Exorcism at 60,000 Feet is a low budget horror comedy crafted for stuck-at-home horror fans in need of something fun. Starring Bill Moseley, Lance Henriksen, and Adrienne Barbeau the star-studded cast fully commit to the insane premise while serving up some hilarious moments. High Def Digest was presented with only a digital screener but from the look of it, this film should provide a solid A/V presentation on Blu-ray. For chilled out horror fans looking for a laugh, this one comes Recommended.
Note: For this review, we were only provided a digital screener and the quality of the A/V presentation is in reference to that viewing experience.
“It’s spreading like an evil fart”
My favorite bit from Exorcism at 60,000 Feet isn’t an obvious one. It’s not the Twilight Zone “There’s something on the wing!” reference, nor is it the pious nuns making out after being possessed by the onboard demonic fog, and it doesn’t feature a celebrated horror icon. Rather it’s a simple running gag about a bored passenger named Ms. Tang. As the doomed flight is overrun with a demonic presence we routinely cut to a single passenger on her phone calmly sitting in her seat mindlessly scrolling. After a few cuts to Ms. Tang it begins to dawn on me that she is essentially all of us right now lazily staring at our phones as chaos reigns around us. Or is that just me?
A mundane flight to Vietnam turns ugly when Father Romero (Robert Miano) boards the airplane after a, particularly horrific exorcism. Onboard he is met with a host of outrageous characters just trying to survive the turbulence and the irritable cabin crew. When strange things start happening to the passengers Father Romero becomes paranoid that his work may have followed him on the plane. Seeking help from Rabbi Larry Feldman (Robert Rhine) the two men of God try to stop the evil that is possessing the passengers.
Veteran airline pilot Captain Houdee (Lance Henriksen) is mostly unaware of the proceedings as celebrating his last flight as Captain takes his full attention. Bai Ling is Amanda the pushy flight attendant sipping a margarita in the corner with fellow attendant Thang (Tommy Moy) at her side complaining about the awful passengers. Mrs. Monetgue (Adrienne Barbeau) boards the flight with her taxidermied emotional support dog tucked into her leather knock off purse. Rounding out the cast are horror icons Kelli Maroney, Kevin J. O’Connor, and Bill Moseley.
More Airplane! than Repossessed it piles on the jokes and visual gags but at its heart, this movie wants to play the whole thing straight. From stellar opening homage to The Exorcist you’re convinced that this might be a serious horror effort regardless of the bonkers title. The eclectic mix of characters and the sense of impending doom, whether from the crew or the antsy Father Romero, make every moment ripe for slapstick hilarity. Everyone is having fun here especially Lance Heinriksen who looks like he can’t believe what he’s saying as he’s saying his lines. You could say the script doesn’t live up to the caliber of talent on board but that just assumes this wasn’t going to be a comedy. Performances are good but the supporting cast of players really stretches their stereotyped characters into bad taste at times. If anything good comes out of Exorcism at 60,000 Feet its that this should launch a franchise with Bai Ling and Tommy Moy as flight attendants on airlines destined for supernatural mischief. Honestly, they’re the glue that holds this thing together. I thought I’d never say that about Bai Ling but here we are, right?
Where Exorcism at 60,000 Feet falters is inconsistent pacing. You don’t get a sense of what this movie is doing until you’re knee-deep into the threadbare plot. Jokes are given priority seating which is understandable. However, the plot is crammed into whatever seat is leftover making for too much confusion. The film does clip along nicely which makes “casual viewing” a breeze. By the end, I thought this was a fun horror comedy that would pair well with a few beers. The talent alone is worth admission. Sure it's rough around the edges but isn’t that what we’re looking for in a movie like this?
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Per Shout! Factory’s website Exorcism at 60,000 Feet arrives on Blu-ray in a 2-disc Region A Blu-ray + DVD Combo pack in a standard Blu-ray keep case.
According to Shout! Factory Exorcism at 60,000 Feet arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p transfer in 2.39:1. The dark interiors of the plane offer plenty of fine detail on costuming and facial features. Primaries are strong from the red in Amanda’s stewardess uniform to the green pea soup emanating from a possessed passenger. The color palette of the plane reminds me of the Brady Bunch house if you get my drift. Contrast levels are fairly low giving the film a dark tone that on occasion allows some detail to waver. Some sequences are hard to read given the lack of available light. Though to be fair it's easier to hide mistakes this way, too.
The digital screener presentation was very good though I can imagine an uptick in quality would be present on the physical disc. My scoring considers the limitations of the digital screener. I also realize the limited scope of the film's visual presentation and assume that an increase in quality on disc wouldn't raise my score too much.
Shout! Factory lists the audio track as a DTS-HD MA 5.1 but our digital screener was provided with only a stereo audio track. Music from Richard Band utilizes horn calls and tons of low brass adding a fun yet grandiose texture to the proceedings with a clear nod to Danny Elfman. It's Beetlejuice meets The Addams Family which makes sense considering the film’s goofy tone. Sound is recorded clearly without hiss or pop detected. Levels are satisfactory given the strong scoring elements under the dialogue. My scoring reflects the quality of the audio presentation given the limitations of the digital screener copy.
Per Shout! Factory’s website the special features are listed below that were not available for us to review:
Behind The Screams Of Exorcism At 60,000 Feet - Including Interviews With The Cast And Crew
A Cast To Die For - Stories From The Set
Pookie The Wonder Dog's Guide To Practical Effects
Bill's Big Birthday Bash - Bill Moseley On The Set Of Exorcism At 60,000 Feet
Exorcism On Skid Row
Exorcism at 60,000 Feet is a silly horror comedy deeply committed to its premise. From the stellar cast to the amazing score from Richard Band the film knows exactly what it wants to do and never relents. The stuck-at-home horror fan will surely enjoy this midnight movie spoof in all its demonic glory. For chilled out horror fans looking for a laugh this movie comes Recommended.