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Case Number 20638: Small Claims Court

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Legion: The Final Exorcism

MTI // 2011 // 82 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 4th, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is compelled by the power of ham.

The Charge

True faith vs. pure evil.

The Case

Direct-to-video icon David Heavener produced, wrote, directed, and stars in this exorcism saga about a girl who comes down with a bad case of the "demons," prompting a former priest (Heavener) to investigate.

And, yes, that's pretty much the same plot of all exorcism movies: vulnerable young lady victimized by the denizens of Hell, bailed out by a priest who lost his faith but comes around to the glory of God when it's time to engage in some theological pugilism.

We come to discover that the girl has been infested with the multitude of demons called "Legion," last seen in the New Testament getting dropped into a pack of suicidal swine by Jesus Christ. Apparently, they enjoyed the pig-living so much, they remained; until now jumping from their porcine domicile back into a human. And thus the poor girl is besieged by frightening visions and is attacked by chickens.

Setting aside the gratuitous poultry assault—which is indeed fantastic—there are two large problems with Legion: 1) it's too similar to other exorcism movies, and 2) it's terrible.

The opening title card claims that the story is inspired by true events, but there's not much more explanation about these events. So we'll just go with it and, I suppose, arrive at the conclusion that the demons from the netherworld never deviate from the F-with-a-teenager game-plan.

No matter. The entire enterprise is a stink bomb. Heavener seems to have his heart in the right place and he doesn't take a dump on anyone's belief system; in fact, his script portrays faith in a favorable light. There's just no escaping the goofiness of it all. Way too many cheap jump scares are tossed out in a lazy strategy to generate faux thrills. Quick edits and special effects are used liberally to give the film an edgy look, but only manage to make it look like everyone is trying way too hard, and the acting is just brutal. Has Roddy Piper truly been reduced to stumbling around as a mentally-challenged hillbilly?

The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital and a brief behind-the-scenes featurette.

The Verdict

The power of Christ compels you to head for the hills.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 55

Perp Profile

Studio: MTI
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• English (CC)
Running Time: 82 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Featurette


• IMDb

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