Whenever I sit down to watch a film that has the word exorcism, (or any variation of the word) I automatically think that it is going to be a straight rip-off of William Friedkin’s 1970’s classic, The Exorcist. To give Blackwater Valley Exorcism its dues, the film takes very little from the grand-daddy of all exorcism films. That said, Blackwater Valley Exorcism is a terrible, terrible film.
The film begins with our possessed teen Isabella (Kristin Erickson) wandering the wilderness in her nightdress, discovered by some of her farm hands we see that something isn’t quite right. The doctors can’t figure out what is wrong with her, and when she starts screaming in Latin, her dad realises that there is something seriously wrong with her. The doctors can’t help, so who does her dad call? An Exorcist? The Ghostbusters?
Nope, a vet! Yes, you read that right. This call leads to the immortal quote “I’m a veterinarian, not a doctor”.
However, following some horse tranquilisers Father Jacob finally arrives, but he is having a crisis of faith and a dodgy past that involves spousal abuse. I know, I don’t get how a Catholic Priest can be involved in spousal abuse either, and it’s never really explained. That is the reality of Blackwater Valley Exorcism; nothing is ever explained or thought through. It’s as if the script was written over a weekend and never re-drafted.
The acting is terrible, the direction is flat and it would appear that the film was made on a budget that would be low even for a student film. In fact, Ethan Whiley’s film reminds me of a student film. It is as if a group of amateur film buffs got together over a weekend and knocked out a horror-exploitation film. I have to hand it to Randy Colton (Ely), the man may have a movie-star name, but he has delivered one of the most bizarre performances I have ever seen. I’m not sure if he’s the greatest comedic actor of his generation, a man who doesn’t take direction, or he realised the quality of the film he was starring in and decided to play it for wooden laughs. Watch the movie and decide.
Blackwater Valley Exorcism is the type of film that falls into the “it’s so bad, it’s good” category. I’m not sure if the film was intentionally funny, but I did have a few laughs during it. It’s as if Ed Wood started making movies again.
There’s a trailer, a music video and a pretty in-depth making-of documentary that made me appreciate the film more. No really. The making-of highlighted the student production vibe from the film, but watching the “priest” who over saw the production makes me think that the technical advisor credit was a joke.