Repossessed (1990)

PG-13 | 80 mins | Comedy, Satire | 14 September 1990

Director:

Bob Logan

Writer:

Bob Logan

Producer:

Steve Wizan

Cinematographer:

Michael D. Margulies

Editor:

Jeff Freeman

Production Designer:

Shay Austin

Production Companies:

Carolco Pictures, Inc., First Class Films
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HISTORY

The Summary does not reflect that—like Airplane (1980, see entry) and The Naked Gun series (1988-1994, see entries), both of which featured Leslie Nielsen Repossessed is a movie of sight gags and inside jokes that defy the arc of the story. Although the word “exorcist” is not in the title, Repossessed is a parody of a series of films that began in 1973 with The Exorcist (see entry), starring Linda Blair as “Regan MacNeil,” a young girl possessed by Satan. Blair also appeared in the sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977, see entry), but not in the second sequel, Exorcist III (1990, see entry), released the same year as Repossessed. To avoid legal problems, the name of Blair’s character was changed from “Regan” to “Nancy” as a nod to Nancy Reagan, the First Lady and wife of President Ronald Reagan at the time the movie was made.
       Opening titles contain a spoof of producer-director George Lucas’s LucasFilm THX Sound System’s logo and presentation. Title cards announce: “The audience is hearing,” and identify “BFD” as a “Loganworks Ltd. Sound Process.” Also, title cards chronologically identify the opening scenes as “1973” and “Stock footage: University of California at Chicago, 17 years later.”
       According to studio notes in AMPAS library files, most interior scenes were shot on a Culver City, CA, soundstage. Exterior locations around Los Angeles, CA, included the San Fernando Valley, where the “Aglet” home was filmed. The 14 Jun 1989 DV noted that Leslie Nielsen was slated to return to Los Angeles the following month to begin filming Repossessed.
       ... More Less

