Exorcist 3 (1990)
Director: William P. Platty
George C. Scott/Kinderman
Ed Flanders/Father Dyer
Brad Dourif/Gemini killer
Jason Miller/Patient X
Atrocious murders are being committed in the Georgetown area and Lt. Kinderman (Scott) is on the case. His investigation leads him to a loonie in a hospital cell. That fruitcake looks a lot like Father Karras (or is it Brad Dourif??). Are evil spirits still running amuck? You bet your sweet arse…
Exorcist 2 was lousy and in my mind it never existed. This is the true Exorcist sequel. Written and directed by William Peter Blatty (the writer of the original) this flick delivers the goods in a polar opposite way than the first. A lot of people I talked with concerning this sequel tell me that the story is incomprehensible. To that I say: va fan goul! The problem is that people don’t listen anymore. General audiences are used to being shown everything and have become way lazy. With this film you have to pay attention cause it’s very character and dialogue driven.
In the original, there was a lot of gross out effects. Here, most of the kills are hinted at and described in the dialogue. Personally it shocked me in a different way. The dialogue is brilliantly written and I was consumed by it.
The film uses subtle methods to scare you. Wind blowing sheets of paper, diabolical whispers and enough religious statues (that open their eyes, show up with an evil grin…) to give me nightmares (churches give me the creeps…)
The bantering between Kinderman (Scott) and Dyer (Flanders) is sharp, witty, smart and funny. The scenes between the Gemini Killer (Dourif) and Kinderman (Scott) are fine examples of two acting heavyweights duking it out. I had a blast.
Blatty also serves us with two off the wall scenes that are sure to take u by surprise. The first is an old woman who thinks she’s « Spiderman » and the second is someone with a talent for beheading. That’s all I’ll say. I made those two scenes sound like jokes here but in the film…hold on to your « Doritos » and get ready to be freaked out.
The movie has a few faults and most of them are « studio interference » related. My main problem is the ending. Where the first hour and a half plays it very subtle, very quiet with the occasional burst of action, the ending is a Hollywood lightshow, way too big to match the rest of the movie. Watching Father Morning « Rambo » his way into the cell to perform his exorcism, felt out of place. The ending left a sour taste in my mouth.
Other faults are minor : namely Kinderman telling someone that he was close friends with Father Karras when in the first film, they only shared a few scenes and then Karras dies. The other fault (not really a fault, more of a pet peeve) is during the whacked out dream sequence taking place in heaven (I think that's where it is) a certain hack by the name of FABIO (yes the model, butter dude) shows up. Fabio doesn’t have a line but his mug threw me off. Stay out of movies Fab, keep to your romance book covers.
Overall, this film is a faithful sequel to the original. It stands on its own and at the same time completes the storyline started by the first. Thank you Mr. Blatty, you have righted the wrong.
The gore was not needed but in the end we get some anyways. Ever seen a priest get peeled off a ceiling, flesh ripping and all…? This is your chance.
George C. Scott (Kinderman) is in top form. Watching him act was a treat and I loved every minute of it. He carries the movie. Ed Flanders (Father Dyer) is very likeable, it’s not often u see a chain smoking priest. I wished he was a greater part of the movie. Brad Dourif (Gemini killer) is a genius. Nobody plays psycho like he does. He goes through so many levels and is focused in every scene. Wow. Jason Miller (Patient X) is not in the movie much, it's almost a cameo but it was nice to see him again. Nicol Williamson’s (Father Morning) character is not very developed. I didn't really care for him or his exorcism. Not the actors fault though.
T & A
George C. Scott’s bald spot.
Very subtle directing, great camera movements, wonderful angles, great use of sound and the lighting (especially in the cell) is exquisite. One of the murder sequences is an elaborate set up with a wide shot where the camera almost never moves, when the murderer strikes, you will leap off your chair. Blatty sure knows how to set up creepy scenes. Nice work.
The score is almost totally absent, instead we get lots of rumblings and spooky whispers…effective.
This sequel bombed at the box office upon its theatrical release and I think that says a lot about the state of the general audience. The first one went for the gut, this entry attacks your mind. It’s intelligent, subtle, scary, engrossing and it could’ve been a horror classic in its own right. Too bad the studios (again) came up with their own ending and tarnished what is nearly a perfect horror film. Studios… « THE BODY OF CHRIST COMMANDS YOU! » now stop ruining good fright flicks…
Look for the Child's Play in-joke spat out by Dourif.
In the original Kinderman was played by the late Lee J. Cobb and Father Dyer was played by William O’Malley.
The University President played Lee Richardson says his favorite film is : The Fly. Lee Richardson played in Fly 2 by Chris Walas.