Hey folks, Harry here with a look at THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE that has opened up in over 600 screens across the country.... Now, some of you good folks are concerned that it will never play in your little neck of the woods... Well, this rerelease is being handled in a 'platform' manner. What this means is this... between now and the middle of October, you will see THE EXORCIST open on more and more screens nationwide... the word has it, that it'll be on around 2000 screens when all is said and done. Meanwhile, the reports I'm getting from this release thus far is that all nighttime screenings in San Diego have already sold out (according to 'surfbrat') I just got back in Austin from the World Premiere of this version... Which is actually a bit different than the test marketed film that played in Austin. But more on that later... Here's Vern... now be really afraid... he's scary...
THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE
Dear Harry and friends. Last night I went to a promotional screening of the big movie for this coming weekend. Now it is not often that ol' Vern is allowed to see a picture before its official release, so I decided to throw you boys a review and see if it sticks. I hope you are willing and able to share it with all your fine readers.
Now, alot of motherfuckers are familiar with the 1973 William Friedkin directed Catholicsploitation picture known as THE EXORCIST. But are you familiar with THE EXORCIST: THE VERSION YOU'VE NEVER SEEN?
Well, yeah, I guess you are, if you have TV or know how to read. But as for you illiterates and hippies out there, here is my review of the picture. By the way if you are an illiterate please have somebody read this to you out loud otherwise it's not gonna make any fucking sense, just a bunch of Xs and Os as far as you're concerned. And if you're a hippie please stop wearing the patchouli, that shit reeks in my opinion. Just my two cents.
Now to The Exorcist. What this is, is a special new theatrical type version of the original picture. They took some of the good parts out, added a bunch of new parts, spruced up the soundtrack and all that type of garbage. Same deal they did with the star warses back in about '95 or '97 or who knows when. The special editions.
What the twist is here, is that this is not called a special edition. Nor is it an anniversary edition, because who the fuck wants to see the 17th anniversary edition of The Exorcist. Also it is not a director's cut, because why in fuck's name would William Friedkin want to brag about directing a version that is not necessarily any better or worse than the original. Instead it is called The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen Before, because I guess maybe the title department over at Warner Brothers is on strike or something I don't really know how to explain it. Maybe ask harry knowles about that one he has the inside scoop on alot of stuff.
If you're not familiar with The Exorcist let me tell you what it is about. You see there is a big time archaeological dig going down in Iraq. Meanwhile back in the states there is this famous actress who is filming a movie in washington dc. And you can imagine where it goes from there. There is an exorcist who comes in, for example.
Well maybe I am not explaining it that well but here's the point. Alot of individuals seem to think that this is one of the scariest movies of all time. In fact back in 1973 when it came out, in the Version You Have Seen Several Times At Least, there were individuals screaming their lungs out and fainting in the theater left and right. People had never seen a horror film like this before, one with big production values and slick direction and acting, but also a little girl ramming a crucifix into herself and saying nasty shit that would make a motherfucker like me blush. America wasn't prepared for that, but they sure enjoyed it. The shock scenes are still pretty effective today so you can imagine what it was like back then. I will never forget the first time I saw The Exorcist at the historic Cinerama theater in Seattle Washington. As the story unfolded, you could feel the audience winding up like a spring, getting tenser and tenser. When Reagan's head spun around, there were! so many gasps and shrieks you could feel the walls shake. When the movie ended, no one moved a muscle. Everyone sat still and silent for the entire credits. I had never seen a whole audience stay until the end of the credits. Then when the lights went on it was still silent, you could hear a pin drop. I got up and I realized that every single person in the theater besides me had fainted. They were all unconscious, so I went around and checked a few pockets, and back then popcorn didn't cost so damn much so that score went a long way at the snack bar.
Well okay, that story may be exaggerated a little bit, I can't remember for sure I have had some rough times since then so, you know, sometimes when you're remembering something, you start to change things around a little, as far as -- well, the whole story is bullshit. But here's my point. Only Catholics think this movie is really that scary. But it is pretty good.
Anyway there are alot of reasons to go see The Exorcist The Version You've Never Seen Before. If you are a big fan of the original you will have fun loudly pointing out to the other people in the theater which parts you think are new. One hint: be careful in the Iraq section, boys. Alot of people seem to think that is new but I don't think so. Every time I watch it at home I think, "That's right, I forgot this part was this long."
