Yet another release of The Exorcist (1973), arguably the scariest horror movie of all time, on its 40th anniversary. The first time I watched The Exorcist, I peed my pants. I re-watched it a year later at a midnight showing in 2012 and only peed my pants a little bit, due more to too much diet coke and smuggled airline bottles of Jagermeister™ than graphic depictions of demonic possession and projectile vomiting as a result of demonic possession.
Still, you gotta hand it to ’em – The Exorcist was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture. In your face, all other horror flicks that’ve ripped this one off for four decades.
So the new version is on blu-ray and not only features a bible full of extras (see below), the cover deviates from the iconic photo of Father Merrin preparing to go into the House of Projectile Vomiting in order to liberate Regan, a 12 year-old girl from the clutches of Pazuzu (aka “Captain Howdy”) that fictional pop culture mega evil figurehead.
And just so you’re aware of the significance of the cover’s stairway, that’s the part of the movie where Father Karras took flying lessons out Regan’s three-story window and brings it in for a rough landing. (Note to whoever gives a triple somersault, the actual stairway used in the movies is located in Georgetown, Washington D.C. at 36th St NW and M St NW. Watch out for falling priests.
So if you wanna shell out for what is the seventh configuration, here’s what you’ll get…
• Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist (NEW) 40 years after his novel was published, The Exorcist author, screenwriter and producer returns to where it all began. First stop is a cabin/guest house in the hills of Encino, California, where Blatty wrote the novel.
The author visits the place for the first time in 40 years and shares not only memories of writing the book, but also discusses how it inspired him. We then meet Blatty in two key and iconic locations; Georgetown University where the film was shot, and at the now-famous Exorcist steps. Throughout, Blatty reads from his novel, including an excerpt from a chilling newly published passage.
• Talk of the Devil (NEW) – While at Georgetown University, William Peter Blatty heard about a true case of possession from Father Eugene Gallagher. At the time the film came out, the priest talked at length about exorcism, the true story and about Blatty; this footage is now available for the first time in many years. It is as revealing as it is shocking.·
• Two Commentaries by William Friedkin
• Commentary by William Peter Blatty
• Introduction by William Friedkin
• 1998 BBC Documentary The Fear of God: 25 Years of the Exorcist
• Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist set footage produced and photographed by Owen Roizman, camera and makeup tests, and interviews with director William Friedkin, actress Linda Blair, author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty and Owen Roizman.
• The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now – featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot.
• Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist – with director William Friedkin and author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty discussing the different versions of the film and featuring outtakes from the film.
• Original Ending
• Interviews: The Original Cut, Stairway to Heaven, The Final Reckoning
• Sketches & Storyboards
• Radio Spots
• TV Spots
• Premium: Excerpt of The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir
Too bad they didn’t include some moist towelettes or an adult sized pair of Depends™. Those will probably come with the 50th anniversary version.