Possessed (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The Catholic Church performed only one official exorcism in the twentieth century.

The Blatty novel The Exorcist was based loosely on this case, and therefore so too was the film version of that story, which became a smash hit in the early 70's. This new Showtime movie is (in theory) a docudrama version of the exact same incident, similar in certain ways to the Exorcist, but using the real names and places from the post-war era, except for the name of the child, which has never been revealed.

Timothy Dalton plays the exorcist. Bond, Father Bond, the only priest who sends back the wine.

No, that was a cheap joke. Dalton actually ripped this performance directly out of the page of the Richard Burton hard-livin', hard-cussin' alcoholic priest in Night of the Iguana, or maybe the Richard Burton performance in Exorcist 2.

Now that I think about it, Richard Burton acted like a drunken fallen priest in every movie.

Now that I think about it still more, that wasn't acting.

Well, with Dalton I'm pretty sure it is acting, and it's pretty darned lame - bellowing and talking in 90's slang. "OK, Beelzebub, fasten your seat belt. You want a piece of me, motherfucker. C'mon".

I'm not kidding. Sadly enough, Father Bond actually said that stuff.

On another subject, I've noticed that Satan has sure become a wimp in the last few milennia.


It seems like just yesterday that he still liked a challenge. I mean, this is the guy who dared to challenge God himself. Now what does he have to resort to? Looking around for lonely little red headed kids raised with no spiritual roots, whose parents have lost their faith. OK, now you're the Prince of Darkness, and you want to strike fear into man, and the best you can do is to inhabit the body of an 8 year old kid in Biloxi? Oh, come now. Where's that old satan we used to know? The guy who challenged God and tempted Christ in the desert would possess an international presence and deliver his blasphemous message on electronic media, wouldn't he? Wouldn't he possess The Pope, or Dan Rather, or somebody like that, so we could all stand back in awe of his unchallengeable might?

Instead of having some little kid throw up on some priests in a secret ceremony, wouldn't he possess the President and have him throw up on the lap of the Japanese minister? Or wouldn't he make the President lie in public so that all our children would see it as a model for behavior?

Or maybe he'd be even more modern, and possess the soul of a prominent webmaster, a simple man who once only hoped to use the Web to deliver the word of the Lord, but now uses his pulpit, under the influence of Satan, to make people look at naked stars and question all that we should hold dear, like the President and Bill Shatner.

Hey, wait a minute, I got carried away there. Let me point out that neither Bill Clinton nor I appear to be actually possessed by any major evil spirits. Hillary - that's another matter. Telekinetic ashtray movement is one of the seven danger signs. But, I doubt it. Hillary's too tough.

Satan is such a wuss now that he goes after friggin' Opie.

Anyway, to cure Opie, they summon the power of the Lord, in the awesome majesty of an insane asylum, which is a actually a ward in a hospital run by holy monks. When they begin the exorcism, the lights begin to flicker and a lightning storm appears outside. Yup, really true to the facts, I'm sure. I'm not making any of this up. Did I mention that the kid's mom and dad came to the exorcism and wore their Sunday goin'-to-meetin' duds. Well, you think Miss Manners has any columns about the proper attire for an Exorcism. (I know ghosts shouldn't wear a spooky white shroud after labor day.)

Christopher Plummer is the bishop who advises the priests not to do any rash exorcisms, therein summoning up the image of Joe Santos or Lieutenant Trench trying to keep their hotheaded rogue young cops and ex-cops in line. I expected Plummer to shout "McCloud!" at any time.

DVD info.

Not available. I watched the videotape

Oh, did I mention that the kid got his demonic possession by playing with his Aunt's Ouiga Board? Hey, she was from Eastern Europe. That whole Maria Ouspenskaya thing. Both TomCat and I can verify that all old Eastern European women are in direct contact with evil spirits at all times, and keep plenty of those garlic leis handy. Y'know, it's not easy being an evil spirit in this modern age. Most countries won't let you in, and if you sneak in they won't let you have any government benefits. But in the Slavic countries, Romania, and Hungary, evil spirits are always welcome, always beloved by older women, and may even seek citizenship after only a short two year residency in the body of a redhead.

The Critics Vote

  • no major review online.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.5.
  • made for TV
My guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an E. On the plus side, some of the scenes, particularly the last 20 minutes, are so bad they are good.

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