The power of Russell Crowe compels you to watch The Pope’s Exorcist

When the Vasquez family arrive to take up residence in an old Spanish Abbey – a bequest from the recently deceased father – its not long before their son, Henry, starts acting strangely. As his condition worsens and his behaviour grows more extreme – to the mystification of medical scientist, the local priest quickly decides that an expert is called for and sends for Father Gabriele Amorth, THE POPE’S EXORCIST.

It’s hard to overstate how generic THE POPE’S EXORCIST is. Metatextually and textually it’s pretty much the Nepo Baby of William Friedkin’s 1973 classic THE EXORCIST (the release of which effectively created a surge in demand for exorcisms, giving the real-life Amorth a job for life). This first film adaptation of his memoirs is – to a large extent – a reimaging of that same story, just with a bit more action and a joyfully swashbuckling turn from Russell Crowe as he zips Quixotically around Europe on his trusty Vespa.

There’s little of Max Von Sydow’s fragile solemnity here. This Exorcist is one smirking wink away from taking a swig of communion wine, throwing on pair of aviator sunglasses before water-ski jumping over a shark just to stick it to Satan. To be honest, it’s likely only his Catholic vow of celibacy that prevents Crowe’s Amorth from swaggering around with a babe hanging off his arm.

Crowe is having a whale of a time here, and he takes the audience by the hand and leads them, with twinkly-eyed charm, through the requisite parade of cracking bones, blasphemy and Beelzebubic scarification that any decent possession horror movie demands. With Amorth snugly positioned in the role of a bible-weilding James Bond, The Pope (Franco Nero) becomes an ersatz M, sending his favoured agent out on the most dangerous assignments while ambitious bureaucrats seek to close the whole operation down.

I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a demonic ding-dong this much since Leslie Nielsen’s underrated REPOSSESSED, but THE POPE’S EXORCIST is a pretty decent horror movie elevated to a great time by the sheer charismatic presence – and point blank refusal to give in to the accent haters of THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER – of Russell mother-prayin’ Crowe. Are you not entertained? You’re God-blessed right I was.

The Pope's Exorcist Review
halloween score 7
logo

Related posts

Don’t let yourself get carried away by this week’s Craggus’ Trek Trek Phase II Omnibus – Vol.7

Don't let yourself get carried away by this week's Craggus' Trek Trek Phase II Omnibus - Vol.7

Here's your weekly Omnibus Edition of Craggus' Trek Trek Phase II covering Season 2 episodes 18 to 22 and Season 3 Episodes 1 to...

Malcolm’s in the middle…of an existential crisis as Frankie Muniz unwisely pulls on The Black String (2019)

Malcolm's in the middle...of an existential crisis as Frankie Muniz unwisely pulls on The Black String (2019)

As he’s made clear in responses to online trolls, Frankie Muniz, has no need to work for the rest of his life. All the more interesting then to see the roles he chooses to take on, especially when he explores roles far, far away from those which made his name like "The Black...

Not everything about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) is awesome but, as the movie itself is at pains to point out, that’s okay too.

Not everything about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) is awesome but, as the movie itself is at pains to point out, that's okay too.

Continuing the irreverent, pop-culture saturated craziness of the first movie, Emmet, Wildstyle and all your favourites from “The Lego Movie” are back picking up mere moments from the end of the first movie as the Duplo aliens attack.With the previously harmonious world of Bricksburg...

The Hunt For Red October (1990) Review

The Hunt For Red October (1990) Review

The Cold War turns red hot in peerless Tom Clancy geopolitical technothriller The Hunt For Red OctoberThis post is written as part of @noir_or_never and @realweegiemidge‘s Bond Not Bond BlogathonOscar and BAFTA-winning actor Sean Connery was not a great...