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Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

R | | Horror | 17 June 1977 (USA)
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.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Belinda Beatty ...
Liz (as Belinha Beatty)
Spanish Girl
Mrs. Phalor
Tiffany Kinney ...
Deaf Girl
Joey Green ...
Young Kokumo
Fiseha Dimetros ...
Young Monk


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


It's four years later...what does she remember?




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

17 June 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Exorcist 2: The Heretic  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


[first lines]
[theatrical version]
Possessed Woman: Father! Agh! Agh! Oh, Father!
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Crazy Credits

Tap Dance Routine Choreographed by Daniel Joseph Giaghi See more »


Referenced in Blue Nude (1978) See more »


Lullaby of Broadway
Music by Harry Warren
Played on the saxophone while Regan is tap dancing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Pazuzu and Zardoz had a love child - it's Altered States, but good.
3 January 2008 | by See all my reviews

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.

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