Blacula Meets the Demon of Sexuality!
William Girdler was the king of ‘more is less’ film-making. He could make a decent-budgeted 35mm production look like a TV ‘Movie of the Week’, which doesn’t mean his films were any less entertaining for it. He made several schlocky but memorable horror films throughout the 70’s (Day of the Animals, Grizzly, and The Manitou to name a few). Abby is one of his lesser films.
Essentially a blaxploitation take on demonic possession, the movie starred William Marshall (who also played the lead role in Blacula) as an exorcist who battles an ancient African demon that’s possessed his daughter-in-law Abby. The film was doing good box-office for American International Pictures when released in 1974 until Warner Brothers sued them over the film’s similarity to their hit The Exorcist, taking Abby out of circulation for many years. Considering the vast number of Exorcist cash-ins that were floating around theaters at the time and long afterwards, you have to wonder why this particular film was singled out.
P.S. Someone pointed out to me a ‘WTF?’ bit of detail on this lobby card: the still in the bottom left-hand corner looks like it’s from a Jean Rollin film (possibly Two Orphan Vampires ?)