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42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

He was known as " The Wickedest Man in the World" or simply 'The Beast'. More than 60 years after his death, the demonic life and works of British occultist Aleister Crowley has continued to capture our darkest imaginations. In this provocative supernatural thriller co -written by legendary Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson, a virtual reality experiment gone wrong sends the soul of the infamous madman into the body of a shy university professor. But even as Crowly creates all - new orgies of depraved pleasures and black magic, is he now preparing to unleash the ultimate occult event upon the world?

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Simon Callow, John Shrapnel, Lucy Cudden
  • Directors: Julian Doyle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NY6YQ6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,822 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Crowley" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Renfield on March 14, 2009
Format: DVD

1. A school teacher offers himself to be used in a transformation project
2. He becomes Aleister Crowley
3. The school goes through a real crazy time
4. Things get freaky

Me being a Bruce Dickinson fan to the max, I decided to rent this film after being excited about it finally being released here. Originally released in the UK as "Chemical Wedding", The film is about Professor Haddo, a bumbling teacher who offers himself for a transformation experiment and soon becomes possessed by Aleister Crowley, which soon turns the school (and the town) upside down.

This film is a pretty cool movie, but incredibly flawed one. It was Co-written by Bruce Dickinson and directed by Julian Doyle, and stars Simon Callow as Haddo, turning in his best performance. We also get a brief glimpse into Crowley before his death (played by John Shrapnel), and a cameo by Brucey himself (as the guy with thick rimmed glasses at the beginning).

There are lots of flaws though. The film feels really rushed, I wanted to sort of know more about Crowley's life in general. There's a bit too much sex in this film- I know Crowley believed in sexual magic, but did we really need that sweaty orgy scene? They could have implied it instead of making it like 8 minutes long. And I'll admit the effects were a bit cheesy, but then again this IS a low budget movie.

Anyways, this film is worth it for the finale alone despite the cheesy special effects. This is a pretty good movie, but be aware... this is definitely not for everyone.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eliphas Levi on April 6, 2009
Format: DVD
I am familiar with Crowley's work and many biographies, and so much of my pleasure watching this had to do with the inside jokes, puns, and knowing liberties taken with Crowley's work. I would agree this really has nothing to do with Crowley's understanding of Magick. I know for a fact it has NOTHING to do with what folks actually practice (for one thing, magic is magic, it's neither good nor evil). What the film does very well, however, is summarize all the popular press tabloid gossip about Crowley during his time and repackage it for ours, and for this I think the film is quite enjoyable (right down to the crucified cat!). Heck, I think the film is brilliant in this respect; it really captures the campy "fun" Crowley himself had at the journalist's expense. Now, Crowley himself was a pretty flawed human being and did some terrible things, but this film's character should not be in any way confused with the real, historical person. I think if followers of Crowley have a beef with this film, it would be the latter---but, ya know, I think most people who'd watch this are smart enough to know the difference. This film is simply a marvelous, fun, horror film romp that is in the tradition of Crowley's own public pranks. I would disagree with the reviewers, then, that the Beast wouldn't like this. I think he'd be giggling with perverse glee (if not gleet). I think, in other words, folks who have merely dabbled in Thelema, as well as those who are well versed, will enjoy this film. It has surprisingly good production values, and the over-the-top campy acting made me grin throughout. (The scarlet woman actress is simply delicious, too). I also like the fact it goes for atmosphere instead of gore.Read more ›
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Junglies VINE VOICE on March 9, 2009
Format: DVD
I first became aware of Aleister Crowley through press reports that Jimmy Page of led Zeppelin, had been studying the occultist. A period of reading the books of Dennis Wheatley brought a greater awareness of the occult where Crowley's name was frequently mentioned.

This film begins with the impending death of the man whilst being visited by two students from Cambridge University (UK). Just before he dies he curses one of the students and inflicts serious injury to him. Sixty years on, at Cambridge there is a conjunction between scientific experiments in a virtual world and the continuing tradition of the occult within the confines of the University. During that conjunction, one of the dons becomes possessed by the spirit of Crowley and graduall transforms into him

The transformation presages a series of events which appear to have been predestined by Crowley and his followers many years before. The purpose of the events gradually unfolds, as they tend to do in these matters, into the return of the fallen angel.

Simon Callow, the RSC actor excels in his portrayal of the restored Crowley. His energies reflect the larger than life personality of the occultist and the notorious acts for which he was infamous during his lifetime. This is a film of graphic sexuality and bodily functions. Although there is nudity and depictions of orgies and other sexual acts, they are not exhibited except in their role as part of the magickal power. The acts are more of the means by which spells are enacted, a transference of the power of the body into other powerful forms.
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