APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 11: Moonchild (1974)

Moonchild was an Aleister Crowley book about white magicians, led by Simon Iff, and a group of black magicians fighting over an unborn child. That book also contained a series of magic rituals that would incarnate an archetypal divine feminine named Babalon. If that sounds familiar to the more occult-minded out there, it led to the Babalon Working, a series of rituals by scientist and occultist Jack Parsons and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard that may have led to Babalon appearing in the form of Marjorie Cameron and the next stage of the working, which was an attempt to conceive a moonchild through sex magic.

Crowley replied to this by saying, “Apparently Parsons or Hubbard or somebody is trying to produce a Moonchild. I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these goats.”

I wonder if he would have enjoyed this movie, in which the student (Mark Travis) seeks to perfect his artistic ability. This brings him to a hotel where Mr. Walker (John Carradine) introduces him to a series of men and women who will battle for his soul, including the holy man known as Maitre D’ (Victor Buono), the manager (Pat Renella), an alchemist (William Challee, Zachariah) and the temptations of that man’s daughter (Janet Landgard, The Swimmer).

This started as a film school project, yet somehow director and writer Alan Gadney got the location and talent to make a near-professional film. For a first project, it was quite the endeavor and the idea of trying to answer the big questions of existence within a movie can be a herculean journey for even the most experienced creator. For a first timer?

Somehow, this art film was sold as horror — having Carradine will do that — and I’m certain that audiences were baffled.

It also starts with an Edgar Cayce quote, so it’s very early 70s dawn of new age. Aww.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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