“After a ranch in Texas is befallen to a mysterious, demonic presence, it is up to an eccentric, wandering priest to find answers and dispel the darkness. As he digs deeper he soon finds that he may be in over his head and out of time”
The Good Exorcist pokes loving fun at the Exorcism horror sub-genre and all of the tropes therein. Father Gil (Daniel Degnan) is the the ‘run-and-gun’ yet softly spoken preacher that has tasked himself with dealing with all things demonic; but what is he running from? We also in some scenes see a different side to him as he dances to Heavy Metal like some kind of patriarchal Silent Bob. Despatched to the idyllic StarHill Ranch he encounters a series of kooky residents and attempts to help them with their demonic problems; while on a deeper level the film also shows him dealing with his inner demons.
Visually the film has a bold style of it’s own if a little confused in places. The opening sequence in particular has a Grindhouse feel complete with vignettes. The use of anamorphic ratio and occasional master shots also gives a Western flavour to the film. An old TV set and VHS player provide the perfect device for some fun animated segments too. There is a melting-pot of influences on show here from the comic horror of Sam Raimi’s ‘Evil Dead’ to the Grindhouse style of Rodriguez (the film was made as part of his ‘Rebel Without a Crew’ TV show) with a touch of Kevin Smith style dialogue-heavy humour.
Music is also used to create effect as we switch from pounding heavy metal to more heavily scored sections when the demons appear which are more akin to The Exorcist and Evil Dead. There’s one sequence early on I particularly enjoyed which seemed perfectly choreographed to the music. The sound however is a little rough in places which detracts from the dialogue and is perhaps where the film’s low budget is most evident (the film was made for only $7,000 which is an achievement in itself). Ultimately this was a very enjoyable watch and may leave you wanting more from Father Gil and co….