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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, leads him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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2 wins & 5 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"

Director: William Peter Blatty
Stars: George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif
The Exorcist (1973)
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When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Kinderman
... Father Dyer
... The Gemini Killer
... Patient X
... Father Morning
... Dr. Temple
... Nurse Allerton
... Stedman (as George Dicenzo)
... Ryan
... University President
... Sergeant Atkins
... Mrs. Clelia
... Nurse X
... Dr. Freedman
... Nurse Keating
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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  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$26,098,824

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,925,427
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

The execution-style ending that William Peter Blatty pitched to the studio - which was in the shooting script and actually filmed - differs radically from the ending of both the novel and the first screenplay adaption developed from the novel. The novel ends with the Gemini Killer summoning Kinderman to his cell for a final speech, and then willingly dropping dead after his cruel and hated father, a Christian evangelist, dies a natural death from a heart attack. As his motive for killing was always to shame his father, the Gemini's reason for remaining on Earth no longer exists, and he kills Karras in order to leave his host body. In Blatty's original screenplay adaptation, the ending is similar to the novel, except that the Gemini's death is not self-induced, but forced supernaturally, and suddenly, by the death of his father. In both novel and early screenplay, the Gemini's motives for his murders are also given further context via a long series of flashbacks, which portray his and his brother's childhoods, and their relationship with their alcoholic, abusive father. See more »

Goofs

When Kinderman connects the murder victims in this film to the case in the first movie, it is revealed that one victim, the African American boy, is connected because it was his mother that determined that Reagan was speaking backward English. However, when you watch the first movie, the person that determines the language is a man that is Caucasian. See more »

Quotes

The Gemini Killer: Well, there I was so awfully dead in that electric chair. I didn't like it. Would you? It's upsetting. There was still so much killing to do, and there I was, in the void, without a body. But then along came - well - my friend. You know. One of them. Those others over there. The cruel ones... the Master. He thought my work should continue. But in this body. This body in particular, in fact. Let's call it revenge. A certain matter of an exorcism, I think, in which your friend Father Karras ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Come Falda di Neve Fro
Written by Orlande De Lassus
Provided by KaleidoSound.James & Aster, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"I believe..."
8 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

The first 'true' and so far best sequel to the amazing 1974 original sees George C. Scott stepping into the role of Detective Kinderman (played by the late Lee J. Cobb in the original) who is investigating a series of homicides in Georgetown. The homicides, grisly in nature, follow the M.O. of the Gemini killer, a man convicted and sent to death in the electric chair 15 years ago. Several characters return this time around from the original film including Kinderman, Father Dyer (Ed Flanders) and Damian Karras again played by Jason Miller.

First up I'll talk about the acting. The cast did a bloody good job in their roles. Scott gives a tour de force performance where he mixes grandfatherly likability with someone who is clearly struggling with demons of his own. It is clear why this man is one of the best character actors of the silver screen. The few scenes that he shared with Father Dyer were played so well you really thought they had been lifelong friends. The other acting coup was getting Brad Dourif to play the Gemini killer. He proves here that he will always be more than the voice of our favorite pint-sized plastic doll from hell. His character spends the film being shackled in a cell but yet is able to convey a sense of menace few can provide with the help of other actors, props and settings. Jason Miller returns also as the 'body' of Father Karras and swaps back and forth the role with Dourif. The Kinderman / Karras / Gemini scenes are the highlight of the film. The actors go full bore at each other and turn what could have become boring exposition scenes into film highlights.

William Peter Blatty stepped up to the plate and directs this time around. He took a book he wrote, Legion and tweaked it into the screenplay for part 3. I believe, but am not positive, that the exorcism at the end of the film in not in the book. Unfortunately I haven't read it since just before the movie came out and can't remember. The direction here is done very well for his second film. He sets up a chilly atmosphere when needed the most and steps aside to let the actors do their thing. Fairly straight-forward he lets the story role without flashy visuals getting in the way, signs of a true writer. The story is character driven with a few creepy moments but I had wished the atmosphere had been a little denser with scares at the end though. This effort comes closest to the original.

The music score is a bit light with many of the better scenes given over strictly to audio effects. A little bit disappointing but doesn't affect things too badly.

In the end you have a good sequel with a character driven script and a bunch of top notch actors ripping it up. Unfortunately I thought the ending was a bit rushed with the inclusion of the exorcism is just a little out of place. What for most of the film seems like a classic example of the walk-in of an 'old soul' suddenly becomes a possession story. But you got to give the distributors what they want I guess.


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