I’m a huge movie nerd, as
I think that many of us here in the Bloodtype Online community are.
One of the movies that I heard about and have always wanted to see is
the William Girdler “classic” Abby. Partly because I’ve
enjoyed most of Girdlers other work on some sort of level, cheesy as
many of them have been. Plus when I heard that this movie was
quashed for being an Exorcist rip-off I new that I had to see it.
So when I found a copy of it at this past Cinema Wasteland Show (April
2008), which also happened to have one of the movies stars as a guest
(Austin Stoker) it just seemed like fate. So not long after arriving
home from the show I popped my newly signed DVD into the player to check
out the movie.
Abby is the virtuous wife of
Reverend Emmett Williams. She spends all her time helping out
with her husband’s church in dedicated service to others. But
when her father in law discovers and opens a box in Africa he releases
the spirit of an angry demon that decides to take it’s vengeance on
him thru his daughter in law. Before you know it Abby is cutting
on herself, drinking, smoking, screwing, and killing her way around
town. Eventually Emmett calls on his father for help, who immediately
recognizes what is happening. Together with Abby’s brother (Stoker)
they track her down and rid her of the spirit, trapping it back in the
I was really very disappointed
in this movie. The story starts off interesting and seems to gearing
up for some mayhem and fun, but fails to deliver. It hints at
being sleazy and nasty, but again stops short. The demon that
possesses Abby is supposed to be super sexualized, but the movie always
cuts away at the last moment. For crying out loud there isn’t
even any nudity or much sexual content in this film. You could
pretty much play it on television without making any cuts. I don’t
want to sound like a pervert, but the movie creates some expectations
and then fails to deliver on them. Beyond that the movie suffers
from a long slow stretch towards the end and wraps itself up a little
too quickly and neatly. The performances are at best mediocre.
This really surprised me given that the cast, other than the actress
that portrayed Abby, is made up of veteran actors. Austin Stoker
(Assault on Precinct 13), Terry Carter (Brother on the Run), and the
great William Marshall (Blacula) all have featured roles. It is
annoying that such a cast is wasted on a weak script.
I do want to mention something
about the director William Girdler. Abby plays much like his later
film Manitou, only with a Blacksploitation vibe. The film is shot
really well and looks great (in spite of the crappy source for my DVD).
I was also impressed with the soundtrack. The music and sound
effects used really help set up the movie. The story is credited to
Girdler and is weak, but the man knew how to shoot a movie.
Again I was disappointed with
this movie. Abby just didn’t live up to the hype. Still
it can be purchased on the cheap and may interest some of the hardcore
fans of Blacksploitation movies, as well as the Girdler fans themselves.
-John “El Juan” Shatzer