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, leads him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.
Years before Father Lankester Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil's soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. This is the tale of Father Merrin's initial battle with Pazuzu and the rediscovery of his faith.
Damien the Antichrist, now thirteen years old, finally learns of his destiny under the guidance of an unholy disciple of Satan. Meanwhile dark forces begin to eliminate all those who suspect the child's true identity.
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
Martin Scorsese was one of the few people who liked the film. "The picture asks: Does great goodness bring upon itself great evil? This goes back to the Book of Job; it's God testing the good. In this sense, Regan (Linda Blair) is a modern-day saint - like Ingrid Bergman in Europe '51 (1952), and in a way, like Charlie in Mean Streets (1973). I like the first Exorcist, because of the Catholic guilt I have, and because it scared the hell out of me; but The Heretic surpasses it. Maybe Boorman failed to execute the material, but the movie still deserved better than it got." See more »
When Regan is watching Father Lamont give in to the Regan-demon, we hear her moan "No. Please." But her mouth doesn't form the word 'Please'. See more »
Father! Agh! Agh! Oh, Father!
See more »
Tap Dance Routine Choreographed by Daniel Joseph Giaghi See more »
Pazuzu and Zardoz had a love child - it's Altered States, but good.
Fans of the first Exorcist film, of which I am one, tend to hate this film. Many refer to it as the worst movie ever made, which is a bit unfair. William Peter Blatty (author of the book and screenplay for The Exorcist) has been reported as really hating this movie. I understand their reaction as this strange art-house movie has little to do with the first. Boorman's films are often less than accessible to the general public, frustratingly incomprehensible at times, and nothing like the standard popcorn-fare that makes up most of popular cinema - and the first Exorcist is a masterpiece of popcorn horror. This flick is a whole 'nother beast.
The acting is quite good throughout - it's Richard Burton, Lousie Fletcher, Max Von Sydow, and James Earl Jones after all. The cinematography and direction are superb - but it is intentionally of a certain 70's expressionistic flair that most moviegoers aren't familiar with nor would they like it. The locust-cam may seem silly to some people, but I found it quite effective, not to mention friggin' cool. The mind-melding scene was amazing, and I had to play the scene over a couple times to figure out how Boorman was able to film it at all. It's quite an impressive camera trick that he pulls off; the effect of which, sadly, can easily be missed if the film is being watched on an average-sized television.
I won't tell much about the plot, because speaking about the plot would only confuse most and spoil the fun for the few who will find this film to be brilliant. If you're looking for a horror movie, don't look to this film at all. It barely qualifies as a horror movie in any way. It's more of a theatrical-scifi-spiritual-epic journey with some horror elements driving the plot. It makes me think of David Bowie for some reason which I can't clearly pin down. But really it's not containable in any genre or understandable through brief description. If you're interested watch the preview online, which does make it look a little more action-packed than it really is - but I say that believing it to be one of the best trailers ever made. It will give you a brief taste of the movie, although it was clearly made to trick the average moviegoer into seeing something that he or she wasn't prepared for, and mostly didn't want.
Not Boorman's finest film, but it vies for position among them. It is one of the weirder movies to come out of the seventies, and I realize all that that implies. I thought it was fantastic. It is under-appreciated - movies like this couldn't get made these days. Most folks will unfortunately hate it.
11 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this