Many times, many people asked me about Aleister Crowley. Crowley was at least an interesting figure above all the facts and fictions around him, his life, his works and… Magick. Some says he was nothing, but a clown or worst, a pervert, others argue on he was a genius or a madman. Oscar Wilde said “Aleister Crowley is a madman who thinks he is Aleister Crowley” – and I think this is the essence of everything we possibly can say about Crowley before we getting ridiculous.
Crowley has remained an influential figure and is widely thought of as the most influential occultist of all time, but also he gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, and was denounced in the popular press of the day as “the wickedest man in the world” because of his eccentricity. Crowley enjoyed being a figure of controversy and frequently deliberately provoked it among his peers and in the media. I actually read a lot about Crowley and I read most of his writings as well, but more as I read, more confused I get. And “Chemical Wedding”, the film directed by Julian Doyle based on an original screenplay by Bruce Dickinson, the frontman of Iron Maiden, will not bring you further to the truth.
This is a fictional story: entering a Virtual Reality machine, Professor Oliver Haddo, a modern Cambridge scholar, becomes possessed by the spirit of the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley, as the machine’s program has been corrupted by a former follower of Crowley. Resurrected 50 years after his death, Crowley begins his occult practices anew, seeking for a new “scarlet bride” whom he can marry in an occult ceremony – a Chemical Wedding – which will increase his power. A little bit thin story line if I may say. The look and feel of “Chemical Wedding” is evidently an homage to the early 70s horror-fantasy in general. Actually it’s not really cheap, but clearly it’s only scratching the surface, maybe it will open the appetite to dig deeper into Crowley, or quite opposite, you may loose any appetite for this subject. Anyway, I guess it’s worth a look, I think at least it have some fun.