‘Repossessed’: You Gotta, at Least Once (review)

It’s an early ‘90s spoof of The Exorcist. Nancy (Linda Blair) is a housewife who was once possessed as a young girl, and who becomes, as the title suggests, repossessed. Leslie Nielsen is Father Mayii, the priest who comes to her aid. Things are complicated when Ernest (Ned Beatty) and Fanny Ray Weller (Lana Schwab), a televangelist couple, decide they want to perform an exorcism on live television, giving the Devil exactly what it wants: a captive audience. Mayii and his protégé Luke (Anthony Starke) must drive out the evil spirit before it corrupts everyone.

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While funny, the movie is incredibly dated; there’s a gag referencing Oliver North as well as cameos by Jack LaLanne and Jesse Ventura, while the Wellers are a thinly veiled parody of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. But being old enhances the humor at times, for example a scene when Nancy uses a cordless phone as big as her head. While the jokes can be painfully bad (like a nun named Sister Brothers), there’s an unexpected undertone to the movie—a condemnation of religious hypocrisy. Nancy is repossessed while watching an episode of the Wellers’ show. The Wellers are certainly not the holy people they make themselves out to be; they’re in their business not to help people, but to get their money. Also, though a lot of the controversy over Satanism and rock and roll records was over by the time this was made, it’s interesting that it’s not prayer that frees Nancy from possession, even by an entire group of priests—it’s their performance of “Devil in a Blue Dress.” As the Devil states as he is being driven out of Nancy, “I hate rock and roll!”

Honestly, while watching Repossessed I groan inwardly more than I laugh outwardly. However, I adore Nielsen, and I will always find it irresistibly delicious seeing Blair recreate scenes from The Exorcist in a comedic way. My favorite is when she’s preparing to spew on Father Mayii, and he beats her to it. “So,” he says, “How do you like it?” It’s worth watching at least once, but if you’re like me and will only understand the topical humor from having watched a lot of old Saturday Night Live reruns, you might want to brush up on current events and pop culture circa 1990.

Published by GhoulieJoe

I wuvs the horror movies and like to write snarky reviews about them. I also included some pretentious as hell microfiction (don't worry, it's at the bottom).

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