Maybe my feelings on that will change after this viewing of the follow-up, Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), directed by John Boorman. That's right, my friends, somehow I've never seen this, one of the most reviled films in the history of...film. Oh, I've seen teeny bits here and there: Regan in some weird headgear acting all tranced out, Richard Burton yelling about something, Louise Fletcher being NOT Ellen Burstyn. I imagine this movie will be as terrible as it's said to be, although I may be pleasantly surprised. Either way, however, you're coming along with me. That's right, it's time for another one of my famous* live blog reviews, so let's dig in and get our Pazuzu on!
*not at all famous
- Man, these opening titles make me think about how much I love The Exorcist. It's so damn unsettling...wait, Ned Beatty is in this?!
- Okay, so we start with a Spanish-speaking girl who's apparently possessed...Father Richard Burton stands around doing nothing and the girl sets herself on fire. Way to go, Father Richard Burton!
- Aw, Regan's all grown up and tying her shirts to show her tummy! And she's tap dancing in short shorts to "Lullaby of Broadway". She's so normal now!
- Regan only remembers being sick and having nightmares when she was in D.C...apparently she doesn't remember all the cussing and the crucifix up the hoo-ha. I don't blame her for blocking it all out. Still, Dr. Louise Fletcher wants to hypnotize Regan to MAKE her remember. Is that a good idea? My zero training in psychiatry says NO.
- Alright, Father Richard Burton is supposed to investigate the death of Father Merrin. Apparently the church doesn't like all the "devil talk" that Merrin was throwing around. Wouldn't they use it to draw more people to the church's teachings, rather than cover it all up? I'd think it would drum up some good business for 'em.
- Ooh, Regan's got her hypnotic headband on. Strobe light time! She's literally going cross-eyed as she gets all tranced out. Awesome.
- I miss the Linda Blair years.
- This hypnosis machine is sweet. People can link their minds and, like, go places and stuff. The cross-eyed thing is embarrassing, but still.
- Flashback! Oh my...oh my God. Can't they just use footage from the original movie, rather than re-enacting it? It's so bad. So bad. And tap-dancing Regan is dueling with possessed Regan over...well, they're both grabbing Louise Fletcher's breast. It's all very uncomfortable. That's REALLY not Mercedes McCambridge doing the voice. Bleeearggh.
- Okay, I guess they're supposed to be battling over her heart. But really, they're copping a lot of feels here.
- Actually, lady, Regan does NOT draw well. Sorry to be harsh, Regan, but it had to be said.
- Father Richard Burton is trying to beat a flaming cardboard box to death with a crutch. It's really not helping. But Regan's drawing was so prescient! Except for the crutch part.
- In Regan's dreams, Pazuzu takes her to...Africa? Tatooine? Aw, I guess it's Africa. Or, you know, a soundstage.
- Regan, noooo! Don't fall off the roof! Although killing Regan would be a rather Scream thing to do, if you know what I mean.
- Alright, Father Richard Burton has gone back to the Georgetown house to investigate. As you might expect, there's a locust hanging out in Regan's old bedroom. Well, that was anticlimactic.
- Back to Africa. Father Merrin is battling Pazuzu, who's possessed a boy, and swarms of locusts, which...is how Pazuzu gets about, I'd imagine. I wish he'd also battle this fucking Kmart Ladysmith Black Mambazo soundtrack that's happening right now...
- LOCUSTS TERRORIZE SOUNDSTAGE VILLAGE, NEWS AT ELEVEN
- James Earl Jones has magical leopard breath.
- IS THAT DANA PLATO???
- I looked it up. That is indeed an uncredited Dana fucking Plato as the shy, stuttering girl.
- "What's the matter with you?" "Oh, I was possessed by a demon." "..." "It's okay, he's gone."
- Regan's kind of annoying in a "golly gee!" sort of way, isn't she?
- Ugh, this extended Africa sequence where Father Richard Burton goes off in search of James Earl Magical Leopard Breath Jones is pretty boring.
- But now it's all better: The Sparkly Top Hat Tap Dance Revue is GO! What a strange interlude.
- Is Sharon in love with Regan or what? She so is.
- Regan says "Please don't drug me, Jean..." while sounding completely fucking drugged.
- Oh God, I want to fast forward all the Africa scenes. Can I do that? Or will I miss too much?
- While I think a sequel to The Exorcist is rather unnecessary, there maybe COULD have been a decent sequel that dealt with Regan's post-traumatic life. Maybe some sort of abuse or rape allegory. Or maybe Regan's dealings with religion in the wake of her ordeal. The Exorcist II is not that movie.
- James Earl Magical Leopard Breath Jones has a locust hat! It looks like something you'd get at Disneyland, or perhaps the Orkin Bug Zoo.
- "If Pazuzu comes for you, I will spit a leopard." That's comforting. I need to incorporate that into my life. "If this traffic doesn't let up, I will spit a leopard."- that sort of thing.
- Father Richard Burton is kind of possessed by Pazuzu...or maybe Actor Richard Burton is drunk and trying to go to his happy place...
- Oooh, everyone's heading to Georgetown for the big
- Locusssstssss! Crashing cabs! Exorcist II: The Heretic is a white-knuckle thrill ride I'll never forget!
- Regan doesn't seem too bothered to come face to face with her possessed self...
- Okay, Sharon just set herself on fire, Father Richard Burton wants to get it on with a sexified Pazuzued-out Regan, and Louise Fletcher is running around a soundstage.
- The house is coming apart!
The Mirror HasThere are two Regans! It's all a weeeeee bit over-the-top. It makes the head-spinning, pea soup-spewing finale of the first look subtle.
- Regan is spinning against the the locusts! She's winning!
- When did the Kitty Genovese incident happen in New York? Did Georgetown learn nothing from it? For fuck's sake, a car crashed through a fence, a house came down, there was a fire, people died...AND NOT ONE PERSON ON THIS STREET HAS COME OUTSIDE.
- Oh wait, they're all there at once. I guess time was standing still while the Regans duked it out.
- Okay, that wrapped up REALLY FUCKING QUICKLY. Guess everyone's gonna be fine! Except Sharon, who ended up Extra Crispy Recipe.