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Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) Poster

Alternate Versions

Exorcist 2 exists in at least three versions. The original version was 117 minutes long and was recut by director John Boorman the day after the premiere into a 110 minutes version, the one released theatrically. Major differences include the addition of a recap of the events of the first film through narration and freeze frame. Using stock shots of Linda Blair from the first film for the climax (all new shots of Regan possessed were done by a double because Linda Blair refused to have the possession makeup done on her again) and an alternate ending where Richard Burton's character is killed (In the original version, he runs off with Regan to help her be a force of good). The European version is also purported to be different. For a long time, only the recut version of Exorcist 2 was available for TV, cable and on video. Recently, the original 117-minutes cut has found its way to video and recent TNT airings.
The Japanese NTSC Laserdisc contains the recut 110-minute version of the film.
The original 1977 UK cinema release featured the shorter (recut) print, and this was later released on video in 1987. However the 1998 "Terror Vision" VHS featured the longer print of the film, and all subsequent UK releases have also featured this version.
There is also an alternate version that made its way to television on TNT. This version exludes the Sync sequence when Richard Burton sees the death of Father Merrin, but includes the original ending with Father Lament surviving. Also, this version exludes the flashing pink light in the Sync sequence, and the scene with the naked African women.
The infamous cut version has quite a few changes from the now widely available "Original Theatrical Version." These changes are:
  • Opening credits run over a different, faster piece of music using the same drum part as in Father Lamont's "stoning" scene. Music is also changed in some later scenes.
  • An introduction with narration by Lamont and stills from both movies is shown; it concludes with a shot of Lamont climbing the steps to the chapel in the opening scene.
  • In the opening scene, the moment where Lamont looks at Father Merrin's picture and prays is cut.
-The first "tap-dancing" scene with Linda Blair is also gone. -Introductory scenes with Father Lamont now play all at once before the story moves to the clinic, instead of alternating with clinic scenes. Most of his early conversation with the cardinal is gone.
  • In the hypnosis scene, Lamont says "I know where she is; help me to find her" in reference to the palpitating Dr. Tuskin. In this version he says only "help me to find her."
  • When describing the hypnosis session, Lamont's line of "horrible...and fascinating" is shortened to "horrible." The rest of his conversation with Dr. Tuskin is snipped out.
  • There are more demonic "we're going flying" voiceovers during Regan's dream.
  • A few lines are cut in the scene with Regan and the autistic girl.
  • Father Lamont's failed meeting with the cardinal is an alternate, more heated version. Now Lamont accuses the cardinal of secretly believing Lamont's stories of young people with miraculous healing powers, but thinking the world is "incurably sick" and being too cynical to want to bother investigating.
  • The scene showing a communion ritual at the mountaintop church is much shorter. Lamont's subsequent conversation about finding the body in the rocks below has a few cuts as well.
-Many small snippets are removed from the last twenty minutes or so of the movie, such as Sharon muttering "stupid bitch," Lamont's growled lines at the train conductor and bus driver, and Sharon's telling the cab driver that "someone is dying." Most memorably, when Dr. Tuskin and Sharon drive past the bloody car crash, we no longer see them stop to help the victims (!).
  • Climactic car crash now includes a gory shot showing the fate of the cab driver.
  • After Lamont collapses in Regan's house, Regan's line "let me reach you" is dubbed out.
  • When Regan enters her old bedroom, we're now shown inserts of Linda Blair in "possession" makeup; the shots are recycled from the first movie and its outtakes.
  • The scene where "evil Regan" and Father Lamont have a demonic necking session has been removed; so has the moment when Dr. Tuskin calls "help!" and runs up and down the street.
  • The infamous ending has Father Lamont dying instead of living, which is done simply by removing almost everything after he fights with "evil Regan." The movie now ends only with Regan making the locusts disappear, then sharing a couple of wordless looks with Dr. Tuskin.
  • When the end credits change to a black background, the slow melodic music now changes to an uptempo rock piece.
The first Warner Home Video in 1983 featured the 100 minute version, with the running time posted on the box reading 118 Minutes.

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