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Repossessed Review

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A once exorcised housewife becomes 'repossessed' by the Devil in order to get on TV and take over the world.

★★★★

In 1988's cartoon gem The Duxorcist, that noted demonologist Daffy Duck snaps "Did you hear about the woman who fell behind in the payments on her exorcism, her soul got repossessed". Given that the title is by far the wittiest thing to be found in this parody of The Exorcist, it is indeed hardly surprising to find it lifted from a more inspired source.

Taking the MAD Magazine approach of Airplane! and The Naked Gun, with Leslie Nielsen borrowed from those movies as Father Jedidiah Mayii, Repossessed summons back Linda Blair from the hellhole of B-pictures she's been stuck with since her peasoup vomiting debut in 1973 and casts her here as a happy housewife who was once exorcised by Mayii but has now been repossessed by the Devil as part of a scheme to get on TV and possess the world. Or something.

Even this stupid plot gets left behind, however, and from fairly early on it's really just a matter of throwing gag after gag at the audience who, it is fair to expect, will probably gag right back, echoing one of the many vomit jokes on view here. Given that the solemnity of The Exorcist and its sequels could certainly do with some well-aimed send-up, it's a shame really that this is such a draggy bore.

Bob Logan reveals his essential lack of understanding of the qualities that make Airplane! work in his direction of the talented Nielsen: whereas the earlier film has him deadpan every joke and act as if he were in one of the innumerable TV movies he's done, Repossessed makes him adopt a funny voice and mug like a loon. Nielsen, hilarious even in his cider adverts, just isn't a goofball Jerry Lewis comedian, and his undignified clod routines - working out at a gym with lots of straining bodies, dressed up as Elton John doing a rock number - are simply excruciating.

Re-prehensible, re-heated, and certainly not re-commended.