Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Pyx

aka The Hooker Cult Murders

Director - Harvey Hart (The Aliens are Coming)
Starring - Karen Black (House of 1000 Corpses), Christopher Plummer (9, Priest), and Donald Pilon (Bulldozer)
Release Date - 1973
Genre - Horror/Crime
Tagline(s) - "The demons hunger" "Deep in the city lies an unmentionable horror" "Her business is pleasure. Until her date with ... The Pyx" and "See It...Find Out What It Means!"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (15 Horror Movies Volume 2)

Rating (out of 5):
     People often ask me why I take the time to review older films instead of the newer ones.  My answer to that one is fuck you.  I'm just playing.  Anyway, I like to review older films because most of the younger generations have no idea most of these even exists.  Hell, most of my reviews are written after watching these films for the first time myself and a majority of them were released decades before I was born. Almost all new films, regardless of the budget, will always find someone to review them.  However, the films released before the online boom have very few sources people can turn to for others opinions on the film.  That was my problem with this film here.  I searched around online and could not find many reliable sources for it.  I was curious about this one because it was on the 15 Horror Movie set I have been reviewing films from and because it starred Karen Black.  When it was this film's turn I gladly threw it in not knowing what to expect.
     The film follows Detective Henderson (Plummer) as he scrambles to find the truth behind the death of a heroine addicted prostitute (Black).  The prostitute fell to her death and the detective finds an upside cross and a pyx (small tin container) on her body.  As the detective works every lead and angle, all the suspects in the murder case are killed.  The detective quickly discovers that the murders are all connected to a satanic cult.
     The seventies were a time where films about Satan and Satanic cults were everywhere.  Hell, there is even one starring The Shat himself, William Shatner, with a brief appearance by John Travolta.  The film, The Devil's Rain, is actually a halfway decent flick.  Anyway, the point of my rant is that the 70's was filled with films regarding Satan.  By this point this film was competing with hundreds of other Satanic films and to make matters worse this religious horror film had to also compete with one of the greatest horror flicks of all time, The Exorcist.  Both films were released the same year and only one would stand the test of time while the other slipped in to obscurity.  The only thing that is really worth praising in this flick is the acting.  The entire cast did an amazing job in their roles.  It was also nice seeing Karen Black while she was young.  I was really surprised by how damn hot she was back in the day.  The story is nothing really special and could easily be compared to the hundreds of films released during this time with the same subject matter.  In all honesty I don't really see any original thought applied to this one.  Finally, the film does not offer us horror fans any real special effects or deaths on screen.  The filmmakers wanted to really push the religious horror at the viewer instead of what I like to call "carnage horror."  Unfortunately, they failed miserably at creating any kind of atmosphere that is truly scary.  Overall, this is a very poor excuse for a horror movie that was only created to cash in on a temporary craze.  Avoid it.  

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