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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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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?


On the climactic exorcism scene, William Peter Blatty later said, "It's alright, but it's utterly unnecessary and it changes the character of the piece." Although at the time, Blatty told the press that he was happy to re-shoot the film's ending and have the story climax with a frenzy of special effects, the truth is that this compromise was forced on him, against his wishes:

"The original story that I sold [Morgan Creek] (and that I shot) ended with Kinderman blowing away Patient X. There was no exorcism. But it was a Mexican stand-off between me and the studio. I was entitled to one preview, then they could go and do what they wanted with the picture. They gave me a preview but it was the lowest end preview audience I have ever seen in my life. They dragged in zombies from Haiti to watch this film. It was unbelievable. But I decided, better I should do it than anyone else. I foolishly thought: I can do a good exorcism, I'll turn this pig's ear into a silk purse. So I did it." See more »


The movie suggests that Kinderman and Father Karras/Patient X were longtime friends, but they only met once in the original film, and their meeting could hardly be called cordial. See more »


University President: Joey... What did you say to the defendant, Tom Lowery? He's our biggest benefactor.
Father Dyer: Oh, he is.
University President: What did you say to him?
Father Dyer: Jesus loves you, everyone else thinks you're an asshole.
See more »


Referenced in Hagan Reviews: Exorcist: The Beginning (2012) See more »


Lagrime di San Pietro
Written by Orlande De Lassus
Provided by KaleidoSound.James & Aster, Inc.
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User Reviews

Legion: Exorcist III
26 October 2004 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

Exorcist III (1990) was the follow up to the classic Exorcist. Despite the number three next to the title, this was the true sequel to the first film. Writer/ Director William Peter Blatty wanted to simply call the movie "Legion" like the name of his novel. But the producers wanted to cash in on the Exorcist name so he caved into pressure. In Europe it's called Legion: Exorcist III. This wasn't going to be the first or the last conflict Blatty would have with the producers. The novel was a straight forward mystery/ thriller. The producer wanted some gore and "exorcism" thrown into the mix. Blatty wanted to make an atmospheric horror film, the producers wanted a prototypical 80's horror film. The producers wanted Jason Miller and an exorcism! Who won out?

The film follows the friendship between Father Dyer and Detective Kinderman. Meanwhile a serial killer is running around Georgetown gruesomely murdering the city's residents. Kinderman is called into duty and is puzzled by the brutal slayings. That is until he follows the clues and they lead him to a very unlikely place. Kinderman's faith in man is tested as he continues on through out this bizarre and seemingly never ending case.

George C. Scott is excellent as Kinderman. he plays the role of the detective as if he was tailored made for the part. Ed Flanders co-stars as Father Dyer. Nicol Williamson has a guest star spot as a Father Merrin type priest (his scenes seemed to have been added during post production because they don't fit in with the rest of the movie). The ending felt rushed and it has "post production" stamped on it. Word has it that the film was indeed tampered with during the post production. I think so to because the book's ending was far different than what was put out on the silver screen.

Is the movie worth watching? Yes it is because it's a worthy follow up to the Exorcist. Even though it was fiddled around with during the final phase of production, scenes seem to have been added and the ever presence of the producers looking over the director's shoulder, it's still a great film. I'm probably one of the few people who are actually satisfied with the movie. I wished Blatty could have the original version of this film restored. I enjoyed the book and the movie as well.

Highly recommended!

A majority of people hate intellectual horror films. What's wrong with having to think once in a while?

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