Director – Dom Lenoir (Bring Me Home)
Starring – John Symes (House of sin), Henry Amphlett (Nightscape: Dark Reign of Thanatos), and Elle Black
Release Date – 2013
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “In a time of ignorance one man defied convention”
Not many people have made a name for themselves in the world of the occult as the English born Aleister Crowley did. This spiritual and black arts practitioner has been the subject of countless books, folk songs, documentaries, films, and even an inspiration behind Ozzy’s Mr. Crowley that would later be covered by the death metal band Cradle of Filth. With all this stuff in his name many of his real life exploitations have now been exaggerated leaving the man more a mythological legend instead of a real historic figure.
Recently, Reality Entertainment sent me the bio-pic Aleister Crowley: Legend of the Beast. The film interested me because I was curious to see how this film would handle this man’s dark past. Would it include the myths or would it include historical aspects of his life? I had to watch to find out.
**Spoiler Alert**The film opens with an elderly Aleister Crowley lying on his death bed. He then starts recounting his life to a woman who he is sharing his final moments with. We then jump back to his youth. Aleister was raised to be a Christian but abandoned that ideology to become more of a philosophical thinker. He dabbles in the dark arts, magic, and the occult as a way to reach his own form of enlightenment. He pushed his body, physically and mentally, to the limits. The man was brilliant but due to his unconventional practices and ideology was considered evil and satanic which ruffled the feathers of many in his lifetime.**Spoiler Alert**
What astounds me is how ignorance has played into turning Aleister Crowley into a myth instead of a historical figure. Instead of being known as a educated man who was a free thinker that went against the norm he goes down as a Satanist with the likes of Anston Lavey and his retarded offspring. This is due to how close-minded the masses are now and how they were then. That is why this bio-pic is so brilliant and powerful. It sheds light on one of the most misunderstood figures in history.
The acting in this one is hit or miss. The young Aleister is amazing in his role and really gives it his all. Sadly, the elderly Aleister and female companion make the film awkward to watch and hard to follow. A more well rounded cast would have helped this production tremendously. The story is great. The film gives the viewer some major insight into the real life experiences of Aleister Crowley instead of turning rumors into fact and running with it. This film really will open your eyes when it comes to this historical figure. Sadly, some of the scenes run for just way too long. Some major editing and cutting of the run time would help make this film perfect.
Finally, due to this being a period piece and a drama we don’t really get any special effects or kills. Instead, we get a well thought out drama that sheds some light on one of the most historically confused figures of all time. Overall, Aleister Crowley: Legend of the Beast is an eye opening movie experience that is very educational. Though this film does take away the badass qualities that many came to associate with Aleister it does set the record straight. Check it out because it is worth a watch!