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Abby (1974)

This African-American retelling of The Exorcist stars Carol Speed as the title character, Abby Williams – the chaste and devout marriage counsellor wife of a young reverend (Terry Carter) who is possessed by Eshu, a Nigerian sex god.

The story treads a familiar path – Transforming into a sex-starved ghoul with a hyena’s chortle, Abby swears like a trucker and tries to shag anything that moves – with the odd blaxploitation twist of course.

Father-in-law Archaeologist/Bishop Garnet Williams (William Marshall from Blacula) races home to Kentucky from Africa to perform the exorcism – which seems only fair since it was his excavations in Africa which released the evil spirit.

Meanwhile, Abby’s baffled detective brother Cass Potter (Austin Stoker) is at a loss to determine what strange influence has a hold on his ordinarily mild-mannered sister.

The makeup effects (pictured at left) are so primitive they’re practically neanderthal.

Poor Carol Speed ends up wearing prosthetics that make her look like a cross between a cavewoman and the Incredible Hulk.

Abby strayed so close to The Exorcist that Warner Brothers issued a copyright violation lawsuit against American International Pictures and Abby was pulled from cinemas in the summer of 1975.

Not that AIP were particularly bothered. Abby had grossed $4 million in its first month alone before taking an early bath.

The film – shot entirely on location in Louisville, Kentucky – was very nearly titled The Blaxorcist!

Abby Williams
Carol Speed
Bishop Garnet Williams
William Marshall
Reverend Emmett Williams
Terry Carter
Detective Cass Potter
Austin Stoker
Miranda ‘Momma’ Potter
Juanita Moore
Dr Hennings
Charles Kissinger
Russell Lang
Elliott Moffitt
Tafa Hassan
Nathan Cook
Mrs Wiggins
Nancy Lee Owens
Dr Rogers
Billy Bradford
Joann Holcomb
Claude Fulkerson
Bill Wilson
Chuck Broadus
Don Henderson

William Girdler