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“You realize what you’re up against, don’t you? Evil.” What? A horror movie with evil? Go figure. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they somewhat hesitantly approach Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977).
Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 151 – Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
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A teenage girl once possessed by a demon finds that it still lurks within her. Meanwhile, a priest investigates the death of the girl’s exorcist.IMDb
- Director: John Boorman, Rospo Pallenberg (uncredited)
- Writers: William Goodhart, Rospo Pallenberg (uncredited); William Peter Blatty (based on characters created by)
- Selected cast:
- Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil
- Richard Burton as Father Philip Lamont
- Louise Fletcher as Dr. Gene Tuskin
- Max von Sydow as Father Lankester Merrin
- Kitty Winn as Sharon Spencer
- Paul Henreid as The Cardinal
- James Earl Jones as Kokumo
- Joey Green as young Kokumo
- Ned Beatty as Edwards
- Karen Knapp as the voice of Pazuzu
- Dana Plato as Sandra Phalor (uncredited)
Exorcist II: The Heretic is Chad’s pick and he’s really not sure what to think of it. He sees it as a confusing but intimate story about a man seeking redemption and trying to find his faith again. Even though it tries to be this epic story with a great cast, he is dumbfounded by where they took it. Bill went in with a negative attitude but does find some nuggets of gold. Good vs. evil where evil seeks out exceptional good is a nice idea, but it subverts the theme of The Exorcist (1973), according to Bill. He just plain dislikes this film. After hearing overwhelmingly negative reviews, Jeff managed to avoid it all these years. He tried to go in with an open mind but the filmmakers lost him early on with the weird synchronizing machine concept and never got him back. Exorcist II: The Heretic was very confusing and left a bad taste in Doc’s mouth. It seems to him that this film is the opposite of what The Exorcist is and what audiences wanted in a sequel. This time around, however, it’s not as bad as he remembers.
Despite the 1970s Grue-Crew’s generally negative take, Exorcist II: The Heretic definitely has its legion of fans. If you’re one of them. Let them know what they got wrong. In the meantime, Exorcist II: The Heretic is currently available to stream from HBOmax and various PPV services as well as on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray disc from Scream Factory!
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1970s is part of the Decades of Horror two-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1980s. In two weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule will be Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), chosen by Doc. Welcome back Hammer Films, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee!
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