When a Texas ranch falls victim to a demonic presence, it is up to Father Gil, an eccentric priest to dispel this powerful dark force. This is the fun world of the horror comedy The Good Exorcist. You may remember my review of Monday (2018) which was documented in the TV series Rebel Without A Crew. The production of The Good Exorcist was also featured in that show.
Rebel Without a Crew is based on the book of same name, which details the making of Robert Rodriquez’s 1992 debut film El Mariachi. The catch is these five indie hopefuls had to make their movies with the same limitations Rodriquez had. Each filmmaker was given a budget of $7,000 and only 14 days to shoot the movie. For more details on the rules these filmmakers had to work within, you can read my review of Monday.
The Good Exorcist was surprisingly funny. I was laughing early on when we are first introduced to Father Gil played by Daniel Degnan. We watch Father Gil, this tall drink of holy water dance to death metal music playing on his walk-man while he takes care of an exorcism so casually you would think he was taking out the trash. This scene reminded me of Starlord grooving to the beat in Guardians of the Galaxy.
For a scrappy low budget movie, this one delivers the goods. Fun scenes of exaggerated violence such as when our priest has to fight a possessed teddy bear. Old school Horror fans will be happy to hear that this movie makes great use of practical effects. Or a hilarious scene of Father Gil showing the owners of the ranch an orientation video so they know what to expect from his exorcism services. It is worth noting that this orientation video and another clip featured hand drawn animation by the filmmaker Josh Stifter.
The Good Exorcist is the first feature for Josh Stifter as a writer and director, but he has enjoyed a career as an animator which includes Kevin Smith projects such as a segment in Tusk (2014). This animation really does set this movie apart and adds another layer to it. In true indie film fashion, Josh Stifter is also the Editor, Producer and Cinematographer of The Good Exorcist. Daniel Degnan not only embodied the role of Gil, but is also a Producer and Co-Writer of the movie.
Our supporting characters who live at the ranch are a strange eclectic mix who are well developed and make for a fun cast. The supernatural elements become a breading ground for horror and humor. These two genres were perfectly balanced and fast paced. At a few points the audio mix is uneven, but that happens. Overall, The Good Exorcist is a fun, spirited comedy. If you are a fan of indie horror comedies, this is one to see.
The Good Exorcist is ramping up its release. It is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and Troma Now. You purists who love your physical media will be glad to know that Blu-Ray and VHS editions of The Good Exorcist are coming soon! The Blu-Ray is expected to include Audio Commentaries, Behind The Scenes, How-To Videos and more.
Curt Wiser is the Writer/Director of the suspense movie Cam-Girl. Whenever the power compels him, he is happy to see other filmmaker’s work and share them with the rest of the world.