Movie Review-The Disco Exorcist

Coming out this Tuesday from Wild Eye Releasing, talk about a great late or last minute father’s day present.

This is Rhode Island 1979, drugs and sex are abundant and disco is king. Rex Romanski (obviously a tongue and cheek knock on Tony Manero) is a suave ladies’ man who enjoys all the finer things in life. His love them and leave them style introduces him to Rita. Rita when she gets heartbroken decides to do something about it, and the next girl Rex falls for she puts a curse on her, and now it is up to Rex to stop the curse and also stop Rita before more people get hurt.

This film on the Wild Eye Releasing label fits like fingers in a glove. This film is almost like a spoof of Saturday Night Live, The Exorcist and any 70’s porn film you may have watched. This film is pure 70’s exploitation; from it’s over the top characters to its over-abundance of drug use, disco, nudity and sex. If you are going into this for a horror experience you will be letdown, now there is blood in certain scenes and some possessed porn actresses here and there, but this is truly just a exploitation/spoof film. Richard Griffin and his crew you can tell paid close attention to detail with this film, and made it as close to the 70’s as you can get without being from the 70’s. From the leisure suits, to the sunglasses and the sexual revolution where it was a different time for both men and women sexually, even a scene that takes place on a porn shoot shows that Richard did his homework; look at the posters in the background. The Teacher which as a lot of people know was another exploitation film from the 70’s which was bordering on porn. ( for the record it starred Jay North who was trying to break out of the Dennis the Menace mold)

There is this scene when Rex is in a porn theater watching a film with his friend Manuel sitting right beside him masturbating during and everyone around them seem like it is normal. For the subject matter alone was also such a pivotal scene, because as a lot of people know in the 70’s and 80’s before the video boom, adult theaters were grossing just as much as the regular theaters and I guess that was the normal. Of course Rex falls for the girl who is in the porn Amoreena Jones. Amoreena gets the curse because Rita sees Rex hitting on her, and that is when this film really shines. She gets Rex into the porn business and he does some kind of war porn, with girls on roller skates. Then, we see the curse in full swing when the actresses are all possessed to kill Rex.

We learn later in the film Rex is out to try and break this curse and save Amoreena, he goes to his family for help because his brother is a priest. When that fails, he becomes the disco exorcist. In an obvious nod to the Exorcist, which was a million times better than the one Scary Movie 2 did with Natasha Lyonne and James Woods.

They have the full exploitation theme going from scenes missing, lines at times on the screen to the crackling of the film. This whole experience to me did not feel like the overused term I hate ” grindhouse” it felt like a homage as if John Waters and Bob Clark co directed a film. It has the raunchy humor you would expect from Clark and the insane situations you would expect from Waters. It also paid heavy tribute to where film was at in the late 70’s where everything that was going down in life from alien invasions, to teen pregnancy, to overdosing it happened at the discotheque. And at the discotheque no matter what problems were going on around you, it would work itself out and you just ignored them and danced.

This film is just such a throwback to simpler times in film, and I loved it for how bare bones it was in this approach. This film had so much heart, and personality that you just loved the simple approach of this film. It did not need big Hollywood names, or over the top effects and gore. It had a solid script, great actors and just paid so much attention to detail, that you feel watching this that you pulled out an old beta max or vhs and threw it on.

And for Wild Eye Releasing to put their names on this is such a plus. Keith and Rob are such lovers and students of old school 70’s exploitation and this film fits his love like a street cone to the octo-mom. This film is just a blast from start to finish, there are a few slow spots here and there and some jokes that were sort of flat, but the payoff to the scenes made it worthwhile and fun to endure nonetheless.

All in all, this is one fun fucking film that will have you guys happy you are watching it. The best release to date from Wild Eye Releasing, and I am hoping this film finds a crowd– it deserves one. This is a must watch.

9 out of 10