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The Exorcist III (1990)

A police lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased 'Gemini' serial killer, lead him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.


(screenplay), (novel)
3,294 ( 602)

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Temple
Stedman (as George Dicenzo)
Lee Richardson ...
Mary Jackson ...
Tracy Thorne ...


Lt. Kinderman and Father Dyer cheer each other up on the anniversary of the death of their mutual friend, Father Damien Karras, by going to see "It's a Wonderful Life" at the local theater in Georgetown, near Washington D.C. But there's no cheering Kinderman while a particularly cruel and gruesome serial killer is at large. His murders, which involve torture, decapitation and the desecration of religious icons, is bad enough; but they also resemble those of the Gemini Killer, who has been dead for fifteen years. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Dare you walk these steps again? See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Exorcist III: Legion  »

Box Office


$26,098,824 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Regan is never mentioned in the film by name and is only referenced in retrospect as the "MacNeil kid" involved in an exorcism several years prior. In fact, the two sequels to the first Exorcist show the fates of two different sets of characters - Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) shows what happened to Regan, Sharon and Merrin's backstory and mentions what Chris is doing, while Exorcist III shows what happened to Kinderman, Dyer and Karras. See more »


When "Nurse X" hits the police officer, we can see a cable hooked to him when he flies back against the wall. See more »


The Gemini Killer: I like plays. The good ones... Shakespeare... I like Titus Andronicus the best; it's sweet. Incidentally, did you know that you are talking to an artist? I sometimes do special things to my victims: things that are creative. Of course, it takes knowledge, pride in your work... For example, a decapitated head can continue to see for approximately twenty 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....
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Song of India
Performed by Tommy Dorsey
Courtesy of RCA Records
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User Reviews

A Brainy Horror Movie... not for everyone
1 May 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Most people go to horror movies for the emotional thrill, the gore and/or the adrenaline high of having things pop out and yell "boo!" Make no mistake: you won't find much of that here. So if you're looking for a movie that will make you spill your popcorn, you might wanna move on.

But if you're looking for a true psychological thriller (psychological = appealing to the intellect, not the viscera), this will be one hell of a treat for you. The dialogue is fantastic. The acting is superb (Brad Dourif & George C. Scott on the same screen. What could be better?). The philosophy is provocative. And the mood is as thick as it gets. Much of the movie is composed of a series of dialogues between two people in a dark room. If you liked the second half of APOCALYPSE NOW, you will enjoy this immensely.

I rank this movie as one of my all time English language faves with the likes of AMADEUS, 2001, Alfred Hitchcock's ROPE, PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, and CITIZEN KANE. I'm serious; it's that good. Unfortunately, it was marketed to the wrong audience, and that's why it received such low ratings. Let me repeat: this is not a spooky movie. It's actually a very intellectual story with a lot of big words, literary overtones and powerful acting, and it's one of the few movies which I consider superior to the book (but of course writer Blatty directed this, so I'd expect no less).

Now don't get me wrong; it's anything but dull. There is one scene in particular that will scare the living crap out of you! It's a long scene done with one still camera, no music, no sound, hardly any action... but egads it's probably the most suspenseful/frightening thing I've ever seen in any movie.

In the style of the classic thrillers, so much is left to the imagination of the viewer--and oh there is PLENTY of disturbing, shocking stuff to imagine. In one conversation you'll hear about a murder so vile that you'll never want to hear the word "catheter" again. And the beauty is that you never see a thing. If this subtle style appeals to you, then you certainly won't be disappointed.

10/10. And I don't give 10s very often.

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