Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

R   |    |  Horror


Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) Poster

A teenage girl once possessed by a demon finds that it still lurks within her. Meanwhile, a priest investigates the death of the girl's exorcist.

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  • Linda Blair in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
  • Linda Blair and Louise Fletcher in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
  • John Boorman in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
  • Linda Blair in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
  • James Earl Jones in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
  • "Exorcist" Max Von Sydow & Linda Blair 1973 Warner

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30 March 2018 | Platypuschow
3
| Exorcist II The Heretic: I understand the hatred
It's amazing when you think about it, The Exorcist (1973) is a cult classic. It's a movie that has been in the IMDB top 100 and is on the precipice of going back in. So how did it spawn a sequel so universally despised?

Well for a start the films cast follows on from the first and that should mean something, it follows directly on from the events in the first film so again that should be in the plus column.

Further to its credit we're talking Richard Burton, Max Von Sydow & James Earl Jones as well as the underappreciated Linda Blair.

But here is where it all goes wrong, the plot is a mess and the fact it's following on from the original movie so seamlessly damages its credibility. It's taking a beloved story and quite frankly defacating all over it.

It does look ahead of it's time, but the story is truly awful and makes it a film that's somewhat of a struggle to get through.

Truth be told as much as I'm a horror fanatic the exorcism sub-genre has always been one I've struggled to enjoy so this infamously bad title didn't stand much of a chance.

From everything I've seen so far I'd advise Joe Average to watch the original film, and go no further.

The Good:

Looks great for its time

Linda Blair

The Bad:

Plot is an utter mess

Things I Learnt From This Movie:

Crutches are ideal tools for putting out fires

Linda Blair should have had a considerably better career

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Playwright William Goodhart was commissioned to write the screenplay, titled The Heretic; he based it around the theories of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (the Jesuit paleontologist/archaeologist who had inspired the character of Father Merrin in William Peter Blatty's novel The Exorcist). Goodhart's screenplay took a more metaphysical and intellectual approach compared with the original film. Here, the battle between good and evil would centre on human consciousness-with the specific idea that, within the framework of Catholic theology, human consciousnesses could be brought together as one through technology, although this would also result in conflict between those who sought good and evil.


Quotes

Possessed Woman: Father! Agh! Agh! Oh, Father!


Goofs

In one of the rooftop sequences with Regan, a reflection of the camera operator's hand can be seen in one of the many reflective surfaces.


Crazy Credits

Tap Dance Routine Choreographed by Daniel Joseph Giaghi


Alternate Versions

The infamous cut version has quite a few changes from the now widely available "Original Theatrical Version." These changes are:

  • Opening credits run over a different, faster piece of music using the same drum part as in Father Lamont's "stoning" scene. Music is also changed in some later scenes.
  • An introduction with narration by Lamont and stills from both movies is shown; it concludes with a shot of Lamont climbing the steps to the chapel in the opening scene.
  • In the opening scene, the moment where Lamont looks at Father Merrin's picture and prays is cut.
-The first "tap-dancing" scene with Linda Blair is also gone. -Introductory scenes with Father Lamont now play all at once before the story moves to the clinic, instead of alternating with clinic scenes. Most of his early conversation with the cardinal is gone.
  • In the hypnosis scene, Lamont says "I know where she is; help me to find her" in reference to the palpitating Dr. Tuskin. In this version he says only "help me to find her."
  • When describing the hypnosis session, Lamont's line of "horrible...and fascinating" is shortened to "horrible." The rest of his conversation with Dr. Tuskin is snipped out.
  • There are more demonic "we're going flying" voiceovers during Regan's dream.
  • A few lines are cut in the scene with Regan and the autistic girl.
  • Father Lamont's failed meeting with the cardinal is an alternate, more heated version. Now Lamont accuses the cardinal of secretly believing Lamont's stories of young people with miraculous healing powers, but thinking the world is "incurably sick" and being too cynical to want to bother investigating.
  • The scene showing a communion ritual at the mountaintop church is much shorter. Lamont's subsequent conversation about finding the body in the rocks below has a few cuts as well.
-Many small snippets are removed from the last twenty minutes or so of the movie, such as Sharon muttering "stupid bitch," Lamont's growled lines at the train conductor and bus driver, and Sharon's telling the cab driver that "someone is dying." Most memorably, when Dr. Tuskin and Sharon drive past the bloody car crash, we no longer see them stop to help the victims (!).
  • Climactic car crash now includes a gory shot showing the fate of the cab driver.
  • After Lamont collapses in Regan's house, Regan's line "let me reach you" is dubbed out.
  • When Regan enters her old bedroom, we're now shown inserts of Linda Blair in "possession" makeup; the shots are recycled from the first movie and its outtakes.
  • The scene where "evil Regan" and Father Lamont have a demonic necking session has been removed; so has the moment when Dr. Tuskin calls "help!" and runs up and down the street.
  • The infamous ending has Father Lamont dying instead of living, which is done simply by removing almost everything after he fights with "evil Regan." The movie now ends only with Regan making the locusts disappear, then sharing a couple of wordless looks with Dr. Tuskin.
  • When the end credits change to a black background, the slow melodic music now changes to an uptempo rock piece.


Soundtracks

Lullaby of Broadway
(uncredited)
Music by
Harry Warren
Played on the saxophone while Regan is tap dancing

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