The 1974 horror film Abby was known as a rip-off of The Exorcist when it was released. It also got labeled as a blaxploitation film. See, in the 1970s, if you made a movie with an all-black cast, it was automatically labeled blaxploitation. That would explain why the movie has also become known as The Black Exorcist.
Honestly, I don’t see anything very exploitative about it. So a black woman roles around speaking like a man demon and saying vulgar shit. A little girl did the same thing a year earlier, and we don’t consider The Exorcist child-ploitation. Although, if you think about it, it sort of is. Little Linda Blair fricking screws herself with a crucifix! What in holy fuck?
40 years may have made Abby “campy” or “comical,” but if you watch it in the right frame of mind and catapult yourself back to the time when it was made, it definitely has a demonic possession creep factor that would have scared me as much as The Exorcist and Beyond the Door did. It’s an eerie film, even if it is derivative.
What makes it stand out is that Abby isn’t possessed by just any demon—it’s a sex demon released by her father-in-law a continent away! Somehow, this horny devil reaches around the world and gets inside Abby (he is a black demon, after all!). Then things get gay! Taking on a sexy Barry White tone, the he-demon wrestles Abby’s husband to the bed in an effort to mount him and goes clubbing to pick up men! GAY!
There are some genuine creepy moments in the movie. When the demon first arrives at Abby’s house, it races through the dark home shaking furniture in classic demonic possession style. Abby is overcome by the demon’s shadow in a spooky shower scene. All hell breaks loose when she’s doing laundry in the basement. She gets a lust for guts when she’s cutting up meat for dinner. She chases and savagely attacks a woman. She does the old levitation trick. The only real disappointment is that she doesn’t go to gruesome demonic face extremes. There are just hints of a real demon face that flash across the screen during some of Abby’s outbursts.
Now on to the campier side of the film. The score sounds like bad early 1970s action TV show music. None other than the infamous Blacula (William Marshall) plays her father-in-law. After one of Abby’s episodes, her husband asks, “Whatever possessed you to do a thing like that?” Awesome. The he-demon prank calls the husband before going clubbing and starting a bar fight. And when Abby picks up a man for a one-night stand, it’s not a bed that begins to shake and thump; it’s the car she’s gotten into with him. The car also begins to smoke like a hot rod! That poor dude gets fucked…and not in a good way.
Finally, Blacula performs the exorcism…on the floor of a club, Seriously. It lacks intensity, suspense, horror, or any resolution. I guess this gay sex demon just got tired of living in the woman closet. What better place to come out than a disco?