The Possession of Joel Delaney, 1972 - ★★★

The Possession of Joel Delaney, 1972 - ★★★


“To the worlds greatest uncle Joel” - Carrie Benson (Lisa Kohane) cough, less said the better

Unpleasant and morally suspect slice of 70's horror. 'The Possession of Joel Delaney' is a psychologically charged supernatural thriller, that features more blatant incestuous undertones than a Pixies record. After Joel Delaney gets arrested for a violent drug fueled assault on his landlord. Single mother of two Norah, decides to offer her wayward brother Joel shelter from the storm. Its all one big happy family, until the beheaded corpse of Joel's girlfriend turns up, that makes him the prime suspect. In order prove his innocence, Norah decides to dig into his past and stumbles into a seedy world of Puerto Rican spiritualists, voodoo and cleaning ladies.

Director Waris Hussein (bow, bow) will always hold a place in British nerds (like myself) hearts for directing the very first episode of Doctor Who, here he's crafted one hell of a schizophrenic movie. Not just Joel's state of mind (note Norah's also unbalanced and not far behind), but also in its execution. At times its genuinely atmospheric, even unique, especially the segments Shirley MacLaine's delves 'Angel Heart'-like into a no-go foreign culture. Other times its totally shambolic and downright cheesy & perverse (sadly not even in a kinky way), and highly reminiscent of Italian exploitation movies. I'm sure its a movie MacLaine regrets, sad she went from heady lights of Hitchcock to cockup in such a brief period. Even though its junk, for right or wrong reasons it kept me captivated. Its worth checking out, especially for horror movie fans on the look out for an oddity.

[Personal Reasons For Remembering]

Lots of neat NY location shooting and Joels girlfriend Sherry's (Barbara Trentham, former Mrs John Cleese) chic 70's apartment was amazing. And fur Christs sake how many poor defenseless animals had to die for Maclaines wardrobe, looked like she was wearing a Zoo's worth.

Originally taken from Letterboxd

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