×

HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
CROWLEY
Download Movie
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy

Directed by: Julian Doyle

Starring:
Simon Callow
John Shrapnel
Lucy Cudden

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A modern-day reincarnation of Aleister Crowley, via some virtual reality mumbo-jumbo, menaces a poofy university.
Is it good movie?
This film is essentially the most demented and disgusting Dr. Who episode youíve ever seen. Physicist Dr. Mathers is an American scientist visiting Cambridge University in England, to participate in a joint effort to do something or other, something sciency, something involving a virtual reality environment and a huge, silly, Robot Monster-looking suit. Unbeknownst to him, but knownst to us, the computer tech is a wannabe Mason, and has programmed the VR dealy-o with all sorts of Crowley bio-data, and then puts poor, stuttering, fellow Mason and Crowley-acolyte Professor Haddo into the suit to show off to him. Unfortunately, Haddo becomes imbued with the virtual soul of Crowley. He proceeds to shave his head, become supremely arrogant, and indulge in sexual magick to bring about a homunculus, a so-called Moon Child. Yeah, donít ask me. I donít know, either.

Anyone familiar with Bruce Dickinsonís fiction, and Iron Maidenís b-side Black Bart character, will not be surprised by the prurient, frankly odious nature of a lot of the goings on in this film. Which I guess is fitting, since Crowley makes GG Allin look like Mr. Rogers. Co-writer and director Julian Doyle was directing the Maiden video for Can I Play With Madness? when Bruce broached the idea of a Crowley film. All these years later, it has finally come to fruition. Budgetary restrictions kept them from doing it straight up, as it would have needed to be a period piece, so the script was transmogrified into this sci-fi jazz, because, as I learned myself once while writing a short story, quantum physics is so bizarre and little understood that as long as you drop a few valid concepts and use the proper jargon, you can get away with not knowing what the frell you are talking about.

The main problem with the film is that every character other than Crowley himself is grossly underwritten. He is the focus of the film, and Simon Callow offers a compelling, fearless, often uproariously hilarious performance as the reviled man, but when he is not delivering bawdy speeches, pissing on students (in public!) and putting a straight razor to a hookerís cootchy-pop (shudder) there isnít really anything else to watch. There are some decent special effects, and I can now say that I have watched a man fax sperm to an unwitting redhead, but the muddled science and mumbled explanations kept making this whole thing feel like a half-formed idea. It is definitely worth watching, and is quite enjoyable in its own way, just donít stare too hard at the screen, or you will see through the holes and at the stage behind.
Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen, 1.85:1. The video quality is on par with a well done made-for-TV film.

Audio: Dolby Surround 5.1, with English for the deaf and hearing impaired. Sadly, there is no evidence of Ozzy's Mr. Crowley anywhere in the film :(
The Extras
Deleted Scenes: This is really a mix of gag reel and deleted scenes, complete with subtitles telling us what the scene is, what it was intended to convey, and why it didnít make it into the movie. A lot of stuff relating to the science of the piece hit the cutting room floor, which is too bad: the movie would have made more sense if the producers hadnít insisted it be cut, especially the stuff about gravitons. It is also fun to play Spot the Bruce.

Making of Crowley: This is a 20-minute long behind the scenes doc, which starts pretty standard. Interviews with the principals, candid between-takes footage, and the like. But then by the end all sorts of crew members are talking about someone who killed himself, and it sounds like they are talking about a crew member, and that it happened on set. I donít know. Like most of the film, I was having a hard time figuring what they were getting at.

Commentary with Bruce Dickinson, Julian Doyle, and producer Ben Timlett: Pretty engaging talk, a nice mix of nuts and bolts, anthropology of the piece, and juvenile humor.
Last Call
A strange mishmash of science and magic and perversity that comes right to the edge of making sense, and then falls right over and into the abyss. Kind of like the real Crowley himself. Not a perfect movie, but its audacity should make up for its flaws and provide you with an hour and a half or so of entertainment.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Mistress Of The Week

More