Abby/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Abby

What do you do if a spirit you've unwittingly released travels the globe to possess your daughter-in-law?
 Well if you're William H. Marshall (Blacula), you get on that sucka's case and exorcise that mutha. 
OK, I promise I'll stop talking like that now.
 That's right folks, today we're taking a closer look at the classic Blaxploitation horror masterpiece Abby. Some say this movie was so controversial that it had to be pulled from cinema release, others claim it was pulled from circulation due to the fact it was nothing more than an Exorcist rip-off, these people are idiots.
 It was never THAT controversial and even though Warner Brothers sued American International Pictures and won, it didn't really have that much in common with The Exorcist bar someone being possessed. For Regan MacNeil it was The Devil, for Abby Williams, Eshu a West African spirit of whirlwinds and chaos and for some reason known only to the writers of this film, a sex demon. 
Yet hidden away from the general public it was, which in turn has led to it being a son-of-a-bitch to find. Yeah, cheers for that Warner Brothers. But if you can find a copy then I suggest you grab that sucka and don't let it slide no matter what cat tries to run you down.
 Sorry, couldn't help myself.



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The movie starts with Dr Garret Williams, a priest, played by the always brilliant William H. Marshall, enjoying a picnic with a few of his students. He explains to them that they'll be having a substitute teacher for their final exams, which leads one of his young nubile students to look straight into the camera and utter the immortal line "No substitute for you Dr. Williams, you're the real thing", as he won't be there as he's off to Nigeria for an archaeological dig to try to find the resting place of the God known as Eshu.
 When he's asked who this is he quite helpfully explains all we need to know about Eshu, Trickster God, Creator Of Whirlwinds, Master Of Chaos and the like, so we don't have to waste anymore time on plot and we can get straight on with the spooky stuff.

 The next thing we know we're in a cave in Nigeria, though in all honesty it could've been any old hole in the ground as we never see outside the damn thing, and lo and behold if they haven't found a small box with carvings on it.
 The Doc's pretty sure that it's what they were looking for as he explains the symbols on it are a whirlwind, a cock's comb (whatever the hell that is) and an erect penis...riiiiiiiiight. Well being the inquisitive sod that he is he fiddles around with it for a bit (insert nob joke here) and finally opens it allowing the spirit inside to escape.
Cue violent wind and people being thrown around the place.
 Good work fella!


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A quick hop back to the USA and we're introduced to his son Emmett Williams,played by Terry Carter (Foxy Brown), who is himself a priest and his wife Abby Williams, played by Carol Speed (The Mack), who is a marriage counsellor, youth program worker and junior choir leader and yes they do make a point of telling you that.
 They're moving into a new house and preparing to start a new life together and everything is just fine and groovy baby, or so you'd think.
 Later that night as The Williams lay asleep in bed the room starts going a little crazy. Doors slamming, things shaking (there's a LOT of things shaking in this film) and general Demonic shenanigans.
 This wakes up Emmet but not Abby who thinks,when she finally awakes, that Emmett just woke her up cause he wanted some lovin'. 
The next day she learns different as after a weird shower scene that I think is supposed to be erotic, she finds herself trapped in the basement and proceeds to get herself possessed whilst doin the laundry.
 Demons! no sense of timing.

 From there on in it's all a bit down hill for Evil Abby.
 While fixing up chicken in the kitchen she starts cutting herself, fricking Emo, then she has a major freak out in church and in general starts bitch slapping the hell out of everyone she meets, Demon style.
 This behaviour ends with her in hospital and poor old Emmett on the phone to Pop's saying "Help, my wife's a nutter!!!"

 The call works and William H. Marshall is on the first plane back home.


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On arrival he decides it's best to go to their house first instead of visiting Evil Abby, which is just as well cause it gives Evil Abby enough time to break out of hospital and head there after them.

 This leads to the first stand-off between Evil Abby and William H. which ends with more things shaking and Evil Abby having it away quite sharpish.
 So now they know she's possessed but have no idea where to find her but we do gentle viewer's.
 We just follow the camera man. 

In a bar we find Evil Abby picking up guys, considering Carol Speed was quite cute it's not that difficult, taking them outside and literally humping them to death.
 Which is all done very tastefully,all you ever see is a lot of dry ice.

 Back and forth we go between the hunt for Red Oct-Abby and her continuing quest to turn every man she meets into a cheap special effect before they finally track her down.
 This leads to a group of horny and somewhat stupid men ("Hey Clive, ain't that the chick who left with Sam?", "Yeah it is, anyone know where Sam went? Nobodys seen him for weeks", "No idea but I wanna hit some of that") trying to defend Evil Abby's honour by beating the bejesus out of her husband, with her egging them on, only for Evil Abby to go postal on them and clear the room.

 This leaves just Evil Abby and Emmett when in walks William H. to lay the Holy Smackdown on this Demon and that's just what he does, after he changes into his finest Nigerian clobber.


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A quick exorcism later and Abby's back while the Demon, who we find out may or may not have been Eshu all along, is vanquished to wherever you vanquish Demons,
 Pittsburgh probably.

 I like this movie. 
It's not scary, I doubt if it ever was, and the special effects seem to revolve around things being shaken, milk pouring out of Abby's mouth and several layers of white face paint, but it's good fun and after all that's all we can hope for isn't it?
 A good laugh before the whole shit-house goes up in flames.

 Well the Demon that possessed Abby seemed to think so and who am I to argue with a dodgy 1970's special effect?



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Neil Gray is a writer from the UK. The story goes that he was invented in a laboratory experiment that went horribly wrong and has spent years devouring every movie form and film genre that was foolish enough to pass his way until he is now nothing more than a hideous monstrosity, more celluloid than man.
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