Directed by: Grant Austin Walden
Starring: Michael Berryman, Brinke Stevens, Elena Sahagun, Robert Quarry, Jay Richardson, Oliver Darrow, Tom Shell, Hoke Howell, and Eddie Deezen
Don’t buy a house from Michael Berryman. Or a pizza for that matter. And
if Eddie Deezen delivers said pizza, you know you’re in real trouble.
When college student Diane (Stevens) moves into a spacious Hollywood
home, little does she know that the spirit of the nefarious Baron DeSade
(Howell) - who is pure evil, yet a homebody (he shouts “I shall live
here forever!!!!”) - still inhabits the space. This somehow turns the
bookish and cute Diane into a demon-possessed dominatrix, of sorts. Her
sister Sally (Sahagun), her husband Mike (Richardson), and a potential
college boyfriend (Shell), along with Father McFerrin (Quarry) and
Deezen, the pizza delivery boy, all cavort around the house trying to
get Diane back to normal. After some hijinx involving a demon
(Darrow) and a bunch of zombies, something ensues - but is it hilarity?
Find out, if you dare.
I’ve never really been a fan of horror
comedies. With the possible exception of Dead Alive (1992), usually they
just seem like excuses to be neither funny nor scary. However, AIP
seems to like them, having released this, and the very similar Speak of the Devil (1991) in the same year. Both have evil stuff lurking in the
basement, and neither of them are that funny. But of the two, Teenage
Exorcist is better. For one thing, the cast seems to be having fun.
Unfortunately, it’s not contagious for the audience. You do almost crack
a smile a few times, but only because the humor is so old-fashioned.
It’s almost vaudeville, and seeing as how Brinke Stevens is credited
with the screenplay (although it was co-written with Ted Newsom, though
he was uncredited because of a Writer’s Guild issue. I learned this from
listening to the DVD commentary. And
to answer your questions, yes, there is a DVD. And yes, it has a
commentary track. And yes, I listened to it.) - unless she was over 80
years old or so at the time of writing (and looking really good) - it’s
kind of inexplicable why the gags seem like they should be from such an
So that makes Teenage Exorcist sort of a cross
between Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) and Repossessed
(1990), what with its old dark house and exorcist jokes. Also to the
movie’s credit is the fact that it has a title song, a very catchy
pop-metal ditty that would seem perfect for Hardcore Superstar to do a
cover of. Elsewhere, it has a jaunty score underscoring such scenes as
Brinke’s milk box inflating and deflating (a sure sign evil doings are
afoot), and her carrying in her mustard in a big brown box as she moves
into her house. But it does its best with its low budget - it all takes
place, for the most part, in one location - the
house (it looks like the house from Mirror Mirror 3 (1995). Even some
of the end credits are first names only, kind of underscoring the
buddy-buddy vibe. And, of course, when the first credit before the title
of the movie are the words “Eddie Deezen in...” you know you’re in for a
treat (?) But it also has Hoke Howell of Action USA (1989) fame, as
well as Sahagun of Ring of Fire II (1993) and Tiger Heart (1996) fame.
For a proposed first version of this movie, Fred Olen Ray made a trailer
only, and it has Cam Mitchell. Too bad he couldn’t appear in the final
So while the title is a misnomer (there is no teenage
exorcist in the film - there was supposed to be, but in an inexplicable
casting decision, the teenage girl was replaced by Eddie Deezen!), if
you’re in the mood for some good-natured mediocrity with a mild sexy
edge, Teenage Exorcist could just be the movie for you.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett