FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Mar 8, 2017

Too Many Pazuzuzzzz

I'm sure that you think I sit here atop Mount Horror Blog, all exhausted from having seen every horror-flavored movie and read every horror-flavored book. I get it! Horror blogging is elite business, for 100% experts only. You can't just start a blog because you want to, it takes years of training and education. But here's the truth, dear reader: there's some stuff I haven't seen. There's some stuff I haven't read! For example, can you believe that I, in all of my 83 years on this planet, am only just reading William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist for the very first time? Much like me and a glass of Riunite on ice, the book is a bona fide classic...and yet here we are. Ah well, better late than never, there's a first time for everything, you're only as young as you feel, etc etc.

(aside: now I have "beautiful Mount Horror Blog!" stuck in my head to this tune)

Now then, my telling you all this isn't solely to brag that I do, in fact, know how to read. Nor is it to dazzle you with erudite insights like "Hey, The Exorcist is pretty good," oh no no. I'm telling you all this because the book got my brain all a-buzzin' with The Exorcist (duh) which got me watchin' the movie which got me thinking "Hey, there are way too many Pazuzus in The Exorcist Extended Director's Cut Version You've Never Seen."

The wholly terrifying subliminal demon face is used quite sparingly–and to great effect–in the original cut of the film. It scared me so badly that I really couldn't handle it. I hated it! It was great. Then along came The Version You've Never Seen and the floodgates were opened. Excised footage was unexcised, Friedkin got all George Lucas about it and added a bunch of stuff, like that awful Regan computer face when she grab's the doctor's junk. You know what I mean. It's bad. Heck, I'd just forever opt for the original cut, but I admit: I am a sucker for the spider walk. It's over-the-top and silly but I love it. So sue me.

Perhaps the worst, though, is that the latest editions of the film include a baker's dozen or more new subliminal demon faces. Let's face it (omg "FACE" it lol lol) once this shot happened... was obvious that this was no longer your mama's Pazuzu. It's everywhere! And so it's really no longer scary. Less is more, more is way less.

On my most recent watch, though, I realized just how many Pazuzus are lurking. It is some Where's Waldo shit for real. Look at these screencaps!

Some of those aren't even subliminal! Yes, William Friedkin is a great director and a master of the craft and all that, but to be honest I don't know what he was thinking with all of this.


G.A. Redman said...

Too much Pazuzu.

It's been a while since I read Blatty's book but remember it not being as tightly plotted as the movie. Wasn't there a oddly placed subplot/red herring with the German butler's drug addicted daughter that went...nowhere?

Blatty's follow-up "Legion" is as underrated as the movie that was adapted from it.

Stacie Ponder said...

Yeah they tried to make a red herring out of Karl, but I didn't mind. I wonder if I ever would have suspected him if I'd only read the book and had no idea what was going on...?

The movie covered what it needed to cover, but I like that the book really explored Karras trying to figure out if Regan is actually possessed, as well as Kinderman trying to solve Burke Dennings's murder.

And thanks for reminding me that I *also* need to read Legion!

Cinema & Television said...

Not enough Pazuzu.

I'm still waiting for Friedkins second directors cut where the Pazuzu demon face is superimposed on every character throughout the film.

matango said...

I was surprised at how much I liked the book despite having seen the movie eleventy billion times.

Matthew said...

completely off topic...but did you see this reunion of April Fool's Day?

Stacie Ponder said...

I hadn't, but I'm gonna watch it now. Thanks!!

David McMillan said...

In Australia, you can only get the terrible pazuzu cut, I had to send away to a foreign principality just to get the original theatrical version on blu... So I'm sorted but what about all the Catholic school girls who need to see a proper Exorcist? It's the kids I worry about.

David McMillan said...

Currently on train to work listening to a 1940s inner sanctum horror radio serial starring Mercedes McCambridge as a deadly dame! Linda Blair is amazing as Regan in The Exorcist and her physical performance is perfectly complemented by the voice of McCambridge who is worth checking out playing opposite John Ireland in The Scarf and All the president's men. Again 1940s and very odd characters!

Tank said...

RPG Comic? =(

Dean said...

Say what you will, people, but once again Friedkin proves he was a director ahead of his time, already dumbing down the movie for OUR generation, God bless him . . . !

Chris Otto said...

You are SPOT ON. Too many Pazuzus. Stop remaking/revising s--t.