Denzel Washington plays a cop who helps send a serial-killer to the gas chamber, only to find that someone – or something – is committing copycat crimes in the dead murderer’s style. It’s not long before our increasingly beleaguered hero is inquiring of a passing nun, “Apocalypse… does that mean anything to you?” And awww, look at adorable Ginger Tom, going about his business at a brisk trot on the streets of Philadelphia…
Ha ha! Because, unbeknownst to Denzel, Ginger Tom is possessed by the demon Azazel, a tag-wrestling entity who makes his human possessees sing songs by The Rolling Stones. Ginger Tom doesn’t sing, but is looking to pass the demon on to someone who can, and has already targeted that bloke going up the steps in the background. Gregory Hoblit‘s supernatural thriller draws heavily on Seven and a 1987 sci-fi movie called The Hidden, not to mention Stephen Gallagher‘s terrific (and terrifically undervalued) novel Valley of Lights, which also came out in 1987. Read it, it’s great. (And here’s what the author has to say about it.)
Other highlights of the film include muttered messages in 2000-year-old Aramaic, contorted yellowish demon-o-vision, and a running gag about the murderer liking cornflakes. Because, you know, he’s a cereal killer.
HUGE SPOILERS after the next cat picture!
HUGE SPOILERS START HERE!
Ginger Tom isn’t the only significant cat in the film. Handsome Tabby plays a small but important role later on in the picture. Basically, everyone else winds up hors de combat, so Azazel possesses Handsome Tabby, who just happens to be in the vicinity. Cats rule! And they’re possessed by demons!
But we already knew that.