The Exorcist 2: The Heretic (1977) The Exorcist 2: The Heretic (1977)
Following the success of the high-grossing original The Exorcist, along came an follow up sequel that takes place four years after Regan McNeil, once... The Exorcist 2: The Heretic (1977)

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Following the success of the high-grossing original The Exorcist, along came an follow up sequel that takes place four years after Regan McNeil, once again played by Linda Blair, became possessed.  She is 16 by now and under the care of Sharon Spencer, played by Kitty Winn, another Exorcist returnee, while Ellen Burstyn declined to reprise her role as Regan’s mother. Father Merrin, played by Max Von Sydow, who rid of the demon from Regan years earlier, makes an appearance, but only in stock footage scenes. Another departure was Father Karras played by Jason Miller, who was replaced with veteran actor Richard Burton as Father Lamont, who was recommended by Paul Henreid as “The Cardinal” to investigate the botched exorcism by Merrin, which includes an excursion to Africa

 

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Unfortunately for Regan, she is not cured, still having recurring nightmares of her possession that unwillingly volunteer further psychiatric treatment – recommended by Dr Gene Tuskin played by Louise Fletcher – with the aid of an special device that enables hypnotherapy and mind treatment that can unlock what is causing her traumatic memories. Also, Regan had powers that can heal others by communicating with one of Tuskin’s patients telepathically, which ends up getting her into trouble.

The film underwent countless of re-writes, as Blair stated in an interview. The creator and author of the original classic, William Peter Blatty, and the director of the predecessor, William Friedkin, declined any prominent role in the sequel, so that the direction of the film went to John Boorman, the director of such films as Zardoz and Deliverance with Ned Beatty. Burstyn did read the script and was displeased of the direction the story took, which she cited as her reason to decline.

The mystical demon Pazuzu, which is prominently featured in the film, was often referenced in other films and TV- shows such as Two Broke Girls, in an episode featuring Andy Dick’s character owning an marionette Pazuzu doll. The sequel was spoofed in an earlier episode of The Simpsons, titled Homer:The Heretic  in which Homer refuses to worship god and stays at home during Sunday mass.

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Blair also revealed one crucial term of her agreement, namely to not have any FX- make-up applied, which resulted in having her double undergo it.

Another change that plagued the sequel was the soundtrack, Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” from the original were replaced by music composed by Ennio Morricone, who is revered for composing Spaghetti Western themes, but his attempt to score the sequel was rather sub-par. The theme he came up with rather belongs in an campy horror television show then in a sequel to one of the most respected horror film of all time.  Another issues that plagued the production was the fact that Burton often turned up drunk, according to Blair .

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After a screen test the movie had to be re-edited by the director, due to bad feedback of the audience, but once it was released, the audience was still not happy, some even resorted to throwing things at the screen. That lead the sequel to become a critical failure and to this very day it is still hated by fans, garnering harsh reviews. Blair was facing death threats from angry fans due to the sequel’s failure.

This sequel is in no way perfect, but totally silly campy popcorn entertainment, perfect for rainy days or Halloween. It did finally find its fans that love it, in contrast to purist, hard-core fans of the series.

It’s worth checking out just to see Blair at her best.

Finally, the trailer.

 

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frankie smales

I have been very passionate about writing reviews since 1997 and my inspiration of being a reviewer came from reading film magazines in 1995. My idols are Lucinda Dickey and Traci Lords. My other passions include making videos and also photography. I love touring conventions around England .

  • I_am_better

    The film has some good moments, but the overall messiness of the script and the clearly-intoxicated Burton are definitely weak links.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Damn, Linda Blair was a cutie in this otherwise terrible sequel. No wonder Rick James had his fun with her.

  • You can’t fault the Ennio Morricone score. And i do respect the movie for being so crazy and trying something different from the first film.

  • I_am_better

    The music is definitely different from the original. In a good way:

    https://youtu.be/8iIZb0gOmFQ

  • “She superfreaky, yaaalll”
    “Temptations, sing..”!!

  • A Little Too Raph

    My exorcist Marathon jumps from part 1 to part 3.

    Fuck this movie.

  • Dee-abolik

    short marathon though. and where are the two part 4s?

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    LOL. This was the song he wrote in tribute to Linda, actually:

  • y’know, I never realy got a chance to listen to most of this song’s lyrics but dayum, color me green with envy. Rick “blessed” Regan, in the best way!
    Too bad he fucked his life up with those rape allegations. Part of me hope it wasnt true as some low class groupies have been known to railroad a motherfucker. After spending so many years behind bars, i cant blame the ni99a for overdosing.

  • A Little Too Raph

    Kinda forgot about those. I know I saw them but didn’t like either version. But I’d be happy to give them another chance as its been years.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Yeah, it’s sad that Rick’s drug addiction destroyed his career as it has so many others in the entertainment industry. Same old story since time immemorial. And wasn’t he and a bisexual girlfriend accused near the end of his life of kidnapping a female ex-partner and then locking her in their basement as a sex slave? Dude certainly had his demons and was into some shady shit, but hopefully not rape.

    It’s a shame, because his late 70s/early 80s albums were really good; the guy had major songwriting and arranging talent as demonstrated by the large number of hits he wrote for Teena Marie and other acts like Smokey Robinson and The Temptations as well as himself. He enjoyed solid success in the R and B world but could have been a much bigger artist were it not for his personal foibles. Everyone knows the Dave Chappelle sketch, but Rick was much more than a meme.

  • A Little Too Raph

    I also mentioned on aicn….there will be a directors cut of exorcist III soon. So we’ll have two versions of that movie as well. Throw in the new tv series and that spoof movie will Linda Blair and one can have hours and hours of devilish entertainment.

  • This post is a much better eulogy than anything Harry & co. could’ve written. And it’s really fucked up how a talented musician like Rick would throw his life away like that. Yet Brock Turner gets to walk after 3 months. *SMMFH*