The Summary does not reflect that—like Airplane (1980, see entry) and The Naked Gun series (1988-1994, see entries), both of which featured Leslie Nielsen Repossessed is a movie of sight gags and inside jokes that defy the arc of the story. Although the word “exorcist” is not in the title, Repossessed is a parody of a series of films that began in 1973 with The Exorcist (see entry), starring Linda Blair as “Regan MacNeil,” a young girl possessed by Satan. Blair also appeared in the sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977, see entry), but not in the second sequel, Exorcist III (1990, see entry), released the same year as Repossessed. To avoid legal problems, the name of Blair’s character was changed from “Regan” to “Nancy” as a nod to Nancy Reagan, the First Lady and wife of President Ronald Reagan at the time the movie was made.
       Opening titles contain a spoof of producer-director George Lucas’s LucasFilm THX Sound System’s logo and presentation. Title cards announce: “The audience is hearing,” and identify “BFD” as a “Loganworks Ltd. Sound Process.” Also, title cards chronologically identify the opening scenes as “1973” and “Stock footage: University of California at Chicago, 17 years later.”
       According to studio notes in AMPAS library files, most interior scenes were shot on a Culver City, CA, soundstage. Exterior locations around Los Angeles, CA, included the San Fernando Valley, where the “Aglet” home was filmed. The 14 Jun 1989 DV noted that Leslie Nielsen was slated to return to Los Angeles the following month to begin filming Repossessed.
       The 16 Jul 1989 LAT mentioned that television talk show host Morton Downey, Jr. had a cameo role as a “disbeliever.” However, other than his name being written as a sight gag on a bulletin board, Downey did not appear in the final film.
       Linda Blair, who spent her career in the shadow of her Exorcist role, told the 4 Oct 1990 LAT that she agreed to star in Repossessed in order to “lay that image” of the possessed little girl “to rest.” A month later, however, she complained to the 23 Nov 1990 Philadelphia Inquirer that Carolco Pictures doomed the film with a terrible advertising campaign that did not emphasize the presence of her costar, Leslie Nielsen, currently popular because of the ongoing Naked Gun pictures that used the same scattershot humor as Repossessed.
       Critics generally dismissed the film as an “undemanding” comedy, but predicted it would fare better on home video than in theaters, where Repossessed was “dying at the box office.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Jun 1989
p. 2.
Daily Variety
17 Sep 1990
p. 35.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 1990
p. 11, 24.
Los Angeles Times
16 Jul 1989
Calendar, p. 31.
Los Angeles Times
17 Sep 1990
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1990
Calendar, p. 10.
Philadelphia Inquirer
23 Nov 1990
Section D, p. 3.
Variety
20 Sep 1989
p. 18.
Variety
24 Sep 1990
p. 82.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Seven Arts Through New Line Cinema
A Steve Wizan Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
WRITER
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
1st asst B-cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy
Lamp op
Lamp op
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Video rec/Playback
Cam op, Addl photog
Cam op, Addl photog
1st asst cam, Addl photog
1st asst cam, Addl photog
2d asst cam, Addl photog
2d asst cam, Addl photog
Gaffer, Addl photog
Gaffer, Addl photog
Best boy, Addl photog
Best boy, Addl photog
Lamp op, Addl photog
Lamp op, Addl photog
Lamp op, Addl photog
Lamp op, Addl photog
Rigging gaffer, Addl photog
Rigger, Addl photog
Rigger, Addl photog
Rigger, Addl photog
Key grip, Addl photog
Best boy grip, Addl photog
Best boy grip, Addl photog
Dolly grip, Addl photog
Grip, Addl photog
Grip, Addl photog
Grip, Addl photog
Lenses and Panaflex® cam supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir, Addl photog
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop
Leadman
On-set dresser
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const coord
Const foreman
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Standby carpenter
Laborer
Lead scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Painter
Set dec, Addl photog
Lead man, Addl photog
Lead man, Addl photog
Swing gang, Addl photog
Swing gang, Addl photog
Swing gang, Addl photog
Swing gang, Addl photog
Const coord, Addl photog
Carpenter, Addl photog
Carpenter, Addl photog
Carpenter, Addl photog
Carpenter, Addl photog
Carpenter, Addl photog
Carpenter, Addl photog
Carpenter, Addl photog
Carpenter, Addl photog
Scenic artist, Addl photog
Painter, Addl photog
COSTUMES
Cost des by
Cost supv
Set costumer
Asst costumer
Asst costumer
Asst costumer
Costumer, Addl photog
Costumer, Addl photog
Tuxedos by
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus mixer
SOUND
Supv sd ed, Clancy's Sound Vibration, Inc.
