Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' Fried Chicken & Drugs: 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' Writer Charla Lauriston Creates the Anti-­Strong Black Woman in 'Clench & Release' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Greetings From 'The Walking Dead: Season 6' Set as Daryl Plants an Unexpected Kiss on Michonne Taraji P. Henson Books Lead in 'Hunger Games' Producer's Directorial Debut, ‘The Best Of Enemies’ Taraji P. Henson Books Lead in 'Hunger Games' Producer's Directorial Debut, ‘The Best Of Enemies’ PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve PBS Yanks Ben Affleck 'Finding Your Roots' Episode + Puts Off 3rd & 4th Seasons Until Editorial Standards Improve Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Here's Your First Look At Taye Diggs in the Title Role in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Maya Rudolph Mocks Rachel Dolezal on 'Late Night' Maya Rudolph Mocks Rachel Dolezal on 'Late Night' Teaser: Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michele Star in TV One Original Movie, 'Will to Love' Teaser: Marques Houston, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Draya Michele Star in TV One Original Movie, 'Will to Love' Petition Launched to Push UK Theater Chains to Screen 'Dear White People' Petition Launched to Push UK Theater Chains to Screen 'Dear White People' Miles Morales Is Indeed Your New Spider-Man Miles Morales Is Indeed Your New Spider-Man Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Watch The Greatest Black Film Ever Made Now!

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act June 12, 2013 at 7:42AM

O.K. so I lied (maybe just a little), but at least I got your attention...
3
Abby

O.K. so I lied (maybe just a little), but at least I got your attention...

I’m talking about the 1974 Exorcist rip-off, and cult favorite movie, Abby (as the poster tag line for the movie said when it was released: “Abby doesn’t need a man anymore. The Devil is her lover now!”).

And I confess that it’s far from being one of the greatest black films ever made, but it’s sure as hell one of the most fun to watch (and for the record, the greatest black film ever made is Three The Hard Way).

The film was written and directed by Louisville native, William Girdler, who went on to have a very prolific career as a filmmaker during the 70′s, directing several films, including, the Jaws rip-off, Grizzly, and the unbelievable and truly weird The Manitou, which was released after his sudden death in a plane crash in 1978.

The film stars Carol Speed in the lead role, and Blacula himself, William Marshall, as the exorcist, and follows a woman who, like Linda Blair, is possessed by the Devil. But not just any ordinary devil - an "African sex devil," which means Abby goes around being a real slut and tearing shit up, until Marshall arrives to drive the evil demon from her body in some Louisville dive in the hood.

Interestingly, a fact I didn’t know until recently, Carol Speed got the lead in the film when the original actress cast in the part got upset, when she found out that, because of the film’s low budget, she wouldn’t be provided with a massage therapist. She then walked off the project, and Speed got the role just before shooting began.

But the film gained notoriety for a particular reason. Despite the fact that there were dozens of Exorcist rip-offs made after the original film was released, for some reason, Abby really got under Warner Bros’ craw.  

The studio thought Abby was so much a blatant copy of their film (Exorcist) that they went to court and won a copyright infringement case against Abby. The result was that Abby was eventually pulled from distribution, but not before the film became a box office hit (mainly because audiences saw it as one of the funniest comedies of the year).

Though the film was originally picked up for distribution by American International Pictures, the films’ current ownership is somewhat muddled, which is why, about 8 years ago, after decades of not being available, it started showing up on various DVDs made from an old, scratchy 16MM print, most likely the only existing print available today.

But now, some generous soul has now made it available on YouTube for anyone interested to watch for themselves in full. 

Talk about a film ripe for discovery! But be warned - I wouldn’t exactly call it an undiscovered masterpiece either:


Shadow & ActNewsletter