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John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Sixty-Three : Exorcist 3 - Legion
Ok. So I skipped Exorcist II - The Heretic. So sue me. That movie is a garbled mess of jibberish, and a review in words wouldn't do justice how mind-blowingly bizzare it is.
So let's jump into the third movie. We have a murder on our hands, and Lieutenant Kinderman, played breathtakingly well by George C. Scott, is making jokes with his detectives. My personal favorite is, "On the entry exam for the new policeman, they ask "What are rabies and what would you do for them?" Ryan said, "Rabies are Jewish priests and I would do anything I possibly could for them." "He also has a pretty popular monologue about carp, but I won't spoil it. Anyway, a child from a group the police sponsors is beheaded.
Meanwhile, Kinderman and Father Dyer go see "It's a Wonderful Life" as a way of forgetting their friend Damien Karras's death. They hang out at a restaurant where Kinderman fills Dyer in on the details of the slain boy. His head was replaced with a statue, stuff was jammed through his eyes, all that fun jazz.
Later, a woman goes to confess to a priest and the priest ends up dead. Turns out, the same M.O. was used by the killer as was used on the boy. Soon after, Dyer ends up in a hospital, where all of his blood is drawn, without a single drop spilled, into jars. And with the remaining blood, the words "It's a Wonderfull Life" are written on the wall.
Well, it turns out that these killings are very similar, in fact, identical, to those of a previous serial killer named "The Gemini Killer". The only problem is, he's been dead for about fifteen years. So how is this happening?
I know what you're thinking at this point in the review. What the holy hell does this have to do with "The Exorcist"? Well, patience. It has a tie in. It turns out the spirit of the dead Gemini Killer found its way into Karras's body just before he died, and he's now locked in the basement of the hospital. How's he getting around? Why Father Karras's body?
Well, that's up to you to find out. And trust me, it's worth it.
One of the best things this movie has going for it is Brad Dourif, who plays the Gemini Killer. He even utters a line of shameless self-promotion. "Child's play, Lieutenant." The back and forth between Scott and Dourif is completely insane, and chalk full of over the top emotion. Tack on a creepy performance of Jason Miller, reprising his role as Father Karras as well as another character, and you've got a terrifically acted sequel.
Is it scary? It has its moments. Particularly the scene in the hospital hallway, which has some of the best buildup and one of the best payoffs in horror history. In my personal opinion, and remember, this is purely opinion, this movie is better than the original.
I know. Sacrilege, right? Well, we all have our tastes, and mine don't have to be yours. Give this movie a try. Maybe you won't feel the same way I do, but I know you'll enjoy it if you like horror.