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd mixer
Sd mixer
Boom op
Utility/Cable
Lead mixer
Eff mixer
Stereo consultant
Sd mixer, Addl photog
Boom op, Addl photog
Boom op, Addl photog
Utility/Cable, Addl photog
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff
Dir by, Spec visual eff
Prod by, Spec visual eff
Spec eff
Spec eff, Real EFX, Inc.
Spec eff, Real EFX, Inc.
Spec eff, Real EFX, Inc.
Spec eff, Real EFX, Inc.
Spec eff, Real EFX, Inc.
Spec eff, Addl photog
Spec eff, Addl photog
Opticals by
Main title des by
End titles by
DANCE
Dancer
Dancer
Dancer
Choreog, Addl photog
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Mr. Nielsen's makeup
Hair stylist
Spec eff makeup
Makeup, Addl photog
Makeup, Addl photog
Hair stylist, Addl photog
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Guardian angel
Prod auditor
Scr supv
Unit pub
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst accountant
Loc mgr
Asst casting
Extras casting
Extras casting
1st aid
1st aid
Welfare worker
Welfare worker
Animals
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Craft service
Asst to Mr. Logan
Asst to Mr. Wizan
Asst to Ms. Blair
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Parking security
Parking security
Casting by, Addl photog
Scr supv, Addl photog
Craft service, Addl photog
Prod asst, Addl photog
Completion guaranty provided by
Prod insurance provided by
Prod financing provided by
Prod financing provided by
Limousine provided by
Prod equip provided by
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Repossessed," music and lyrics by Charles Fox and Cindy Valentine, published by Anabasis Music (BMI) and Another Level Music (BMI), performed by Cindy Valentine
"Devil With The Blue Dress," words and music by William Steven and Frederick Long, published by Stone Agate Music (a div. of Jobete Music Co., Inc.) (BMI), performed by Nicholas O'Har
"Pump Up The Jam," words and music by Manuella Kamosi and Thomas DeQuincy, courtesy of Colgems-EMI Music, Inc. (ASCAP) on behalf of BMC Publishing and Bogam Publishing, performed by J. T. Welden & R. D. Welden
+
SONGS
"Repossessed," music and lyrics by Charles Fox and Cindy Valentine, published by Anabasis Music (BMI) and Another Level Music (BMI), performed by Cindy Valentine
"Devil With The Blue Dress," words and music by William Steven and Frederick Long, published by Stone Agate Music (a div. of Jobete Music Co., Inc.) (BMI), performed by Nicholas O'Har
"Pump Up The Jam," words and music by Manuella Kamosi and Thomas DeQuincy, courtesy of Colgems-EMI Music, Inc. (ASCAP) on behalf of BMC Publishing and Bogam Publishing, performed by J. T. Welden & R. D. Welden
"Chasin' The Devil," music by Doug Livingston, lyrics by Marie Cain, published by Anabasis Music (BMI) and Raisin Music (ASCAP)
"He's Coming Back," produced by Afrika Islam, written & performed by Chris LeVrar, published by Anabasis Music (BMI).
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 September 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 14 September 1990
Production Date:
began July 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Carolco Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 June 1991
Copyright Number:
PA534447
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
80
Length(in feet):
7,583
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30376
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1973, Father Jedediah Mayii casts the Devil out of young Nancy Fellsmee during an exorcism in her family home, but as he leaves her room, Father Mayii falls down the stairs. Satan’s voice tells him, “I’ll be back.” Seventeen years later, at the University of California at Chicago, “The Exorcising Priest, Father Jedediah Mayii,” speaks to students at a Champions of Humanity Lecture Series. Recounting the events of his famous exorcism, he claims it initially destroyed, but then renewed, his belief in divine intervention. A provocative coed in the front row briefly distracts him, and a “nerd” constantly asks pointless questions. Father Mayii reports that he lost track of Nancy Fellsmee after he exorcised her demon, but heard she married Braydon Aglet and had two children, Frieda and Ned. The priest continues to recount what began one evening not long ago: Nancy Aglet gets too close to a television set during evangelists Ernest and Fanny Rae Weller’s Miracle Hour. Satan suddenly leaps from the TV screen into her body. Nancy growls and expels green vomit on her family, but then reverts to her regular self and runs from the room. Nancy’s children are convinced she is suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), but her husband sends her to the family physician, Dr. Hackett. After a battery of medical tests, Dr. Hackett and his colleagues admit they have no idea what the problem is. On the way home, Nancy stops at Our Lady of the Evening Church for confession, and leaves a note in the collection plate for the young priest, Father Luke Brophy. When Father Brophy visits the ... +


