Archive for Father Merrin

Rejected Exorcist

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Exorcist

The Exorcist (1973) ad art depicting Father Merrin arriving at the MacNeil home to perform an exorcism on a demonically possessed 12 year-old girl (she wasn’t really possessed by the Devil; all 12 year-old girls just act like they are) is one of the most iconic and enduring images in horror movie history.

Light At The End of the Tunnel

But history was almost changed with some concept art that was created to advertise what is universally regarded the scariest horror movie of all time, outside of the live feed of my colonoscopy procedure (filmed in Tunnel-Vision™).

Dirty Harry, Deliverance, A Clockwork Orange

Designed by Bill Gold (the guy behind the ad art for Deliverance, Casablanca, Dirty Harry, and A Clockwork Orange), he was neverthess given a specific mandate by Warner Bros. and Exorcist film director William Friedkin on what they didn’t want. In an interview with AFI (American Film Institute), Gold had this to say about that: “We must not use an image of the girl possessed, or show anything that had any hint of religious connotation,” he revealed. “They were very concerned about that.”

Can’t blame them. Religion gets too much attention as it is. Why give ’em free advertising?

A rare rewind back to the ‘70s, here’s a look at several rejected ad concepts for The Exorcist before settling on Father Merrin crapping his pants moments before entering the house of the Devil…

The Exorcist

The Exorcist

And God bless fans of the Devil — here’s some choice Exorcist fan art, the standout of the bunch by artist Sam Wolfe Connelly

The Exorcist

The Exorcist

Evil Reunion

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Exorcist: The Beginning

Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) is the backstory about Father Merrin, the priest who drove the Hell out of Linda Blair in The Exorcist (1973).

Exorcist: The Beginning

Turns out Merrin is an old buddy of the demon Pazuzu, whom he first encountered in East Africa and then again in Holland during WWII. Even Pazuzu’s stink breath was no match for the war atrocities Merrin witnessed. So the priest/archaeologist heads to Egypt where he thinks he’ll knock back a few cold ones, pet a camel or two, hang out and leave a pyramid in every bathroom.

Exorcist: The Beginning

But the call comes in to return to Africa, this time to scope out an ancient church that was just discovered buried under dirt. (People in that part of the world know nothing about vacuum cleaners. Heathens, I tell you.)

Exorcist: The Beginning

Merrin arrives in Kenya and upon entering the Centuries-old church, notices the place is in pretty good shape despite being buried under elephant crap that long. What the hoohaw, thinks Merrin; this can’t be a church as it was built several millennia before Christianity plagued the world.

Exorcist: The Beginning

But I didn’t come here for a history lesson. I’m here to see evil stuff, which includes babies being born with maggots on ’em, a little boy being torn apart and eaten alive by wild hyenas, another little boy’s head turning all the way around without that snap, crackle and pop sound…

Exorcist: The Beginning

All this leads up to Merrin having a reunion with his ’ol BFF Pazuzu, who looks like a white-faced, stupid Goth wussy. While the demon stuff is icky, it serves no purpose other than to gross you out. I’m OK with gross out, though there’s no impending sense of religious dread causing an immediate need to wash your naughty parts in holy water.

Exorcist: The Beginning

If Pazuzu wants to get back to being truly evil, he needs to quit listening to weenie-ass Goth and start banging his horned head to some righteous heavy metal. And to quit making prequels/pointless sequels.