In collaboration with a selection of the finest film blogs the infranet has to offer, Illogical Contraption is proud to contribute this quality post to Blair Week, a six day extravaganza expounding on the virtues of Linda Blair and her legacy of quality motion pictures...
That's right, gang. Many of you are probably already aware of Blair Week - a massive, sprawling, week-long carnival of Linda Blair worship organized by Lost Video Archive curator (and IC Alumnus) The Goodkind. The basic idea is this: 6 days of film reviews, pensive introspection, wild speculation, general silliness, and original artwork perpetrated by no less than 11 blogs. An orgy of gore, low-budget thrills, and unabashed Bromance coagulated together by the adhesive awesomeness that is MS. LINDA BLAIR.
Now, I've never been a huge fan of Ms. Blair's, but I've experienced untold hours of her films and always respected her ethic, style, talent, and body... of work. She is a prolific, esteemed, and charmingly self-deprecating B-movie goddess on par with Elvira or Karen Black, although to the layman she is most often remembered as "the little girl from The Exorcist".
Such is not the case with me. When I think "Linda Blair", I think of one film and one film only.
I think "REPOSSESSED".
(It's even better in German.)
Let's take a minute to look at the reasoning behind this so-forehead-slappingly-terrible-it's-mind-numbingly-amazing 1990 film. Obviously, Repossessed is a spoof, the type of cheap chuckle-fodder usually produced a couple years after a more successful film to ride on said film's proverbial coattails. Let's look at the facts:
Airport 1975: released 1974. Airplane!: released 1980.
The Star Wars trilogy: released 1977-1983. Spaceballs: released 1987.
Top Gun: released 1986. Hot Shots!: released 1991.
Bram Stoker's Dracula: released 1992. Dracula: Dead And Loving It!: released 1995.
Boyz N The Hood: released 1991. South Central: released 1992. Juice: released 1992. Menace II Society: released 1993.
Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood: released 1996.
Is anyone else seeing a trend here? The challenge to creating a decent and socially-relevant spoof film (if there is indeed such a thing) appears to be producing it within a certain window of opportunity. Sure, it takes a year or two to actually get a movie made, so the trick is going into pre-production while the target of said spoof is still very much in the public eye. Now would be a great time to start work on The Dork Knight or maybe Avatard. But that 3 Ninjas send-up you've been kicking around for a bit? Not so much.
This is the central irony and WTF-inducing concept behind Repossessed. Taking aim at 1973's Exorcist, Repossessed mounts the insurmountable task of lampooning the significance of a film 17 YEARS its senior, and while the lasting cultural impact of The Exorcist can hardly be questioned, the idea of basing a comedy around it IN 1990 certainly can.
But it's absurdities like this that make Repossessed the anomaly that it is, and you can't deny the appeal of Linda Blair reprising the role that made her famous (although names have been changed for obvious legal reasons) so many years prior.
(image stolen from Satan's Hope Chest)
Which is the reason we're all here in the first place, right? LINDA FUCKING BLAIR.
Homegirl stars as large-haired housewife Nancy Aglet, who becomes the demonic muse of Leslie Nielsen's Father Mayii (GET IT?) after Satan possesses her soul via TV set. It seems that the Dark One has travelled through an evangelical Christian broadcast hosted by Reverend Weller (Ned "Squeal Like A Pig" Beatty), and by mid-film The Reverend has decided that a live, on-air exorcism is the only way to save her soul (and his ratings). Hilarity (yaaaawn) ensues.
The jokes are sub-standard fare for this type of film (Blair's family lives on a street named "Sex Drive" - no, seriously), but of course it only adds to the camp value herein. The jokes are well-worn and predictable (Anthony Starke's Father Luke Brophy gets his share of "Luke, I am your father" gags while Father Mayii's "yes you may" never gets old), but nevertheless, they come in hard and fast. Compounded with some boob shots and plentiful puke scenes, this flick remains highly watchable, depending on your own personal placement on the So-Bad-It's-Good sliding scale. I was glued to the screen. Then again, I'm way into really shitty movies. Go figure.
John Tesh hyping Repossessed on Entertainment Tonight, circa August, 1990: GOLD JERRY GOLD!
Repossessed: cashing in on the success of Nielsen's 1988 smash-hit The Naked Gun?......
If we are to gather some sort of tidy "moral" from today's Blair Week entry, I guess it should be this: it takes a special type of actress to re-visit the blessing/curse that was her star-making first role, and Linda embraces the Regan/Exorcist connection whole-heartedly. The ability to laugh at one's self is a trait to be cherished above all else, and you can't help but feel a pang of very genuine affection for Linda as she trudges through this "wacky", overwrought, and sometimes painfully unfunny spoof.
In fact, if you're into overthinking things, you might also find yourself wondering if this film itself wasn't an "exorcism" of sorts for Linda herself, a way of casting out the demons of her childhood for all the world to see, of looking herself dead in the eye and saying "This is your life, Linda. This is where fate has brought you, and this is what you do. Now hook up the puke-tube and let's have some fun."
Netflix it. Watch it in its entirety on YouTube HERE. Just don't say I didn't warn you.
Example 1A: Mean Gene Okerlund, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Leslie Nielsen in "80's Metal" garb, Pope John Paul on guitar, Leslie Nielsen in Elton John garb, Robert Palmer nuns, Linda Blair in a puke-stained dress, Leslie Nielsen in Michael Jackson garb (including gratuitous crotchgrab), horrible music, bad lighting... Yeah, this video just about covers it:
Our colleagues are bringing fresh Linda related content all week long:
Monday May 10:
Lost Video Archive - Savage Streets (read it HERE)
Satan's Hope Chest - Chained Heat and Savage Island (read it HERE)
Tuesday May 11:
Camp Movie Camp - Grotesque (read it HERE)
The Horror Section - Hell Night (read it HERE)
Wednesday May 12:
Illogical Contraption (That's US!!! Right NOW!!!)
Lines That Make Things drops original Linda inspired artwork (HERE)
Breakfast In the Ruins - Exorcist II: The Heretic (HERE)
Thursday May 13:
B Movies and Beyond - Summer of Fear (HERE)
Camp Movie Camp - Nightforce (HERE)
Friday May 14:
The Manchester Morgue - Rollerboogie (HERE)
Happy Otter - The Chilling
Saturday May 15:
Lost Video Archive - Born Innocent (HERE)
Unflinching Eye wraps it up with a look at Linda's fall from grace. (HERE)
PS: Thanks to Seth for having me.