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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 67: Repossessed

Not going to lie. I don't remember Leslie Nielsen being dressed like that in the movie.

I'm a huge Leslie Nielsen fan. Whenever one of the Naked Gun movies is on TV, I stop what I'm doing and watch. I'll even give my time to some of his lesser comedies likes Spy Hard and some of the Scary Movies. Most people don't know that Nielsen was a serious actor for many years. Look up Swamp Fox from Disney to see what I mean. He was also capable of being completely evil in the original Creepshow. He was a triple threat and what better way to celebrate than with a horror-themed comedy starring Mr. Nielsen.

Repossessed is a 1990 spoof on classic horror movie, The Exorcist. Linda Blair from the original Exorcist stars as Nancy Aglet. Nancy was once possessed by the Devil when she was a little girl and has become possessed once again through the TV. With no medical explanation, Nancy reaches out to Father Luke Brophy (Anthony Starke) for help. Out of his element, Luke reaches out to the priest that conducted Nancy's exorcism, Father Jedediah Mayii (Leslie Nielsen). Mayii refuses, claiming poor health. Luke then turns to the Church for help, who recommends he teams up with televangelists, Ernest (Ned Beatty, Superman, Deliverance) and Fanny Weller (Lana Schwab, The Bridges of Madison County) for a live exorcism on TV. Horrified at the thought, Luke reaches out to Mayii once again. Convinced that he is the only person capable of defeating the Devil, Mayii hits the gym and gets in fighting shape. The televised exorcism hits the skids when a possessed Nancy gets serious and starts raising hell. Will Father Mayii (get it?) and Father Luke be able to save Nancy and send the Devil back to hell?

The power of Chris comBLAAAARRGGHHH

Since Repossessed is a spoof, it's safe to say that the plot isn't particularly important. Most of the effort is put towards visual gags and typical Leslie Nielsen comedy. The movie came out around 1990, but at times it feels very, very dated. The Naked Gun series relied more on general comedy whereas Repossessed used a lot of topical humor, which gets lost on the younger audience and even people that have forgotten about events from that time. Scenes like Sean Penn punching photographers and Leslie Nielsen dressed as the Ayatollah are still funny, but you do have search the recesses of your mind to remember why. Good comedy doesn't have a sell-by date and unfortunately a lot of jokes in this movie have one. That's not to say the movie isn't funny, because despite what some uptight critics say, it is. It's just not timeless comedy.

Leslie Nielsen is excellent as Father Mayii and Linda Blair is great as the possessed Nancy. Ned Beatty nails the televangelists of the 80's and Lana Schwab is particularly enjoyable as a Tammy Faye Baker spoof. Anthony Starke is good in his role and its a surprise to see that he hasn't been in much else. Cameos by Jesse “The Body” Ventura and “Mean” Gene Okerlund to call the fight between Mayii and Nancy is very funny and warms my wrestling mark heart. The movie is pretty light on actual horror, but we're really watching to laugh, not to be scared. The references to the original Exorcist are appreciated and good for a few chuckles. Heck, the movie even has it's own theme song. More movies need their own theme.

Speak softly and carry a big Louisville Slugger

While it doesn't reach the level of the Naked Gun series, Repossessed is still a fun, if not forgotten, movie. Leslie Nielsen and Linda Blair are a lot of fun to watch with a good supporting cast. The jokes are there, but some feel very dated when it comes to topical material. If you like the Exorcist and you like Leslie Nielsen, ignore the critics, and check this movie out for yourself. You just might like it.


1 comment:

  1. Leslie Nelson is probably the biggest reason I enjoy Scary Movie 3 to the extent that I do