I had never seen this gem but I heard how legendarily bad it is. The reason I wanted to watch it is because I just finished a book called "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter. In the novel (non-horror: sometimes even I need a vacation), Richard Burton plays a small but crucial role. In one passage, the heroine goes to see Burton in Exorcist II and comments on how drunk and bloated he is. This, combined with the upcoming Liz & Dick on the Lifetime channel has me on a bit of a Burton tear. I have been trying to watch Cleopatra but I can only get through about 10 minutes a day.
I want to love Richard Burton because he was drunk and Welsh and ridiculous, but I can't get on board. He reminds me of Gerard Butler who is drunk and Scottish and ridiculous and I also cannot get on board with him. Like Burton, Butler is making a lot of bad movies. He is going to really have to step up his game if he wants to reach the heights of this piece of crap.
I don't even know what is going on in this film. Regan (Linda Blair) is now 16 and she looks a lot like Amanda Bynes (I can't wait to see Bynes play some famous, crazy starlet ala Lindsey Lohan as Liz Taylor when she sobers up for 10 minutes.) Regan is understandably messed up after her experiences but she wears the best clothes! Really, I couldn't find any images of her cute outfits but they really rock. Her Shrink, played by Louise Fletcher, who always gives me the hebegebes, has pioneered some kind of "mind melt" method where she can enter peoples dreams or subconscious. The whole thing is never really explained but anyone can do it, even Richard Burton, here playing Father Phillip Lamont, a priest and acolyte of Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. The only thing I liked about this film, besides Blair's outfits and the general Burton bloat, was seeing von Sydow play a young Father Merrin. Yes, I have a thing for Max von Sydow.
Father Lamont has encountered a demon before, and believes that our old friend Pazuzu is still alive and kicking. He wants to use Regan to find him and justify the work and death of Father Merrin. Father Lamont might also be having a crisis of faith, since he seems to want to get it on with everyone from Regan to Louise Fletcher. He also at one point wears a shirt that looks like it was stolen from the porno set next door. Also, James Earl Jones shows up as an African Priest who once defeated Pazuzu.
I saw a non horror film today called The Master. It is a very difficult film but worth the effort. If I had to explain it to you here I might put a gun to my head. That is how I feel explaining Exorcist II. There is really nothing to recommend this film unless you are a:
- Burton Completest
- Fan of awesome 70's fashion
- Have a crush on Max von Sydow
- Have a crush on Louise Fletcher
- Are Masochistic.