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Chemical Wedding
Directed by Julian Doyle
Produced by David Pupkewitz
Malcolm Kohll
Ben Timlett
Justin Peyton
Written by Bruce Dickinson
Starring Simon Callow
Kal Weber
Lucy Cudden
Jud Charlton
Paul McDowell
John Shrapnel
Terence Bayler
Mike Shannon
Bruce Dickinson
Studio Bill&Ben Productions
Focus Films
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment (U.S.)
Release date(s) May 4, 2008
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Chemical Wedding (released in the U.S. as Crowley[1]) is a British supernatural horror/science fiction film produced by Bill&Ben Productions in conjunction with the London-based Focus Films. It is directed by Julian Doyle, who edited Terry Gilliam's Brazil and Time Bandits, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. The story is based on an original screenplay by Bruce Dickinson, frontman of heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Dickinson released a solo album entitled The Chemical Wedding in 1998, which despite sharing the title and the title track from the album featuring on the soundtrack, is otherwise unrelated.

Contents

Plot

Upon entering a VR machine, Professor Oliver Haddo, a modern Cambridge scholar, becomes possessed by the spirit of the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley, as the machine's program has been corrupted by a former follower of Crowley. Resurrected 50 years after his death, Crowley begins his spree of human sacrifice around the campus.

Cast

  • Simon Callow as Professor Oliver Haddo/Aleister Crowley
  • Kal Weber as Dr. Joshua Mathers
  • Lucy Cudden as Lia Robinson
  • Jud Charlton as Victor Nuberg
  • Paul McDowell as Symonds
  • John Shrapnel as Aleister Crowley (original)
  • Terence Bayler as Professor Brent
  • Mike Shannon as Alex
  • Bruce Dickinson as a blind man

Production

The film was originally proposed in 2000 and was to have been produced by Terry Jones' "Messiah Films"[2], but was later adopted by Focus Films. David Pupkewitz and Malcolm Kohll produced the film, with Ben Timlett and Justin Peyton of Bill and Ben Productions and Duellist Film Production in association with MotionFX and E-Motion. Executive producers are Andy Taylor, Paul Astrom-Andrews and Peter Dale.

Warner Music released the soundtrack of the film in the UK. Edward Noeltner's Cinema Management Group handled international sales.[3][4]. The film received its world premiere at the Sci-Fi-London film festival on May 4, 2008[5].

According to Rockerparis, Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson was in Paris, France on November 26 to promote the DVD release of this film. The screening and press conference were held in a private cinema in front of Europe 1 radio near the Champs Elysées.[6] Dickinson, who has a small cameo role in the film, has stated that "On several levels, I think it will be nice for them [Iron Maiden fans] to see somebody from Maiden doing something else that gets the band's name out there and also potentially gets a bit of respect for heavy metal and all the rest of it....But, in addition, I think they'll just enjoy it. It's a rollicking good story."[7]

Reception

Chemical Wedding was almost universally panned by critics. According to Channel 4 reviewer Ali Catterall, "The look and feel of Chemical Wedding is evidently an homage to Hammer and early 1970s Brit horror-fantasy in general: that is to say, cheap. And though aiming to titillate, the execution is so naff it might as well be renamed 'Confessions Of A Cabbalist'."[8].

On the positive side, Staci Layne Wilson of Horror.com praised the film, calling it "a mixed bag of tricks to be sure, but it's worth a look for the curio factor. (At least it's not a remake, a J-horror knock-off, or torture porn.)"[9]

Soundtrack

Track Listing:

  1. "Chemical Wedding" - Bruce Dickinson
  2. "Hush Hush Here Comes the Bogie Man" - Henry Hall / Val Rosing
  3. "Fanlight Fanny" - George Formby
  4. "Man of Sorrows" - Bruce Dickinson
  5. "The Wicker Man" - Iron Maiden
  6. "Can I Play with Madness" - Iron Maiden
  7. "Separation" - Skin
  8. "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune" - Debussy
  9. "The Hallelujah Chorus" - Handel
  10. "(Excerpt) Violin Concerto" - Mozart

References

External links

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