’ve been properly introduced to the victims of their folly.
This is a flick for those who were weaned on a diet consisting of equal parts The Monster Squad and Vice Squad, a gnarly romp that recalls the best of those late twentieth century direct-to-video titles without feeling like anything other than one man’s singular vision of amusing insanity.
In keeping with The Motorist’s spoiler policy, I won’t give up the ghost when it comes to Exorcism‘s funniest and most memorable line (Hint: It takes place in the bathroom), but suffice it to say that this one is a feast for both the eyes and the ears.
As with most low-budget genre fare, particularly sub-genre flicks, ‘Exorcism’ has its moments where the jokes (and special effects) fall flat, but this only serves to make the overall picture that much more charming. Think of the first time you saw an early John Waters movie or a 90s direct-to-video National Lampoon entry and you’ve got the general idea.
Unrelenting, irrational, irreverent and impossible to not enjoy on some primal level as people dealing with the ludicrousness of the modern age, ‘Exorcism’ is for anyone who’s jaded by their own social media presence (what one character ends up doing in her time of peril is what so many of us would do nowadays). It’s also for anyone who is just curious to see what might happen if you put a bunch of contemporary nincompoops on the same aircraft with absolute evil.
Prepare to enjoy a very different kind of Purge, one that’s green and nauseating but never dull. Not even for a second.
Peep the film’s trailer here and keep your eyes peeled for festival and release dates as they come in…
Like the lunacy right here.