In 1973, Father Jedediah Mayii casts the Devil out of young Nancy Fellsmee during an exorcism in her family home, but as he leaves her room, Father Mayii falls down the stairs. Satan’s voice tells him, “I’ll be back.” Seventeen years later, at the University of California at Chicago, “The Exorcising Priest, Father Jedediah Mayii,” speaks to students at a Champions of Humanity Lecture Series. Recounting the events of his famous exorcism, he claims it initially destroyed, but then renewed, his belief in divine intervention. A provocative coed in the front row briefly distracts him, and a “nerd” constantly asks pointless questions. Father Mayii reports that he lost track of Nancy Fellsmee after he exorcised her demon, but heard she married Braydon Aglet and had two children, Frieda and Ned. The priest continues to recount what began one evening not long ago: Nancy Aglet gets too close to a television set during evangelists Ernest and Fanny Rae Weller’s Miracle Hour. Satan suddenly leaps from the TV screen into her body. Nancy growls and expels green vomit on her family, but then reverts to her regular self and runs from the room. Nancy’s children are convinced she is suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), but her husband sends her to the family physician, Dr. Hackett. After a battery of medical tests, Dr. Hackett and his colleagues admit they have no idea what the problem is. On the way home, Nancy stops at Our Lady of the Evening Church for confession, and leaves a note in the collection plate for the young priest, Father Luke Brophy. When Father Brophy visits the Aglet home, Nancy confides that Satan possessed her body when she was a child, and now has repossessed her. To prove her first claim, she shows Father Brophy a “Certificate of Demonic Possession” signed by the Pope. The priest is perplexed because he has always believed demonic possession was folklore. When Father Brophy gives Nancy rosary beads, Satan takes over the housewife’s body and throws him across the room. Father Brophy promises to get to the root of the problem. He arranges for Nancy, looking satanic with greenish skin and glowing eyes, to be tied to the posts of her bed, but despite her bonds, she announces in Satan’s voice that she is more powerful than the priest can imagine. She questions his faith in God, and vomits up a small bust of Father Mayii’s head. When the priest asks for proof of her power, Nancy makes the film break and bubble from heat. Father Brophy drives to the “Actors & Exorcists Retirement Home,” where Father Mayii resides. A nun at the front desk raps Father Brophy’s knuckles with a wooden ruler and tells him not to run in the hallway on his way to Father Mayii’s room. Father Brophy introduces himself and informs Father Mayii that Nancy has been repossessed and needs his help. As the old man’s heart begins pounding, he worries that his weakened condition could make him susceptible to being possessed himself. He suggests that Father Brophy, being young and healthy, perform the exorcism. When Father Brophy confesses he has lost his faith, Mayii suggests that this is a chance to save his own soul while he saves Nancy’s. Brophy meets with Fathers Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young at the Supreme Council for Exorcism Grantings. Also present, as part of an interfaith exchange program, are televangelists Ernest and Fanny Rae Weller, along with Fanny’s pink poodle, Fufu. Father Brophy shows video of Nancy’s transformation, and adds that she also gave him a little head. He shows them the tiny bust of Father Mayii. Declaring that Nancy’s demonic possession is real, Ernest Weller wants exclusive rights to televise the exorcism, because he is concerned about the drop in his ministry’s collections since his scandal with a boy’s choir. Weller goes to Fred Tartastein, head of the Global Television Network, to pitch his idea for Ernest & Fanny’s Exorcism Tonight, broadcast live throughout the world via satellite. The network will receive all commercial proceeds while Weller’s ministry collects all telephone donations. Weller and Father Brophy visit the possessed Nancy Aglet, who is happy for the worldwide coverage. Suspecting that Satan is maneuvering him into a rematch, Father Mayii joins a gym to restore his physical strength. As the old priest works out with weights, Father Brophy arrives to announce that the Supreme Council has granted him permission to perform the exorcism, but that Weller has convinced the Church and the Aglet family to allow it to be televised. Brophy joins Father Mayii’s exercise program in an effort to recruit him into assisting with the exorcism, but the old priest wants no part of it. On the night of the telecast, as Variety reporter Army Archerd welcomes fans and celebrities to the event, Father Mayii watches the program from home. Among studio guests are the Aglets and Fathers Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Ernest Weller declares, “From the bowels of Hell, the Devil!” and Nancy, still green-hued and tied to her bed, is wheeled onto the stage, growling. Stagehands rock the bed and provide special effects off screen. Donations pour in from viewers. Tartastein informs Weller they are being watched by the largest audience in television history. Nancy suddenly coughs fireballs, setting off the studio sprinkler system and sending the audience running. Then she puts the Wellers into a two-person horse costume. Alone in the studio, Nancy telekinetically brings the camera closer and speaks to the audience. Trying to block the camera, Father Brophy pleads for every “man of God” to rush to the Global Television Studios, but Nancy knocks him aside. Realizing that Satan’s spirit originally flew out of the TV and into Nancy, Father Brophy unplugs the camera. Grabbing an electric cart, Nancy announces, “I’m going to Disneyland,” and leaves the building. Father Brophy follows in another cart. The Pope arrives with other holy men and joins the chase through the studio lot. Nancy stops and climbs into the satellite dish and calls on the powers of darkness to join her. Clouds form overhead. When Father Brophy directly addresses Satan, taunting that Father Mayii will come and whip him again, the Devil brags he could have beaten the priest, but the fight was fixed. He demands a rematch and challenges Father Mayii to come to the studio. Announcers proclaim a coming battle of good and evil, and Las Vegas odds makers, knowing Mayii has a bad heart, make him a twenty-five-to-one underdog. At home, Father Mayii mixes raw eggs with vitamins and prepares to fight. He takes a taxi to the studio. Father Brophy joins him as assistant. As Satan, speaking through Nancy, and Father Mayii insult each other, television wrestling announcers “Mean” Gene Okerlund and Jessie Ventura describe the play-by-play action. When Satan shows Father Mayii a photograph of his mother in Hell, in bed with former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, the old priest seizes his heart and passes out. Fortunately, Brophy grabs a set of nearby defibrillators and revives Father Mayii. Satan transforms the old man into various characters, but the priest continues the exorcism. When Satan leaps into Father Brophy’s body, Father Mayii pulls him back out, and the Devil returns to Nancy. Responding to Satan’s confession that he hates rock ‘n’ roll, Father Mayii, backed by a band, sings “Devil With A Blue Dress On.” Satan leaps into Mayii’s microphone, and Nancy reverts to her normal state. Back in the university classroom, Father Mayii introduces Nancy Aglet to the class. When the nerd student in the front row challenges their story, Father Mayii and Nancy vomit green pea soup all over him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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