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
Linda Blair was already in the midst of her drug habits and constantly turned up late to shooting, to the point where she actually considered it an achievement that she was only 20 minutes late one day. See more »
When Dr. Tuskin is trying to help a burning Sharon, we hear her yell out "Sharon!" but her mouth never moves. See more »
Father! Agh! Agh! Oh, Father!
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Tap Dance Routine Choreographed by Daniel Joseph Giaghi See more »
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.
Lullaby of Broadway
Music by Harry Warren
Played on the saxophone while Regan is tap dancing See more »
Highly underrated, but not great, either
Poor John Boorman. He has all these great ideas, but whenever he tries to put them to the screen, the result is so damn goofy you can't tell whether you're watching a metaphysical drama or a slapstick comedy (for more on this, see "Zardoz"). His "Exorcist" sequel is miles below the original if you're looking for scares, but miles above it in terms of actual storytelling, plot, character development, etc. It's full of interesting ideas (the most interesting being the idea of pure goodness as a magnet for evil), and Regan turns into an angelic heroine out to stop the demon that once possessed her. But Boorman's wacko imagery, while fascinating in places (the doves, the locusts), tends to get a little TOO wacko, to the point where you can't help laughing (the hypnosis machine, Richard Burton putting out a fire with a wooden crutch, James Earl Jones spitting up a tomato).
If you can accept the fact that this is a completely different movie than the original, you might find that it's a pretty good movie on its own. Fantastic acting from Burton, a wonderful score, and some truly gorgeous visuals, especially the climactic scene in the house, make it one of the most underrated movies of all time. Even if some scenes leave you falling over with laughter.
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