Come to the palm-studded crossroads of excess and ectoplasm in the zany special effects short Beverly Hills Exorcist by promising pop auteur Rem Scobell. Sonya Keller (Amanda McCants) is a spiritualist leading a team of paranormal exterminators, including scientist Milo Shultz (Gregg Martin) and Dynamo (Dani Coleman), an S-class psychic. They are getting rid of a nasty haunting at a prime property in the 90210 zip code. As Milo uses machines to force the spirit into corporal form, the team’s spirit communicator, Sebastian Wakefield (Ryan Kendrick), shows up late. Sonya informs Ryan he is no longer on the team, and he knows exactly why. As Ryan protests, Milo cranks it up to max power on Sonya’s orders. This summons a giant floating demon head (Eileen Dietz) with a spiked collar and tentacles made of chains. The team sure has their busting work cut out for them…
“…a spiritualist leading a team of paranormal exterminators…are getting rid of a nasty haunting at a prime property in the 90210 zip code.”
The phrase “It’s not the size that matters, it’s what you do with it” is most appropriate when applied to special effects budgets. Film magicians since Melies have used trickery to create wonderments onscreen, with the tricks becoming increasingly advanced. That crucial element of imagination made the biggest achievements in special effects so effective. It isn’t creating something that makes it special. It’s having something special to create in the first place. Scobell, who did the SFX along with writing and directing the short, understands this to the core, which is why Beverly Hills Exorcist kicks a*s so hard. His instinct over what makes the screen turn somersaults is impressive, as each move is dazzling. The menacing parts are genuinely menacing, while the glowing trippy bits are sweet as lysergic honey. It hits the same high notes as its most obvious inspiration, the original Ghostbusters. It is also reminiscent of Jackson’s cleverness with 90s CGI in The Frighteners. Scobell knows how to send you straight to Popcorn Town, as he has the tentpole touch. Beverly Hills Exorcist is the work of a future fun-time master.
"…makes the screen turn somersaults..."