FALLEN KNIGHT; KNIGHT OF THE APOCALYPSE
The Minion is no more than an occult variation on the body-hopping alien film The Hidden (1987) with the then contemporary gimmick of the Millennium grafted onto it. [The superior Fallen (1998), which came out around the same time, did very similar things with the same body-hopping demon plot]. While there is little originality to the premise, the film comes packed with a surprising number of ideas. Indeed, it in many ways resembles Stigmata (1999), a B film with A-budget dressing that came with some surprisingly thoughtful theological ideas embedded inside it. What you cannot deny with The Minion is that the scriptwriters have gone and read up on their Biblical mythology, their Catholic cant and even the history of the Templar Knights. The script comes packed with all manner of wild ideas one where Catholicism sits alongside Native American beliefs (even the suggestion that The Devil is The Wendigo) and a fascinating attempt to offer a biological explanation for possession. All of this makes for a refreshing change, even if it is ultimately the same old body-hopping entity story underneath.
Alas, the film befalls a poor director in Jean-Marc Piché. Piché is not much of an action director the action scenes are merely people fighting while the camera looks on and he crucially fails to imbue them with any dramatic intensity. There are other times the action is dumb an entire militia of Templars is unable to even hit the Minion with machine-guns, yet the untrained heroine manages to pick a gun up and knock it down with her first shot. Dolph Lundgren has a great entrance coming into the dig, killing a victim by punching them in the back of the neck with a spiked cestus and then blessing the body. Dolph is certainly a much more interesting character than Schwarzenegger was in End of Days. Elsewhere however, his character is outfitted with ponderous Biblical quotes and he looks awkward and embarrassed having to deliver them. Possession, it appears, seems to bring with it much in the way of wild-eyed stares and overacting one particular offender here is a female cop who turns up early in the film and gives an astonishingly bad performance.
The Minion was co-produced by Mahagonny Pictures, run by Avi Nesher, director of She (1983), Timebomb (1991), Doppelganger (1993) and Savage (1995). Mahagonny Pictures have also produced genre films such as Automatic (1995), Mars (1996), The Outsider (1996) and Legion (1997). The film was produced and shot in Montreal.