The Exorcist III

"Excellent"

The Exorcist III Review


Yeah, I know. It's a horror movie with a number after the title, which usually as promising a signal as "This film was not screened for critics." Well, if Evil Dead II is the horror sequel's Citizen Kane, then Exorcist III is its The Godfather.

Burdened with a disastrous prior sequel, E3 effectively rescues the franchise with earnest terror and dark wit. Writer and director William Peter Blatty, the man who scribed the novel and screenplay to the original Exorcist, completely ignores the heresy that was Exorcist II: The Heretic, and picks up 15 years after the first installment with a story loaded with dastardly twists, dreadful things that lurk just off-screen, and Brad Dourif.

Although George C. Scott serves dutifully in the starring role as Lt. Bill Kinderman, a D.C. cop investigating a string of murders that bear an uncanny resemblance to those committed by another killer executed years earlier, Dourif steals the show as the murderer. Dourif was born to play this type of role; you have to wonder if, when he was growing up, any parents in his neighborhood would let their kids play with him. While Blatty mostly eschews the gore you might expect from this type of movie, the lengthy scenes of Dourif mind-gaming Scott in a dark cell with Blatty's killer dialogue might give you recurring nightmares.

To wit: "A decapitated head can continue to see for approximately 20 seconds. So when I have one that's gawking, I always hold it up so that it can see its body. It's a little extra I throw in for no added charge."

If that doesn't give you shivers, than lots of other stuff in E3 will, including a scene in a hospital that'll have you digging your date's fingernails out of your arm. Just for relief, watch for the excellent cameos, including both Fabio and a youngish Patrick Ewing as the Angel of Death. (Hey, it's Georgetown, right?)

Unfortunately, the ending - especially the titular exorcism - feels tacked on, and that's because it was. Blatty wanted to call the movie Legion, which was the title of the novel upon which he adapted this movie, but the production studio demanded he throw the word "Exorcist" into the title and, naturally, include a priest casting a demon out of an earthly body. So he did.

After that experience, it's no wonder that Blatty's never directed another feature film. But it is a shame. Exorcist III is a fantastic horror/suspense movie for grownups.



The Exorcist III

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th August 1990

Distributed by: WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

Production compaines: Morgan Creek Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 14

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: George C. Scott as Lt. William 'Bill' Kinderman, as Father Joseph Kevin Dyer, as James Venamun / The Gemini Killer, as Father Damien Karras / Patient X, as Father Morning, as Dr. Temple, as Nurse Allerton, as Stedman (as George Dicenzo), as Ryan, as University President, Grand L. Bush as Sergeant Atkins, as Mrs. Clelia, as Nurse X, Ken Lerner as Dr. Freedman, Tracy Thorne as Nurse Keating, Samuel L. Jackson as Dream Blind Man, as Shirley, as Mary Kinderman, Harry Carey, Jr. as Father Kanavan, Sherrie Wills as Julie Kinderman, Edward Lynch as Patient A, as Dr. Bruno, Alex Zuckerman as Korner Boy, Lois Foraker as Nurse Merrin, Tyra Ferrell as Nurse Blaine, James Burgess as Thomas Kintry, as Altar Boy, Peggy Alston as Mrs. Kintry, John Durkin as Elderly Jesuit (as Father John Durkin S.J.), Bobby Deren as Nurse Bierce, Jan Neuberger as Alice, Alexis Chieffet as Counter Attendant, Debra Port as Waitress, as Police Sergeant, David Dwyer as Second Police Officer, Danny Epper as Police Driver, William Preston as Old Man in Wheelchair, Chuck Kinlaw as Attendant, Demetrios Pappageorge as Casperelii, Nina Hansen as Little Old Lady, Shane Wexel as First Dream Boy, Ryan Paul Amick as Second Dream Boy, John Coe as Old Man in Dream, Jodi Long as First Dream Woman, Kathy Gerber as Second Dream Woman, Jan Smook as Radio Man, Amelia Campbell as Young Girl in Dream, Cherie Baron as Nurse, as Larry King, C. Everett Koop as Everett Koop, Patrick Ewing as Angel of Death

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