The main addition that people will be talking about is one having to do with Reagan coming down the stairs. This was included on the documentary on the dvd but it has been all computered up here in a very effective way that you will enjoy. I mean I don't want to guarantee it or anything but unless you hate quality, yes I think you will like this added scene. There are also a few "scary" frames digitally added into the picture, little scary faces and statues and what not. This is basically overkill but I liked it anyway. One of the most famous things about the movie is the "subliminal" creepy images that go by real fast. Alot of morons think these are subliminal, but if they really were then you wouldn't notice them. That is the whole point of subliminal, pal. I got news for you. I saw it. You saw it. We all saw it. It is not subliminal. It's just editing.
Still it is fun because people can pretend they are the only ones who noticed it. I am willing to bet that you will hear someone in the theater say out loud, "Did you see that?" or "Look!" It is a similar phenomenon to when they had the 3-D michael jackson picture over there in disneyland. The little fuzzy butterfly man flies up and since it's in 3-D, it's like he flies right directly up to you and looks in your face. And then every jackass in the theater turns to his buddy and says, "It just flew right up directly in front of me and looked in my face!"
There are other newly added scenes that are not as horror oriented but are interesting to see, including an earlier visit to the doctor. But this kind of screws with the picture a little bit, because now I really have no clue why they bring Reagan to the hospital. It's like one minute she's this bubbly little girl, next minute they think she has brain damage.
I think there were bits cut out, too. I gotta be honest, I am not some freako who watches the movie every day and has it memorized. So I don't know for sure which parts were changed. But I am pretty sure these individuals shortened what was previously the creepiest scene in the movie. I remember the cat scan scene being some real nightmarish shit. It puts you in the point of view of Reagan sitting inside this alien machine going cha chung cha chung cha chung and you're thinking holy jesus, get me out of here. That's the way I remember it anyway, but now it is very short and less unpleasant. I think this is a mistake because, to me, horror movies are supposed to be scary. In my opinion. So the creepy parts should be left in. Remember that next time Friedkin. This is your last warning.
Anyway, whatever good or bad they may have done with all this fiddling and shenanigans, there is only one difference to this new version that really matters. And that is that you can see it in a theater, on the big screen. Or "silver screen" as I like to call it. Because in the old days there was a different kind of screen, it was more expensive than what they use in the multiplexes, but it actually had a certain amount of silver in the surface, and this was a more reflective type of surface that works much better especially for 3-D films and what not, well it is a long story but anyway point is I call it the silver screen. On the silver screen it is a very different experience to see the movie because it's not only big, not only loud, not only with good sound. But also with an audience.
Seeing it with an audience really changed the whole tone of the movie for me. Not really in a good way, but in an interesting way. You see, now everybody laughs whenever Reagan says something really obscene. Which takes away some of the creepiness. Also, there are alot of comments in the movie about ritalin, and to the audience I saw the movie with, that was the funniest thing they ever saw. Ha ha ha. Har har har. It was the '70s it was a more innocent time, get over it people jesus. Anyway to me, watching the movie alone is a more solemn experience. With a theater you are able to laugh at the absurdity of some of the situations they set up, like the doctors using every bit of science to explain away what we in the audience know is supernatural (well, catholic).
Also if you are a straight guy who is hard up for some affection, I recommend bringing a young catholic girl to the picture. This is a good opportunity for her to grab onto your arm real tight, or what not. I heard some people who were getting a little too upset by the movie. They were laughing at the dated parts and trying to be above it but you could tell they were just trying to talk themselves out of pissing their pants. Because they kept saying shit like, "Stupid doctors! It's not a lesion!" and "What is he doing? HE'S GETTING TOO CLOSE!"
Anyway if it's a movie you like, this is a worthwhile experience, at least to a true film enjoyer such as myself, harry, moriarty, or you. Motherfuckers like us, we know the deal. It is like sometimes you want to see shakespeare straight up, sometimes you want to see it on motorcycles (Titus). Sometimes you want the exorcist to be scary as all fuck, sometimes you want it to be a fun time at the movies.
So if you are ready for the halloween season to officially begin, you might want to go see this one on friday. I mean you could do worse, in my opinion. for example, Repossessed starring Linda Blair, Leslie Nielson and Jesse the Body Ventura. It is not very funny or scary, don't rent it. Also this Carrie Anne Moss picture red planet which has an ad at the beginning of exorcist. From the looks if it it's not gonna be pretty. I don't know about you guys but I don't trust that robot. Just call it a hunch man I think the robot is gonna figure in pretty big in that one there.