Is Baltimore the weirdest city in America? After all those John Waters and Barry Levinson movies, you certainly might think so, and now comes Maxim Xul, this opus which posits that the town of Hairspray and Tin Men is under seige by a malevolent ancient spirit named Maxim Xul. Even weirder, only a local university professor played by the unforgettable former TV Batman Adam West can save the city from this Xul-derived urban blight. As you may have gathered by now, nothing in this otherwise standard piece of horror nonsense is particularly scary (or even coherent), but West — looking and sounding like Rich Little doing Richard Kiley — hams it up entertainingly in the role of Dr. Van Helsing, and director Arthur Egeli stage-manages the proceedings with a visual flair that occasionally belies his modest budget.
Incidentally, alert genre enthusiasts will recall Xul as the ancient Babylonian demon in female form who wreaked havoc on New York City in Ghostbusters. Why Maxim Xul‘s writer has revived the character is a mystery that may perhaps never be solved, but let us be grateful that they did, if only for giving us the first horror flick in memory whose monster’s secret alter ego is named Phyllis. C