‘Abby doesn’t need a man anymore… the Devil is her lover now!’
Abby is a 1974 blaxploitation horror film about a woman who is possessed by an African sex spirit. The film starred William H. Marshall, best known for portraying the lead role in Blacula, Terry Carter, and Carol Speed as the title character. It was directed by William Girdler (Three on a Meathook, The Manitou), who co-wrote the film’s story with screenwriter Gordon Cornell Layne.
The film was a financial success, but was pulled from theaters after the film’s distributor, American International Pictures, was accused of copyright violation by Warner Bros., which saw the film as being derivative of The Exorcist and filed a lawsuit against AIP.
The film’s use of the Yoruba religion distinguishes it from being simply a copy of the Exorcist with a black cast. In the story, Abby is apparently possessed by Eshu, a West African orisha of chaos and whirlwinds. He is also a trickster and the guardian of roads, particularly crossroads.
While on an archaeological dig in a cave in Nigeria, Dr. Williams finds a small, ebony puzzle box, carved with the symbols of Eshu: the whirlwind, the cock’s comb, and the erect phallus. When Dr. Williams discovers the mechanism to open the box and unlatches it, a tremendous wind blasts out, knocking Dr. Williams and his men against the cave walls and floor. The spirit released by Dr. Williams crosses the Atlantic to Louisville, Kentucky to the new home of Dr. Williams’s son, Emmett Williams (Terry Carter) and Abby Williams (Carol Speed). Why and how the spirit travels the globe is not explained. After Abby becomes possessed, her behavior becomes increasingly bizarre and dangerous…
Filmbunnies blog review