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The Pyx
Directed by Harvey Hart
Produced by Julian Hoffman
Starring Karen Black
Christopher Plummer
Music by Harry Freedman (music)
Karen Black (vocals)
Cinematography Rene Verzier
Editing by Ron Wisman
Release date(s) CanadaSeptember 13, 1973
United StatesOctober 1973
Running time 108 min.
Country  Canada
Language English
Budget $1,000,000 (estimated, Canadian)

The Pyx (also known as The Hooker Cult Murders and La Lunule) is a 1973 Canadian horror film starring Karen Black and Christopher Plummer. It is based on the 1959 book of the same title, written by Montreal author, John Buell.



While investigating a woman's death, a detective in the city of Montreal, enters the world of prostitution, drug addiction, conspiracy, and the occult.


A motorist witnesses a woman falling or jumping from a tenement building. Police arrive on the scene and find a crucifix and a small metal container (a pyx). As the investigation continues, it is revealed that the dead woman is Elizabeth Lucy, a prostitute and heroin addict. Suspects in Elizabeth's death are soon murdered one by one, and evidence of occult ritual begins to surface, leading to a confrontation with a cult leader who may be possessed by Satan himself.

Plot devices

The Pyx is told in after Elizabeth's death/before Elizabeth's death sequence which alternates until the film's climax.


  • Karen Black as Elizabeth Lucy
  • Christopher Plummer as Det. Sgt. Jim Henderson
  • Donald Pilon as Det. Sgt. Pierre Paquette
  • Jean-Louis Roux as Keerson
  • Yvette Brind'amour as Meg
  • Jacques Godin as Superintendent
  • Lee Broker as Herbie Lafram
  • Terry Haig as Jimmy
  • Robin Gammell as Worther
  • Louise Rinfret as Sandra


Filming of The Pyx began August 24, 1972, and was completed October 2, 1972. It was filmed in Montreal, Canada, and includes much French dialog, alongside the main dialog in English. Harvey Hart handled directorial duties, with René Verzier as cinematographer, and Julian Hoffman as producer. Ron Wisman was responsible for editing the film.


Music for The Pyx was provided by Harry Freedman, with actress Karen Black lending her vocal talents. This resulted in an eerie, haunting musical score which lent itself well to the atmosphere of the film.


The Satanism portrayed in The Pyx, both in the 1959 novel and the 1973 movie adaptation, reflects the traditional attitude towards Satanism found in French literature such as the 1891 novel Là-Bas. Likewise, the Black Mass sequence in the film is of the traditional Roman Catholic variety, as described in French literature on Satanism. Thus the novel and movie fit in well with the French Roman Catholic environment of Montreal at the time.

External links

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