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Review: EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET (2019)

You have to give Chad Ferrin credit, he certainly isn’t afraid to try new things. He’s done dark, gritty horror with The Ghouls and The Chair. An urban reworking of Cornel Wilde’s The Naked Prey with Parasites which was then misleadingly repackaged as Attack in LA Now with Exorcism at 60,000 Feet he’s turned his hand to comedy with a mix of Airplane and Repossessed. Can he and screenwriters Robert Rhine (Cynthia) and Daniel Benton (The Revolting Dead, The Jackhammer Massacre) pull it off? Or will we be shouting Mayday and wishing we had caught Flight 666 instead?

After an exorcism that ends with a house full of dead bodies, Father Romero (Robert Miano, The Cloth, Assassin X) needs to catch a flight. And what a flight he catches. Flown by the hard-drinking Captain Houdee (Lance Henriksen, D-Railed, Mom and Dad) and with flight attendants Amanda (Bai Ling, The Crow, When The Devil Rides Out) and Thang (Matthew Moy, 2 Broke Girls). However, the flight to Vietnam gets turbulent when Garvan (Bill Moseley, The Church, Minutes To Midnight) begins possessing passengers.

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It’s up to Father Romero and Rabbi Larry Feldman (Robert Rhine, Bus Party to Hell) to stop the wave of possessions before there’s nobody left to land the plane.

One of the big draws of Exorcism at 60,000 Feet is, of course, the cast. Apart from those already mentioned, there’s Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog, Hoax), Kelli Maroney (Night of the Comet, Hell’s Kitty), Kevin J. O’Connor (Deep Rising, The Mummy) and several other faces familiar to genre fans.

One absence is surprising though, William Shatner. Given his roles in The Twilight Zone’s “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and the TV movie The Horror at 37,000 Feet, he would be a natural choice. And since he’s doing films like The Devil’s Revenge, he can’t be too fussy about the roles he takes.

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The real question of course is, how funny is Exorcism at 60,000 Feet. That will depend on your sense of humour. The jokes are tossed around constantly, with the hope that people will find enough of them funny to keep them happy. But the ones who will be the happiest are those who find jokes about used tampons in food hysterical. Or think a mentally challenged dwarf dressed up as a little kid is sidesplitting.

I laughed a bit, but overall I didn’t find Exorcism at 60,000 Feet anything special. As many jokes fall flat as work, and there’s just too much emphasis on juvenile, gross-out gags. There’s nothing wrong with them in and of themselves. But ninety-five minutes of almost nothing but them gets old fast.

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The film does look and sound good, the opening shots of the priest approaching the house are striking. And Ferrin gets the most out of the few sets he had to use. There’s also a great score by Richard Band (Re-Animator, The Resurrected).

Hopefully, Exorcism at 60,000 Feet has gotten the urge to do comedy out of Ferrin’s system because it doesn’t seem to be his thing. Thankfully his next film, The Deep Ones looks to be straight Lovecraftian horror. In the meantime, Shout Factory is releasing this on Digital and Blu-ray. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more info.

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