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Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

R | | Horror | 17 June 1977 (USA)
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A teenage girl once possessed by a demon finds that it still lurks within her. Meanwhile, a priest investigates the death of the girl's exorcist.

Director:

John Boorman
Bottom Rated Movies #86 | 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Blair ... Regan MacNeil
Richard Burton ... Father Philip Lamont
Louise Fletcher ... Dr. Gene Tuskin
Max von Sydow ... Father Merrin
Kitty Winn ... Sharon Spencer
Paul Henreid ... The Cardinal
James Earl Jones ... Older Kokumo
Ned Beatty ... Edwards
Belinda Beatty Belinda Beatty ... Liz (as Belinha Beatty)
Rose Portillo ... Spanish Girl
Barbara Cason ... Mrs. Phalor
Tiffany Kinney Tiffany Kinney ... Deaf Girl
Joey Green Joey Green ... Young Kokumo
Fiseha Dimetros Fiseha Dimetros ... Young Monk
Ken Renard ... Abbot
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Storyline

Dr. Gene Tuskin works with troubled children, perhaps none more troubled than Regan MacNeil, who suffers from bad dreams and repressed memories. The memories she represses are of the time she was possessed by a demon. Dr. Tuskin's invention, a device that hypnotizes two persons and links their minds together, reveals that the demon, named Pazuzu, still lurks within her. It is desperate to emerge again and wreak havoc. Meanwhile, Father Philip Lamont is ordered by his cardinal to investigate the death of Father Merrin, the priest who died while performing an exorcism on Regan. Father Lamont undertakes his task reluctantly. He feels unworthy of his assignment. He also feels that Evil is literally an entity and that this entity is winning the battle over Good. His investigation takes him to Africa where he locates another recipient of Merrin's exorcising and learns something fascinating and terrible about locusts. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their minds locked together-with the most terrifying vision of all. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

17 June 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Exorcist 2: The Heretic See more »

Filming Locations:

Kayenta, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,735,000, 19 June 1977, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$30,749,142
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (VHS)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although it is often regarded as not only the worst film in the series but also one of the worst sequels ever made and one of the worst movies ever made in general, over the years it has developed a cult following especially among fans of John Boorman. See more »

Goofs

When Regan wakes up in hospital, she removes the IV needle from her arm, but in subsequent shots, there is no IV drip bag stand next to her bed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[theatrical version]
Possessed Woman: Father! Agh! Agh! Oh, Father!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tap Dance Routine Choreographed by Daniel Joseph Giaghi See more »

Alternate Versions

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob Movie (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Lullaby of Broadway
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on the saxophone while Regan is tap dancing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Homage to Teilhard de Chardin disguised as horror/sequel
12 August 2003 | by dejanjovicicSee all my reviews

As the most of the commentators argued here, this film has some serious flaws which make it very hard to comprehend. The story line is inconsistent, the acting disjointed and inadequate, not to mention that it represents a new conceptual whole, essentially detached from its predecessor. Still, it has certain qualities - some original visual effects, photography, great atmosphere (especially the scenes in Africa).

Also, put in a broader context, this film manages to capture a part of intellectual ambiance of the late seventies, introducing ideas and concepts that were then considered pseudo-scientific and fanciful, only to become legitimate subject matter of serious research, two decades later. The collapse of humanity into one group mind (obvious references to de Chardin's notion of noosphere, drawn by father Lamont), the parallels between insect (locust) and human society regarding the spread of destructive/violent behavior (check mass psychology, research on swarm intelligence, the popularity of Steven Johnson's 'Emergence' etc.)

So, for those of you expecting horror movie chills and thrills - you should skip this one. But for those of you interested in how quirky scientific ideas inspire pop-culture pieces like 'The Heretic' - it is highly recommended.


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