Time To Spin Your Head Around For the Greatest Horror Film Of All Time – “The Exorcist”!
#31DaysOfHalloween ends on a #31DaysOfHorror high note: simply put, one of the greatest achievements in cinema, and the scariest film of all time, thanks to brilliant Director William Friedkin!
It all began with one of the creepiest and most iconic images on a movie poster – hinting at what was ahead once you entered THAT house…this movie was a phenomenon when it was released, for good reason!
In 1973, “The Exorcist” shocked American moviegoers with its intense horror. It was based on a novel that was also phenomenon, and 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 over the first hour that then turns shocking – then never lets up for the rest of the movie!
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:
A big month for classic horror, ending on the shocking – head-turning – high note of “The Exorcist!”
Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Halloween, Hollywood, Horror films, Movies, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities
Thanks for the links, John. Linda turned into a hot young woman indeed! Recent photos of her, now aged 59, look as if she has had plastic surgery. Her face is ‘tight’, and she looks a bit strange. Google Images has a lot of nude photos of her, from her ‘exploitation’ days.
I only watched The Exorcist once, on release in the cinema. I have never seen it since, for some reason.
Best wishes, Pete.
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Pete, “The Exorcist” still packs a punch for me, even watching at home – with the lights off of course!
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