The Most Infamous Exorcist Copycat Horror Movie Got Removed From Theaters, Stream Now Without Netflix

By Brian Myers | Updated

abby exorcist

 The 1973 film The Exorcist forever changed the face of horror and made demonic possession become a dominant movie trope that is still utilized today. Before the movie’s distributors were finished counting their box office haul, exploitation filmmaker William Girdler produced a low budget blaxploitation feature with similar themes. Abby also focuses on demonic possession and is now able to be streamed for free.

The Set-Up

abby exorcist

Abby follows a similar story arc as William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. The movie begins with Dr. Garrett Williams (William Marshall) unearthing ancient relics during a dig in Nigeria.

Dr. Williams finds an oddly ornate box in a cave during his work there. A trained archeologist, the professor recognized the symbols on the box signifying the Yoruba deity Eshu.

The Demon Is Freed

abby exorcist

Dr. Williams solves the puzzle box and opens it, allowing the entity trapped inside to escape. Abby shows just how powerful the pent-up god really is as its forced release coincides with a massive blast of wind that hurls the professor and his colleagues to the floor.

The opening is similar in plot to The Exorcist, particularly as Eshu’s spirit travels around the world to the United States to possess a young woman

Abby Catches The Demon

Rather than attach itself to a 12-year-old girl, Eshu instead finds the film’s namesake, Abby, who is the daughter-in-law of Dr. Williams. The poor woman becomes irritable, then totally erratic in her behavior.

As the film progresses, so does Abby’s dangerous behavior, prompting the need for there to be an exorcist brought in to help.

Warner Bros. Calls Their Lawyers

The 1974 movie Abby enjoyed an impressive one-month run before it was ordered pulled from theater screens due to a lawsuit from Warner Bros. Warner Bros. charged that Abby was a blatant rip off of The Exorcist and was able to halt the movie’s theatrical run.

But before it was yanked from the movie theaters, Abby managed to rake in an impressive $4 million against its meager $100,000 budget.

Abby‘s producer and director, William Girdler, stated that his production was certainly inspired by The Exorcist, but was also the product of other films with satanic overtones.

Even though Girdler’s film focused on the Yoruba faith and its powerful Eshu god, the courts felt that it was too similar to The Exorcist‘s use of the Abyssinian god Pazuzu and upheld ceasing its theatrical run.

Stream It Now


Over the years, the distribution of Abby has been a nightmare. Some of this is related to the Warner Bros. lawsuit over The Exorcist copyright infringement, but also a fight over the movie’s ownership.

Three separate DVD releases occurred in the mid 2000s, though they were all taken from the same inferior prints of the film. Whether or not the original print still exists is uncertain, though it has been speculated that Warner Bros. might have them in their possession.

One item of interest that should be noted about Abby is that the production was plagued with eerie events similar to those that happened on the set of The Exorcist.

A tornado halting production and forcing the cast and crew to take cover in a church, mysterious illnesses, and a number of accidents on the set added a layer of mystery to a great horror film that has gone unseen for 50 years.

Abby is a far cry from The Exorcist‘s perfection, though still a great watch.

Currently, the only way to stream Abby is to watch The Exorcist knockoff with Plex.