The Exorcist III: Cries and Shadows (1975)

aka The Possessor, Un urlo nelle tenebre
Article 3033 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-27-2009
Posting Date: 12-3-2009
Directed by Franco Lo Cascio and Angelo Pannaccio
Featuring Richard Conte, Francoise Prevost, Patrizia Gori
Country: Italy

A teenage boy is possessed by the spirit of an evil woman. They may have to call in an exorcist…

In some ways, I’m a little in awe of the Italian film industry; if you can count on any country’s cinematic output to take a trend and beat it into the ground, Italy will be there. I am amazed at just how many sword-and-sandal epics, James Bond ripoffs, spaghetti westerns, and giallos (to start with) that they churned out, and if there’s a popular American movie to imitate, (such as JAWS, STAR WARS, or, in this case, THE EXORCIST) they’ll be on the front lines. I don’t know how many knockoffs of the latter they put out, but I’m already getting weary of them (and I haven’t even seen the most famous one, BEYOND THE DOOR, yet). The formula is simple; take the basic premise of its model and make the possessee older so he/she can participate in sex scenes, and then fill out the movie with plenty of those. This one seems a hair better at first, but that feeling only lasted a couple of minutes; once we see our pasty-faced possessee engaging in the most mild of displays of shocking behavior and language, you know this one is a loser. In fact, the language and violence are so mild here that, on their merits alone, the movie would fare no worse than a mild PG rating; this is offset by the sex and orgy scenes, which push it almost to an X. It’s badly dubbed and edited with a cuisinart. About the only novelty here is that the possessee is male. And don’t let that deceptive title make you mistake it for an entry in the real series.

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