What happens when ancient evil marries 21st-century technology? Behold Crowley. Also known under its international title Chemical Wedding, Anchor Bay Entertainment will unleash this one-of-a-kind supernatural shocker on DVD on March 10, 2009.
Crowley stars Simon Callow (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, Phantom of the Opera), two-time BAFTA Award nominee and SAG Award winner and is directed by Julian Doyle (editor of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits and Brazil). Doyle co-wrote the screenplay with Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of the legendary heavy-metal rock group Iron Maiden. Dickinson also co-wrote the film’s music score with Dave Howman, Andre Jacquemin and Rod Melvin.
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was the most notorious occultist who ever lived. A man whose appetites for corruption, sadism, sexual excess and moral degradation knew no bounds. His sphere of influence extended far beyond England to the world at large, and some believed to the very depths of hell itself. When Crowley died, the world breathed a collective sigh of relief. But for those versed in the black arts, death is only the beginning…
As the year 2000 closes, Cambridge University is one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world, and ground zero for a scientific experiment in which a state-of-the-art Virtual Reality suit is connected to the Z93, the most efficient super-computer on the planet.
The computer, however, has been programmed with the teachings and philosophies of Aleister Crowley, and when meek classics lecturer Oliver Haddo (Simon Callow) dons the suit, he undergoes an incredible and shocking transformation as the computer floods his brain with unspeakable occult images. When Haddo emerges from the suit, he is in fact the living, breathing — and fornicating — reincarnation of Crowley. And now, he is hell-bent on performing the ultimate in unholy ceremonies – the “Chemical Wedding.”
With nods to H.P. Lovecraft, and such film classics as Jacques Tourneur’s Curse of the Demon and Ken Russell’s Altered States, Crowley is a deranged combination of debauchery and demonology with a devilish sense of humor. Audiences and critics alike have been bowled over by Callow’s no-holds-barred performance as the possessed professor.
“Clearly having a blast from start to finish, he (Callow) delivers every line with theatrical relish and occasionally plays to a gallery located somewhere close to the planet Venus,” said DVD Outsider. “At its best this is enormous fun, even if there are times it feels like the filmmakers have taken leave of their senses.” “A thoroughly enjoyable supernatural romp,” wrote Matt McAllister of Total Sci Fi. “An entirely bewildering, though surprisingly well-made, horror with a hilarious turn from Callow.”
“Highly entertaining stuff,” said Trevor Baker of FilmExposed.com. “It’s schlocky and gloriously over-the-top but also very well put together. Callow is excellent as the exuberant Satanist.” “A hipper, newer, higher-tech update of the old Hammer horror films,” said Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy) of www.scoopy.com. “It has the appropriately infernal music score, some powerful atmosphere, lurid genre thrills, an ambitious complicated plot, and an outlandishly hammy but amazingly effective performance from Callow.”
In addition to Callow, Crowley also stars Kal Weber (The Fourth Angel “The Hive”), Paul McDowell (The Thirty-Nine Steps, “The Black Adder”), John Shrapnel (The Duchess, Mirrors, Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Terence Bayler (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Remains of the Day) and newcomer Lucy Cudden in her feature film debut.