The incredibly frightening month of “Shocktober” ends on a horrific high note: simply put, one of the greatest achievements in cinema, thanks to brilliant Director William Friedkin, one of the most shocking films ever made!
For those who are too young to remember, this film was a cultural phenomenon when it was released.
In 1973, “The Exorcist” shocked American moviegoers with its intense horror. Based on the bestselling novel, the film tells the story of 12-year old Regan, a quiet girl who begins to show some strange symptoms. The film creates a sense of dread that turns shocking – then never lets up!
Director William Friedkin made this two years after he won the Oscar for Best Picture for “The French Connection”…a Director at the top of his game, and a film that actually caused audience members to faint – that’s right, the media was having a field day with stories of audience members fainting or running out of the theater in shock!
“The Exorcist” was nominated for Best Picture of 1973 – and was a box office sensation. Ellyn Burstyn and Max Von Sydow star in the film, but the real star was a young girl who made a stunning movie debut:
Introducing Linda Blair!
Linda Blair was perfect as the young, angelic Regan – a quiet girl who begins to act strangely – her innocence in the early scenes is what makes what happens next in the film all the more shocking:
A Special Effects Roller Coaster!
“The Exorcist” included some of the most unique special effects ever seen. After some early scenes, things quickly spiral out of control:
Regan MacNeil: “My bed was shaking. I can’t get to sleep.”
That leads to the arrival of Father Damien, who has a talk with his evil adversary:
Demon: What an excellent day for an exorcism.
Father Damien Karras: You would like that?
Father Damien Karras: But wouldn’t that drive you out of Regan?
Demon: It would bring us together.
Father Damien Karras: You and Regan?
Demon: You and us.
A Cold, Cold Set!
Here is some great trivia about the making of the film. The refrigerated bedroom set was cooled with four air conditioners and temperatures would plunge to around 30 to 40 below zero. It was so cold that perspiration would freeze on some of the cast and crew. On one occasion the air was saturated with moisture resulting in a thin layer of snow falling on the set before the crew arrived for filming.
“The Exorcist’s” Iconic Dialogue!
The film is filled with legendary shocking moments, like when Regan “turns” to greet Father Karras:
This is one of the classic visual images from the film, which also has some iconic movie dialogue, like this:
Demon: “Your mother sucks cocks in Hell, Karras, you faithless slime!”
This film is so intense and scary that the original teaser trailer, which consisted of nothing but images of the white-faced demon quickly flashing in and out of darkness, was banned in many theaters, as it was deemed “too frightening”.
Cue The “Pea Soup!”
And then of course, there is the projectile vomiting scene!
The substance that the possessed Regan (Linda Blair) hurls at Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) is thick pea soup. Specifically, it’s Andersen’s brand pea soup. The crew tried Campbell’s but didn’t like the “effect.”
Tons of great stories and commentaries on the special edition blu-ray….check it out and relive a classic!
By the way, the star of the film, Linda Blair, went on to make a number of provocative movies – and a few photo shoots as well!
Yes, Linda grew up, alright! See some of her movies and photos here:
For me, “The Exorcist” is the most intense, horrific film ever made, but here is my second favorite Halloween film:
Director Brian DePalma’s “Carrie” is shocking, but also a great character study with incredible performances by Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, John Travolta, Nancy Allen and Amy Irving – and of course, PJ Soles as well!
Here is a look at this classic film, with some great “Star Wars” trivia as well!
So it’s been an incredible month of shocks, like this black’n’white classic from 1968 that changed the way we looked at Zombies forever:
There would be no “Walking Dead” without this masterpiece of horror from Director George Romero. Check out some great trivia here:
Another low budget horror film created the POV killer film technique:
This shocking classic from 1976 is a must-see for horror fans, see the trailer here:
One of the greatest special effects horror shows ever was this classic:
Kurt Russell stars in John Carpenter’s shock fest – see the trailer here:
If you missed some of my Shocktober countdown, well you missed some neglected classics like this:
Here is a list of ten great scary movies to enjoy this weekend:
If those aren’t enough for you, well I have you covered with even more great horror, like a night with this guy:
A big month for classic horror, ending on the shocking – head-turning – high note of “The Exorcist!”
Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Grindhouse, Halloween, Hollywood, Horror films, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized