THE FILM: The Exorcist III
Even with the studio interfering with this film, it still is far superior to Exorcist II: The Heretic. William Blattey wrote and directed this film based on his novel, “Legion,” which does not feature any demons or exorcisms, but the studio, after viewing the first cut, decided that they wanted to market this as an exorcist film and therefore forced Blattey to write and reshoot the third act, which is where the film falls apart. But you know what? The first two acts are pretty damn solid, featuring George C. Scott as Lt. Kinderman, who is on the case of a copycat killer. More surprising than how effectively creepy the film is, is the sense of humor. Yes, the film is genuinely funny at times. But seriously, wait for the hospital scene. You’ll know it when it happens. It ranks as one of the most frightening scenes in film history. And then there’s the crawling old woman that was blatantly ripped off in “Legion.” And even when it falls apart in the third act, it’s smart enough to have such great actors as Brad Dourif, Jason Miller (reprising his role), and Nicol Williamson to make it digestible. This is a classically made horror film in every sense of the word.
Fun Fact: Some lobby cards show scenes that were cut from the film, such as a scene with a beheaded priest.