Tuesday, October 9, 2012
ANNELIESE: THE EXORCIST TAPES
(Note: This write-up is also posted on another of my blogs, THE SPLATTING NUN!)
Ok, this is NOT a bona-fide documentary. As mentioned on the DVD cover posted above, this may well be the most famous possession in history, being that the one which was the basis for THE EXORCIST has been credibly debunked. For more on this, check out:
ANNELIESE: THE EXORCIST TAPES is a re-creation of events, using actors, although you will see no screen credits for them. I suppose that this is to carry over the illusion that you are seeing the ACTUAL film shot during Anneliese Michel’s 1976 exorcism(s). It has been suggested through other sources that some film DOES exist, but I didn’t spot any filmclip here that looked to be the real deal.
From what I know of the actual events, Anneliese did not kill anyone during her possessed state, as the film suggests, nor did she lead anyone to commit suicide. Makes a good story, but ‘tisn’t true in the scheme of things. Too bad, really, because there was one person, a bully cameraman who kept calling Anneliese “you crazy bitch” and taunted her to undress for him. He deserved to became a grease spot on the carpet and I will tell that he DOES get his in the end.
The priest is played by Christopher Johnson whom I instantly recognized as the actor who played Josef Mengele in one of my recent favorite movies, NAZIS AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH.
….what makes the movie worth having is how well it’s put together AND the fact that there are audio clips of the real Anneliese during her exorcism(s) played at key points in the film. During the playing of these audio recordings, you see on your TV a “screen card” which tells you what you are listening to.
I don’t speak much German anymore (being 30 years removed from living there as a young soldier from 1979-1982) and unfortunately, there’s no translation of what’s being said between the priest and the voice issuing forth from Anneliese. That’s a pity, really, because it would have been quite interesting to know.
The movie IS an attention-grabber despite the fact I was initially let down that this was not a genuine documentary. There are intense moments in it (not to include the “urine walk”, which I gather was a nod of the head to “The Exorcist”). Highlights are when the priest tells the family and camera crew just which entities are possessing Anneliese. Not to give it all away, but can you say “Sieg Heil”?
One of several highlights has to do with the “scientific” film crew slowly beginning to understand the true meaning behind Anneliese’s possession.
Anneliese Michel died on July 1st, 1976 in her hometown of Bavaria, Germany of what was deemed to be starvation. Both Anneliese’s parents and the priest were charged with negligent homicide. If you’ve seen the movie THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, you’ve seen the Americanized version of the Anneliese Michel story.
Below are two pictures taken at Anneliese’s Bavarian gravesite. Copyright owners maintain all rights to these images.
And, as a study in contrast, below are pictures of Anneliese before and during exorcism.
I found this movie over the past weekend on Saturday, October 6th at a local K-Mart in the Missouri town where I was born. This particular K-Mart has a really neat Halloween section and someone there took great care to put their inexpensive scary DVDs prominently amongst the decorations, costumes and seasonal candy. Therefore, ANNELIESE: THE EXORCIST TAPES was easy to spot.
Actually it wasn’t a lone DVD; there are 3 other features that were included: THE AMITYVILLE HAUNTING (which I will be blogging about here soon), A HAUNTING IN SALEM and 100 FEET. Paid only five bucks for all four films. This wasn’t the only DVD set I found that day, but with the discovery of ANNELIESE: THE EXORCIST TAPES, it was by far the most interesting find of the day.
Recommended but it is not, of course, for kids or those with sensitive dispositions.
ANNELIESE: THE EXORCIST TAPES is from The Asylum Home Entertainment.