HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
Early Man
Killdozer
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Chemical Wedding do what thou wiltBuy this film here.
Year: 2008
Director: Julian Doyle
Stars: Simon Callow, Kal Weber, Lucy Cudden, Jud Charlton, Paul McDowell, John Shrapnel, Richard Franklin, Terence Bayler, Robert Ashby, Jared Ashe, Antonia Beamish, Esmé Bianco, Geoff Breton, Lily Dumont, Mat Fraser, Helen Millar, Lizzie Millne, Perrine Moran
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Weirdo
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Aleister Crowley, occultist, philosopher and self-styled “wickedest man in the world” is the subject of this peculiar horror movie, scripted by former Iron Maiden front-man Bruce Dickinson. American scientist Professor Mathers (Kal Weber) arrives at Cambridge University where he attracts pretty student reporter Leah Robinson (Lucy Cudden), eager to get the scoop on his top secret experiment. For reasons never entirely made clear, Mathers plans to link his state-of-the-art virtual reality suit to the world’s biggest super computer.

Unknown to him, his occult obsessed co-programmer Victor Neumann (Jud Charlton) has uploaded all of the late Crowley’s black magic ceremonies into the computer in binary form, so when his stuttering accomplice Professor Haddo (Simon Callow) enters the suit, he emerges transformed into “the Beast” himself. Crowley/Haddo proceeds to run rampant with sex, murder and depravity, culminating in an occult ritual known as the Chemical Wedding, while Mathers, Leah and Professor Symons (Paul McDowell) try to send him back to hell.

The mix of occult lore and science fiction (as Victor remarks: “Quantum physics is the new alchemy”) evokes Nigel Kneale, but this is a deeply silly movie. As directed by onetime Monty Python collaborator Julian Doyle, it remains hard to discern whether this is meant to be high camp or faithfully following Crowley’s oft-quoted dictum: “Do what thou wilt.” While fantasy writers from Neil Gaiman to Alan Moore take Crowley pretty seriously, the man’s church-baiting hedonism more closely resembles modern, self-aggrandising celebrity than anything particularly satanic. Those who celebrate him as a libertarian would do well to remember he was also a racist whose bisexuality stemmed from his deep-rooted contempt for women - qualities that would make him a far scarier villain than he is here.

Bruce Dickinson seems an intelligent, well read man. His script is occasionally erudite yet dense with Crowley lore, freemasonry and quantum physics to the point of incoherence. The unfolding events are very much a rock star’s idea of satanic evil: rampant orgies, drug use and rude behaviour. Simon Callow camps it up as Haddo/Crowley deposits a steaming pile of excrement upon his desk, hypnotises a girl into stripping off, crucifies a call girl after shaving her pubic hair, and goads Victor into a threesome with a busty, “Whore of Babylon.” Most of the sex and violence occurs off-screen, which is just as well given a faintly offensive moment that implies Crowley has sodomised a crippled woman to “cure” her. However, Doyle’s haphazard storytelling coupled with Callow’s over the top bellowing renders several supporting characters impossibly vague. Why on earth do people flock to such a ridiculous character?

A trippy, Satanism meets cyberpunk finale works in Schrödinger’s cat, chaos theory and a neat twist about parallel worlds (implying ours is the one governed by Satan), but the clever concepts are swamped in a mire of inanity. With antics that range from a ridiculous pagan analysis of Hamlet (“Academics are mere boils on the Bard’s arsehole”) before dropping his pants to piss all over the students, and masturbating over a mystic parchment that he then faxes to Leah (semen and all!), this horror villain is little more than a pantomime joke. Maybe that’s the point, since the real Crowley looks more like one with each passing decade.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2233 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: