A body-hopping demon runs riot in a small Mississippi town, possessing folks (who get black marble eyes) and going kill-crazy until the host is killed, whereupon it jumps into the killer and perpetuates the cycle. Jebediah Woodley (Dolph Lundgren), a cowboy-hatted second-generation demon hunter, is semi-responsible for all this since he lost the small lidded pot in which the demon was confined like a genie in a bottle – but he shows up to team with local gal-cum-FBI agent Evelyn Pierce (Kristina Klebe, from Proxy and Nymph), who doesn’t like being called Evil-Lyn in a probable shoutback to Dolph’s He-Man days, and go after the fiend, who wants to get into Evelyn’s body in the worst possible way (which isn’t a euphemism). The problem, of course, is that neither of the good guys want to kill the current host (Dolph packs rubber bullets) … which is exacerbated in a slightly satirical touch by the fact that everyone in this extremely Christian town appears to be heavily armed at all times and is only to happy to play ‘good guy with a gun’ (or an axe or some grenades) when one of their neighbours is on a murder spree.
Director/editor Mike Mendez has been making fun, lively underrated genre pics since The Convent (recently, his Big Ass Spider got some attention) and puts together this quickie – scripted by Robert Olsen and Dan Burke (who directed The Body and Stake Land 2) – with moderate verve. It’s notable that the film is all too happy to show women and kids being blasted, blown away, faceboiled, decapitated and generally splattered but just can’t bear to depict a dog being shot, but there’s a slightly satirical edge suggesting that it doesn’t take all that much demonic activity to encourage average Americans to kill each other … and the good guys are several times thwarted in decent schemes to end the reign of terror by dimwit authority figures including the local pastor (Miles Doleac) and an FBI martinet (Billy Slaughter) barging in and lousing things up only to get possessed themselves. This is a brief, swift, generally solid horror picture – though its spiritual aspects (the heroine is descended from angels) and even the demon’s m.o. (akin the beasties from The Hidden and Fallen) are pretty much rote support for all the blasting and toughing it out.