“You know my name.”

Somewhere between Rosemary’s Baby and Klute, this Canadian supernatural mystery offers plenty to satisfy police procedural fans as Dr. Sgt. Jim Henderson (played by Christopher Plummer) investigates the murder of Elizabeth Lucy (Karen Black), and as the film moves back and forth between Henderson’s investigation and Lucy’s last days we learn of her connection to a cult of devil worshipers.

While other films would try to drive up the tension, there’s a quiet, sullen feel to this film, from the grubby rain soaked streets of Montreal to Lucy’s manipulative madam to the minimal orchestral score, supplemented by Karen Black’s songs, all of which build a slower sense of inescapable dread.

Lucy’s conflagration of sex, heroin and Catholicism drifts through the entire film, a counterpoint to the increasing paranoia and futility of the detectives seeking to understand what remains beyond them as both storylines mirror the downward spiral of the other. Concluding with a backwards-chanting black mass and Henderson’s showdown with cult leader Keerson (Jean-Louis Roux), it’s a film that perfectly showcases the late Karen Black’s singular presence.


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