Legion: The Final Exorcism:
Costa Chica: Confessions of an Exorcist is maybe not the zingiest title for an exorcism horror movie, but then Legion: The Final Exorcism isn't exactly the zingiest exorcism horror movie. In fact, no one is sure exactly what it is. Is it a comedy, parody or shocker? Is it a campy pilot for a Mexican-style tele-novella or genre-themed soap opera? It could be it's none of these things, but for the first dire scene when soon-to-be-possessed victim Tatiana encounters the sinister purple pig, then you realize that whatever the hell Legion: The Final Exorcism is, it's going to be funny.
I really don't want to bore you with some sort of plot summary, because it's pointless. There's a macho priest, Reverend Chica, who drives a rockin' SUV and wears dark glasses. He provides helpful narration, near constant narration because without it you'd be lost. I guess he's embroiled in a demonic grudge match with one of Hell's scions, a beast that killed his wife and kid. I guess. Like Catholic priests have wives and kids. Anyway, the demon seems to be after Chica, via Tatiana and the pig, which provides numerous instances to employ tired speeded-up demon movements, endless flash-cuts to a bloody-mouthed girl, really cheap makeup effects and bargain basement demon voices.
Of course none of this is remotely scary, and it's unclear as to whether it's meant to be scary or hilarious. I guess from the POV of a four-year-old child it would be horrifying, but that's a pretty lame audience to target. The point is, that nothing this overwhelmingly addlepated could have been created either intentionally or unintentionally. It's clearly an example of some of the worst filmmaking you've ever seen, ranking writer/director/star David Heavener somewhere between Tommy 'The Room' Wiseau and Mark Billy Owens McNabb. Either that, or Heavener is some type of genius hack-savant. Suffice it to say that between all the spastic editing and 70% Dutch Tilt camera work, Heavener's created an experience that's incomparable. As with McNabb and Wiseau, no effort is spared to make absolutely every aspect of this movie as bad as possible.
OK, I'm being a bit harsh, as I noticed one or two instances of humor that seemed intentional, and one that actually had me laughing. Too bad that incident is followed by 30 minutes of wildly uneven tone, street-level aesthetics, pathetic acting and other confusions designed to keep you entirely off guard. Did I forget to mention 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper also stars? As yet another shaky drunk? And he blows his brains out with a shotgun? At least heavy Christian proselytizing ensures your soul will be saved from this mess, with fantastically logical dialogue like, "honey, we can't burn candles in this house, it's too dangerous," and "I'm all right, I guess I'm just overtaken by dust." Overtaken by dust indeed.
The question remains, will Costa Chica be able to save this tiny religious community - that holds services in a dinky ski-lodge - from the perils of demonic possession? More importantly, will David Heavener get it together enough to make a movie that makes any sense at all? And will studio MTI entertainment ever stop releasing the absolute worst in direct-to-DVD slop? And do they feel guilty about retitling this movie in an effort to exploit a tiny share of the 'confused grandma' dollar? (- In a doddering voice, "Little Billy asked for Legion on DVD, or was it The Last Exorcism? Oh, this must be it! Legion: The Final Exorcism! Yep, won't Billy be happy!") Break out the rosary, Grandma, for the string of expletives Billy will let fly after watching this.
MTI provided DVD Talk with a DVD-R screener, so we can't rate the visual quality of this 16 X 9 presentation. When final product arrives, we will update the review.
Additionally, we can't rate audio quality either. Check back sometime in the future if you hope to find out about audio quality.
Extras on the DVD-R are limited to a Trailer.
Legion: The Final Exorcism is one of those rare exploitation releases that truly lives up to its station, exploiting everyone involved, except for 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper who can continue to put groceries on the table thanks to the likes of director Heavener. That said, everything about this movie is as bad as it can be, but at least it's all so bad that it's totally hilarious. The fact that one can't be certain whether this is intentional or a fluke is anyone's guess, except there's no way it's intentional, and also no way it's a fluke. If you really want to have a riotous time with your buddies, cue this up with one of McNabb's Billy Owens movies for the best in the worst of the 21st Century, but bear in mind that by all other measures this movie doesn't even merit a Skip It rating. Hoorah!
- Kurt Dahlke
~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com