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Video Rewind: The Devil Made Them Do It

Updated on November 7, 2014
The movie that began the hysteria of demonic possession
The movie that began the hysteria of demonic possession

A Halloween recipe this year includes: moaning behind a closed door; a head which turns around; projectile vomiting and for good measure throw in antiquated hospital procedures and you have the makings of a somewhat Halloween delight.

If you haven't guessed it by now the movie (billed as the scariest of all time) is The Exorcist along with the lame sequels.

While The Exorcist really isn't one of my favorite movies (I haven't seen it in about eight years) it's the story about a young girl (Linda Blair) who becomes possessed by an evil spirit. Story wise it's interesting but one of the problems with the movie is it takes too long to tell the story. Remember though that movies usually lasted two hours in the past rather than the standard 90 minutes we're treated to today.

Since it has been so long between viewing, this version (The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen) was re-released in 2000 and I'm not sure how much was added to the original.

As Regan's behavior changes, her mother, actress Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) tries to find a cure for her and she finds help with the aid of Father Damian Karras (Jason Miller) who's also battling his own personal demons.

He sets out to do an exorcism with the help of Father Lankester Merrin (Max von Sydow) but things don't go the way they had hoped.

Blair, von Sydow and Kitty Wynn (Sharon) reprise their roles for Exorcist II: The Heretic and this time they bring in Oscar winner Louise Fletcher and Richard Burton. This sequel is so bad MY head's spinning and it's a good thing I had to take some Magnesium Citrate for an X-ray because this movie makes no sense at all and I couldn't begin to tell you what was going on.

The only thing I had gotten out of it was Fletcher hypnotized Blair and Burton and they were able to go back in time to when Regan was possessed.

Even though the second installment sucked, I thought The Exorcist III was a little better. It doesn't live up to its original but would have been a better movie had it not been a part of this trilogy.

By far the best performance in this installment is Brad Dourif's as James Venamun/The Gemini Killer. He commands a few scenes with a multitude of characters (which look like he was physically drained after filming them) and his performance as a crazed mental patient is played to perfection.

Most of this movie takes place in the hospital with a Halloween II feel to it (especially the night scene) and Miller also reprises his role here. George C. Scott takes over the role originated by Lee J. Cobb and this movie has no ties to part two.

If you didn't see the parody of these movies, check out Repossessed which stars Blair making fun of herself along with Leslie Nielsen.


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