We’re on the day of the premiere of The Exorcist TV series on Fox (I’m frustrated that I can’t currently access it). And as I figure out how to view it, I continue my retrospective of The Exorcist series with what I consider to be the true shame of the franchise- Exorcist: The Beginning.
“Once the wings have brushed you, is there no hope?”
I love Exorcist II: The Heretic.
There, I said it. It’s liberating. I have voiced the most shameful secret any horror fan could harbor. I and others like me can now march in the streets with our locust flags flying high, in pride.
I adore this loony, insane, beautiful mess. And a mess it is. Universally reviled, considered one of the biggest turkeys in cinema, Heretic holds up for me as an unintentional comedy and as a weird, original, meta-philosophical bit of art house cinema. It is the perfect example of the 1970’s excesses of visionary egomaniacs with relative carte blanche to make vanity masterpieces, or disasters.
My first viewing of The Exorcist was at age twelve, which, coincidentally, was Regan McNeil’s age when her possession occurred.
My older sister told me the plot of the film, minus of course the really ugly shocking bits such as the crucifix rape scene. My sister was great at relating horror movie plots – she gave me a fascinating rundown of Halloween as well. And she’ll tell you she hates horror movies! I’m not even sure that she had seen it – she may have just been recounting what she heard from others who saw it. At that point it didn’t sound like something I couldn’t handle.
It’s been a rather possessed August. When personal misery overwhelms, a supernatural/horror obsession is something of an anodyne. Don’t ask me why.
I’ve been reviewing criticism of ‘The Exorcist’ and its sequels, reading interview after interview with William Peter Blatty, Linda Blair, William Friedkin and others involved in the most amazing and frightening film ever made.
And you know what? Many fine minds are weighing in – from this excellent podcast, to this academic who, to my delight, is providing analysis and criticism on the recent wave of exorcism themed films. I wrote a lot about this recent wave of films when this blog was on Open Salon.