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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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A new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for mentally ill and AWOL U.S. soldiers where he attempts to rehabilitate them by allowing them to live out ... See full summary »

Director: William Peter Blatty
Stars: Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, Jason Miller
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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:

The horror is Legion. 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

The movie suggests that Kinderman and Father Karras/Patient X were longtime friends, but they only met once in the original film, and their meeting could hardly be called cordial. See more »

Quotes

The Gemini Killer: It's the smiles that keep us going. The bits of giggles and good cheer.
See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Tubular Bells
Written by Mike Oldfield
Administered by Virgin Music, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Flawed though it is, I have a soft spot for this film for its intelligent, non-ironic journey into darkness.
23 January 1999 | by See all my reviews

William Peter Blatty can really write. Prose and dialogue. No argument. But can he direct a movie? On the strength of 'Exorcist III,' yes he can. This isn't to say that the film doesn't have its problems. On the contrary, its biggest problem, the out-of-character 'crowd-pleasing' SFX climax stops it from being one of the greats. So why do I have a soft spot for this film? If, like me, you appreciate horror films that are both scary and made for grown-ups, 'Exorcist III' is refreshing and memorable for its intelligent, non-ironic journey into darkness and for its refusal (bar that ending) to dumb down for the kids. If 'Scream' is your idea of a great horror movie, this isn't one for you! The cast is not nearly young and attractive enough, there are nowhere near enough gags (though Blatty's dry, sardonic wit is happily in evidence) and the film has no pretensions at being an autopsy of the genre, therefore somehow lifting it above the films it purports to comment on. 'Exorcist III' is literary beyond 'Scream's' self-referential trivia-chasing (I would love to hear Detective Kinderman critiquing that movie!) Read 'Legion' and you'll have an idea of how good the film should have been. Flaws acknowledged and accepted, don't miss out on Brad Dourif's best performance since 'Cuckoo's Nest,' scene-stealing turns by Ed Flanders and Nancy Fish, or the superlative production design, photography and sound. More than anything else, it's the atmosphere of the film that stays with me. I can recall very few films that have a better sense of the power of stillness and silence. So much of the violence is communicated only in dialogue; your mind reluctantly does the rest.


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