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The Last Exorcist - Movie Review

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The Last Exorcist

Considering just how wild and out there The Last Exorcist begins, it should come as no surprise that Danny Trejo is involved in this horror film from Uncork’d Entertainment.  While I wish he were in it more, he definitely makes the film a bit more memorable.

"a misfire when it comes to scoring up horror nuggets, but watching Trejo play a "Holy Man" - however unbelievable it is - somehow makes the zaniness a little easier to swallow"


In the opening few moments, the lunacy of it all sets in as we are hit over the head with a crazy priest’s thoughts concerning mental illness.  The camera moves from a priest clutching a wooden crush reverently to various smash cuts as Father Peter (Dennis LaValle) attempts to counsel a chained lunatic with “666” written in blood on his chest by screaming over and over again, “the power of God compels you!”.  

Talk about polar opposites.  Quickly, we cut to a more somber moment when the same Father Peter  talks to the camera - the viewer of a documentary he is filming - about mental illness, suggesting that it is far more sinister than we typically believe it to be.  He poses questions for the audience to work out.  What if mental illness is MORE THAN a genetic trait?  Might the passing of demonic possession also be genetic?   The Devil’s own, you know?  

And then, for dramatic pause, he gives us time to think about his questions before setting the stage for his controversial evidence . . . and in those few moments, thanks to a terrorist attack, he is blown sky high over Vatican City.

The news hits his home town of Tulsa, Oklahoma the hardest.  It is there where Joan Campbell (Rachele Brooke Smith, Cold Moon) and her sister Maddie (Terri Ivens, The Bay) must come to terms with his death, his legacy, and their past together as a demonic spirit returns to repossess that which was once his: their family.The Last Exorcist

Enter internationally-recognized action and horror superstar Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn,3 From Hell) as Father Marco, who once tangled with their mother and is all too familiar with their family curse.  At first, Joan is hesitant to call upon Marco and warm-up to his unique way of dealing with demons, but - when confessional booths and holy water fail Joan. her resentment towards Maddie grows - he definitely  answers the call.  

Good thing, too. Joan’s seizures are becoming more frequent and so too are the memories of her mother.  Maddie, too, is slipping away.  Her drinking is growing and her temper, too.  Soon, she is having sex in stairways, letting random strangers motorboat her, and picking fights in the bar where she works.  She stabs loose women, screams for her mommy, and locked up . . . and it is all due to her family history.

While Smith is good in her role as the good sister, for my money, it is Ivens who deserves a shout out here as the possessed victim.  Her performance - along with that voice of hers - is a very interesting one; dedicated to her sister, but limited in her options on how to help her before succumbing to the forces that possess her.  All of these complications make for a good dilemma for the character and, while Joan is haunted by her memories of her mother and unsure of what to do, Maddie makes the most of her life in the here and now, making her a target for the devil to control.  

Written and directed by Robert Bain, The Last Exorcist was filmed in and around Tulsa and the location is used to great effect.  The film co-stars a face-licking Adam Horner and gets progressively more insane as the possessions ramp up, guttural growls become routine, and Father Marco - who has been texting Joan as a form of aide against the darkness - enters the film for a poncho-wearing showdown as pythons frame windows and neon crosses fill eerily cleared rooms.

Honestly, The Last Exorcist is a misfire when it comes to scoring up horror nuggets, but watching Trejo play a "Holy Man" - however unbelievable it is - somehow makes the zaniness a little easier to swallow.  This one needed to fully commit to a hard R-rating and double down on the violence and the nudity.

The Last Exorcist is available on DVD and Digital October 13 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

2/5 stars

The Last Exorcist

Blu-ray

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Available on Blu-ray

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The Last Exorcist

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
94 mins
Director
: Robin Bain
Writer:
Robin Bain
Cast:
Danny Trejo, Rachele Brooke Smith, Terri Ivens
Genre
: Thriller
Tagline:
If she fails, all hell breaks loose.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You and me. We will get through this together."
Distributor:
Uncork'd Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 13, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Two sisters are haunted by the demons of their past.

The Last Exorcist

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