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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap at twice the price, 29 Nov. 2006
This review is from: The Exorcist - The Complete Anthology : The Exorcist / Exorcist 2 The Heretic / Exorcist 3 / Dominion The Prequel / Exorcist The Beginning (5 Disc Box Set) [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
If you enjoyed "The Exorcist", or you just thought you might enjoy it, or even if you are merely curious, I strongly recommend this set of five films, especially at this giveaway price.

The first two films - "Dominion The Prequel" and "Exorcist The Beginning" - which actually date from 2005 and 2004 respectively, both stem from the same basic idea, use most of the same sets, and feature many of the same actors (in the same roles). Yet despite the basic similarities the two storylines are significantly different so that seeing one doesn't spoil your enjoyment of the other. And yes, they are definitely BOTH worth watching. Indeed, I still can't make up my mind which I enjoyed most.

"The Exorcist" - the original film, complete with director's commentary, etc. - now gets shifted to number three, in logical order of viewing, though it was originally released in 1973.
What is remarkable is that this is possibly the least gripping of the first four films - unless you've never seen it before. That is because, IMO, it relies incredibly heavily on outrageous special effects for most of its impact. In 1973 this was cutting edge stuff and truly mind boggling, but special effects have developed so much in the last 30 years that most viewers will have seen far more convincing/stomach churning sights than are included here.

"Exorcist II The Heretic" (1977) rests almost entirely on the shoulders of Richard Burton, playing the role of Father Merrin's successor in the fight against the demon Pazuzu. This is a complete break from most of the film roles Burton played, but apart from the rather overplayed expression of a man on the edge of a total breakdown, IMO Burton does a pretty good job. And it certainly doesn't hurt that other parts include Louise "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" Fletcher as a psychiatrist (just begging to be convinced that evil is more than just nasty thoughts; Max Von Sydow (now playing Father Merrin as a young man!); and of course Linda Blair both reprising her original role as "Regan the possessed" AND as the allegedly exorcised Regan a year or two after the original events.
Indeed, it could be that this is actually the best of the four films for anyone wanting something more than a simple gore fest.

And then there's "The Exorcist III" - if you really must.
An interview with director William Friedkin and author William Peter Blatty amongst the numerous extras on the two-side "The Exorcist" disk make it clear that Blatty's ideas on what should have gone into the film differed quite significantly from Friedkins, and when you see what a bodge job "The Exorcist III" is - being both written and directed by Blatty, based on his follow-up book "Legion" - you'll realise how fortunate it was that Friedkin had ultimate control of the earlier film.

Anyone who has seen Blatty's film "Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane" (also based on one of his books) will have some idea of how rambling and unsatisfactory his handling of this medium is. And "The Exorcist III" is definitely on a par with "Killer Kane".
Having said that, the one highlight of the film is Brad Dourif.
Usually relegated to weasely scumbag roles such as "Grimer Wormtongue" in "Lord of the Rings II". This time round, in the title role, he is allowed to show something like the full range of his acting skills. And a jolly good job he makes of it.

So, four goodies and one also ran.
In my opinion it's still an excellent package overall and at a knock down price. You could say it's an offer you can't refuse ;-)
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Jan 2008 18:54:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Jan 2008 23:22:48 GMT
Agent47 says:
Is the Exorcist part one the directors cut version?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2008 12:02:02 GMT
The Exorcist 2? Not a good film....The Exorcist 3...brilliant!
As for the effects in The Exorcist, i much prefer them to all the CGI tosh on most new films.King Kong was terrible...

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Feb 2009 20:11:15 GMT
K. bruce says:
wish he'd answered your question! I want to know exactly that!

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Nov 2009 12:44:47 GMT
O Hooligan says:
I have this box set and it's not the director's cut.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2011 16:35:32 GMT
D. Laidlaw says:
Yep Just a pity they didn't include the directors cut on the original too>As for the praise that The Heretic got by one reviewer ,well I must have watched the wrong film because it is so weak.However Exorcist 111 now we're talking creepy !!! This one could stand on its own with a few adjustments to the story and it finishes the whole series perfectly,The Exorcist is so well done for its time and the acting is just superb.

Posted on 23 Jan 2011 11:02:47 GMT
Branko Vekic says:
Excellent, serious review, thank you!

Posted on 12 Feb 2011 18:49:59 GMT
Rocky says:
'The Exorcist' in this set is the 25th Anniversary Edition which is a double sided disc, one side with the movie and the other with the special features. 'The Exorcist III' was actually based upon a book called 'Legion' and the makers decided to add some exorcism scenes and called it 'The Exorcist III'.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2011 20:46:34 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 15 Aug 2011 22:35:56 BDT]

Posted on 13 Aug 2011 20:47:42 BDT
I thought "Exorcist III" was the pick of the bunch!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Aug 2011 20:42:57 BDT
Jordon M

Maybe you didn't read the whole review?

'... written and directed by Blatty, based on his follow-up book "Legion" '

That's why it really does make sense to call it "Exorcist III".
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