March 14th, 2012: Abby (1974)

Cast and Crew:  Willam Girdler (Director, Story, Producer); Samuel Z. Arkoff (Executive Producer); Austin Stoker, Juanita Moore

What It’s About:  When divinity professor/archaeologist Garnett Wiliams (William Marshall) accidentally frees Eishu, the entity possesses his daughter-in-law Abby (Carol Speed) and Williams and his son Emmett (Terry Carter) must find a way to exorcise the spirit.

Why Watch it Today?: Abby is probably more well-known as the Exorcist rip-off Warner Brothers successfully sued out of theaters as it is as one of the more hilariously bad, off-the-wall films to come out of the brief Blaxploitation horror boom sparked by Blacula.  That’s a shame, because the film really is loopy enough to deserve fame of its own, and it is hardly the only Exorcist rip-off and certainly not one of the most flagrant ones.  But why watch it today?  Star Carol Speed turns 67 today. Speed is, among some in my circle of bad movie fans, known as the actress we love to hate, and this film showcases her questionable talent wonderfully, with her tiny stature, enormous hair, and constant face scrunching used to great effect, turning her into an evil-looking, licentious midget.

Where to Get It:  Not available legitimately at present, but you can find it in parts on YouTube:  

The Trailer

Other Choices:  Last year we celebrated the birth of cartoonist Lee Falk with The Phantom. Carol Speed also appears, hilariously, in Avenging Disco Godfather.

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