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Exorcist II -The Heretic

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Release Date: 
Warner Bros.
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
John Boorman
Linda Blair
Richard Burton
Bottom Line: 

You really have to see Lamont's attempts to put out that fire at the clinic. He's as good at doing this as he was with that exorcism at the start of the film. After hitting a burning cardboard box repeatedly with a wooden crutch (!) thereby spreading the fire, Dr Tuskin merely picks up a fire extinguisher off the wall to use on the flames. Like any normal person would. You see, that's why she's a doctor and he's a priest.

Regan has a dream which leads to the demon that possessed her nearly forcing her to walk off her balcony during a trance like state. The railings around the balcony have a huge gap in them where you could just fall off by mistake anyway. It's pretty dangerous!

We meet Regan's minder Sharon who takes Father Lamont to the old house in Georgetown, Washington. There's a hovering locust to be seen in the corner of Regan's old room. I think he's supposed to be a representation or agent of the demon Pazuzu, "king of the evil spirits of the air." It's good fun to look at but by no means is it remotely threatening.

After a "synchronization" between Lamont and Regan, the priest goes to Africa to locate Kokumo, one of the previously Pazuzu possessed healers that Merrick had saved. That synchronization produced a vision which featured quite a bit of footage of Von Sydow as Merrin. I'll repeat myself, one locust isn't remotely threatening but lots of people and animals recoil in fear from the one locust here! Perhaps it's Pazuzu himself? There's some good locust point-of-view shots to look at though.

Synchronization has some lasting effects and can travel huge distances. This idea leads up to my favourite stupid scene in the whole picture. When Lamont is pelted with rocks in Africa, Regan is performing an incredibly embarrassing and piss-poor tap-dance routine with some other kids over in America. In front of lots of parents and guardians. You really have to see this scene to appreciate it's true silliness. Regan starts to react dramatically during her stage routine to the rocks being thrown. By the time she falls off the stage, you'll have fallen out of your armchair laughing.

Lex Luthor's bumbling assistant (better known as Ned Beatty) takes Lamont to the holy city of Jepti. There he finds Kokumo who is actually the voice of Darth Vader, James Earl Jones. Dressed as a locust! I shit you not. After an impressive and quite violent effect with an injured foot, we're suddenly in a "control centre" where Kokumo works. You see, that other bit was just a vision! He gives the priest some analogy type advice and Lamont flies back to America.

Regan steals the synchronizer and meets up with the priest. After a session together, Lamont leaves for the house in Georgetown, Washington in a trance like state. Regan follows. And then Sharon and Dr Tuskinfollow her. Keep a special eye out for the overacting car accident victim and the blatantly obvious interior of a plane set. It's also amusing to watch Dr. Tuskin get shoved out of the way by someone rushing for a taxi. By now, Burton is hamming it up big time and Blair's performance isn't helping much either.

Right, now we have two Regans. There's good Regan and in her old bedroom there's Pazuzu Regan. I didn't think much of the performance of Linda Blair anyhow and then I saw this new incarnation! Bad Regan seduces Father Lamont who then tries to kill good Regan. Father Lamont then comes back to the good side and tries to kill bad Regan. (Watch bad Regan's eyebrows and facial expressions when the priest returns to the good side).

So how does "Father" Lamont fight the demon? An exorcism, or some other holy ritual perhaps? No. He tries to strangle her, punches her lots and then tears her heart out! What an incredibly stupid way for the priest to defeat the demon. Meanwhile the house is collapsing, and we then see Lamont deliver the last rites to someone in an incredibly non-moving death scene. It's a far cry from the emotional last rites scene at the end of Exorcist 1.

One of the last things that we see is Regan and Father Lamont walking away together. EXACTLY as they go around the corner, a shit-load of emergency vehicles, police and local residents come running over to the house. Hmmm.

What a woeful sequel. Warner Brothers, the writer and the director should all hang their heads in shame. It's highly amusing to watch though so it may be worth picking up for that reason alone. At the right price though!

The disc is shite as well:

-Alternate intro (2 mins)
-Two trailers
-Biographies for cast and crew

Those bios contain Exorcist II as one of the "selected film highlights" for each person on there. Who are WB trying to kid?!

The film is shot and edited nicely but it's an unintentional howler. As for the dvd, the disc's picture is quite often grainy and the sound is mono. And there's virtually no extras so it's another shitty disc from WB.

The best way to describe this reasonably high-budgeted film would be "more money than sense." Which is also what I had when I bought it!

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