GODFORSAKEN DEMONS | Offscreen
Demons are perhaps the oldest antagonists in the horror genre, but their real breakthrough as a film subgenre in its own right came in the 1970s with the surge of satanic horror following the box office success of The Exorcist. In this B-Z, we present two lesser-known demonic horror films ripe for reappraisal.
The Exorcist III, after the negative reception of The Exorcist II: The Heretic, was hailed as the true sequel to William Friedkin's 1973 masterpiece. The director is none other than the author of the book on which the original film was based. William Peter Blatty took his own novel Legion as a starting point and - despite studio interference - delivered a chilling detective story that thoughtfully combines theological themes with stunning scenes of pure visual terror.
The Keep, one of Michael Mann's earlier films, is a true curiosity: the director’s vision was compromised by studio interference, and the film has barely been screened since its initial release. A screenplay riddled with problems results in an uneven and at times bombastic genre exercise that nevertheless manages to conjure an extraordinary atmosphere with its mix of stunning gothic and fantastique imagery. Glowing eyes in swirling smoke, Xanadu-style laser effects in a German Expressionist mise-en-scène, all set to the ethereal electronic stylings of Tangerine Dream: this is pulp cinema at its most delirious.
Police Inspector Kinderman, who witnessed the terrifying events in the first The Exorcist, investigates a series of gruesome killings and fins himself caught up in the eternal battle between good and evil. Is the demon Pazuzu back? A terrifying sequel directed by the author of the original novel.