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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.

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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William Peter Blatty's director's cut of "The Exorcist III" which was thought to be lost. Recovered and released in 2016 under its original title, this is the definitive cut of the film based on his novel "Legion"

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Stedman (as George Dicenzo)
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Lee Richardson ...
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Mary Jackson ...
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Tracy Thorne ...

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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Dare you walk these steps again? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Exorcist III: Legion  »

Box Office

Gross:

$26,098,824 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the scenes deleted from William Peter Blatty's original cut are:
  • Alternate opening scene in which Kinderman views the body of Karras in the morgue after his fall down the stairs in the ending of first movie, when Kinderman leaves the morgue, heart monitor shows signs of life from the body of Karras.
  • Aftermath of death scene of the first murdered priest where his dead body is shown holding his severed head while sitting.
  • Longer version of the scene where Kinderman talks with priest about the murders and when demon face is shown on statue of the saint. Originally, unseen intruder decapitates the statue and places a knife in its hand.
  • Exumation of Damien Karras's body in Jesuit cemetery. Later it's discovered that dead body is actually from Brother Fain, Jesuit who was tending Karras's body and who disappeared 15 years ago. Although this scene is deleted, parts of it are used in new ending where Patient X/Karras is buried.
  • Blatty's original cut also didn't have Jason Miller as Karras/Patient X in it and it had different isolation cell for scenes in which Kinderman talked with Patient X/Gemini killer. Some promotional photos show Patient X and Kinderman talking in original cell.
  • New exorcism ending that Blatty had to film also had small part deleted in which Karras/Patient X is morphing through many other faces. One theatrical trailer shows this deleted scene.
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Goofs

The car chase completely mixes up the geography of Georgetown. See more »

Quotes

Father Paul Morning: [performing exorcism] You robber of life! You author of pain! You corruptor of justice, and innocence, and youth!
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Connections

Follows The Exorcist (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Gloria
Liturgical Chant
Performed by Burleigh Seaver
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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