Phoenix Film Festival 2015 – Bad Exorcists

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As I mentioned earlier, when you attend a film festival you always need to go into the movies with a somewhat open mind. These are people who don’t necessarily have the same amount of skill as people whose movies you typically see on the big screen, but they have heart and passion so you have to respect them for what they do, especially when it comes to comedy. Some people think they’re funny, but they are far from it, and others try so hard to be funny that it comes off as insulting; so I’m even more leery when it comes to true independent comedies. Bad Exorcists is one of the movies that falls into those categories. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I just needed to categorize it. Truth be told I’m not sure why I selected this movie as one of the ones I chose to see, probably because it was the only one in that time frame that I could fit in before my next movie. Whatever the case may be I was truly stunned by this movie.

It follows a group of high school friends who want to shoot a movie to enter in a film festival to put it to some film club snobs from their school. While filming the exorcist scene the teens unwittingly unleash a demon onto their lead actress. Hilarity ensues as these three wildly untrained teens attempt to make their movie, save their friend, deal with cheating girlfriends, and battle with the forces of evil.

Produced on a truly hair string budget ($40,000 out of the director’s own pocket and $20,000 from a successful post-production Kickstarter campaign) it had all the makings of a big budget Hollywood horror-comedy without the obvious price tag. The cast and crew was made up of friends and family who helped pull all of this together. I learned all of this information after the screening from a short Q&A with the filmmakers and I was in shock. None of the actors had ever acted before which was surprising to me because they all brought with them something beyond what you typically see in independent movies, and even most major motion pictures. The humor was also a plus for me. I’m hard to please when it comes to being funny. You need to have a true wit and be genuine when it comes to jokes in order for me to think it’s funny. I was in stitches throughout this entire movie, especially from the antics of one of the main characters, Dana.

This movie was competing in the competition and I hope they at least get some sort of recognition. My hope is also that if the filmmakers were intending this to be a stepping stone that it leads to bigger and better things. I will be following these guys and wish them the best and would gladly be first in line to whatever they bring out next. There isn’t plans to release it in theaters or anything so watch it wherever you can and support these guys.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the 2015 Phoenix Film Festival.

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Jim Lincoln (The Film Department)

A man of mystery and power, whose power is exceeded only by his mystery. Writer of things. Watcher of stuff. Quoter of movies. Master of puppets.

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