Isaacs Picture Conclusions

THE IPC DOUBLE TAKE ~ FEATURING CINENEMA: THE EXORCIST (1973)

I just watched this for the first time the other week. What the BLEEP BLORP??? You ask??? Well – it’s true. Like I’ve written before, I grew up an only child and spent a lot of time by myself. I can’t remember what year it was but my mom (a 70s disco-ey goer) got married to my dad (who adopted me) who was a strict Church-y Baptist. I was immediately indoctrinated into That Which Is Christianity and forbidden to watch things on TV that weren’t wholesome or educational.  READ: I could watch anything on PBS (Doctor Who), The Fall Guy and The A-Team (etc) but no blasphemous KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK or things containing nude females or pot smoking. I did get to see a bunch of Clint Eastwood films and – this is a good memory of mine – the WALKING TALL series, but other than that, the family unit was pretty chaste.

Well – before that ended, one time my mom and dad went out for something or other and – being used to just watching whatever I wanted before The Dad came around – I liked being scared and had heard about this movie from the kids at school and it was on the new and extraordinary HBO so I put it on. I think I got about five minutes into it and the parents came home and my dad asked what I was watching and I told him and I got screamed at and got the shit spanked out of me and grounded for a month (no lie – that wasn’t uncommon) so I have never revisited this thing. By now you may or may not have read my INTERVIEW WITH WEDNESDAY’S CHILD where I remarked about how she was my first ever online friend and while she might not remember it because she has tons of online friends, she was the one that convinced me to get over it watch this for once and for all.

By the time I watched this I had seen THE EXORCIST 2 once and THE EXORCIST 3 is one of my favorite movies – seen dozens of times. Who, alive, doesn’t know what this movie is about? I knew all about it and had heard about it for years and years so I don’t think there was any way I was going to be surprised by anything that I was going to see. Blah blah blah – split pea soup, crucifix in the woo woo, levitation, the power of christ compels you and all of that. So – to me – when I watched this NOT as the-classic-that-scared-the-fuck-out-of-me-as-a-kid, I see it as a gritty, 70s movie that people had never seen the likes of before…. BUT….. I didn’t love it and I think THE EXORCIST 3 is  a far superior piece of film making.

Aside from that last sentence, I thought this was OK – laughable at some points because of what we’ve all seen come hanging around since 1973 – but a decent movie. I am really not trying to piss anyone off or get attention by saying  I didn’t love it the most and would be like “Yeah… sure…. I guess… it was good…. seen better…” and then get stabbed in the eye probably. There’s no point to bother trying to recap this or give anything up about it since everyone in the world knows all about this unless you happen to be a newborn baby or someone who lives in the jungle or a cat so I guess that’s all I’ve got. Not bad – seen better – luv ya mean it. This next picture is some total fan art that you can see who it’s by by hovering over the picture, but this poster is ALL awesome.

Now let’s move on to today’s guest speaker, the highly lauded, acclaimed and destructive Catalin from CINENEMA!

~

The Exorcist

I hate Eric so much. I hate him with a red, hot, fiery passion.  If I would start counting the many ways in which I hate him and in which I would end his life, we’d be here well after Emmerich’s 2012 happens.

However, I do hate myself more. I hate myself so much that…that…flames…on the side of my face…heaving…breathing…heaving breaths…I hate myself for accepting to do this Double Take with Eric. I hate Eric for making me watch again this horrible movie that I hate so, so much! And damn the universe because I found only the Director’s Cut!

I’ve always despised this movie immensely – I hated it as a child and I hate it now. I’ve never found it scary, controversial, creepy, spooky or intelligent and thought provoking.  Sure, it’s interesting that a major studio agreed to do a film where a young girl plays the xylophone on her bearded clam with a crucifix or where a priest is called Merry Pippin (he’s actually called Merrin but, I hate the Lord of The Rings movies as much as I hate this one).

I know I might piss off a lot of people that love this movie but, frankly, I’m too exhausted to care: I’ve just had to watch it again in an extended version that drags on over two hours. I would have preferred to watch the second one – at least that one’s hilariously dumb. Or the third one which even after being cut and mutilated by the studio more than a Mexican whore in three lifetimes is still a pretty effective movie. Or, I would have preferred to sit through The Turkish Exorcist once more (for those who unfortunately have not seen it, here’s the IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072148/ ).

Most probably, you’re wondering why I hate it so much. It’s because I find it a vile piece of exploitation, trying to pass of as a deep, thought provoking piece about religion. Sure, I understand that I’ve never been able to watch it with the same eyes the audience watched it back in ’73. Sure, probably I have become desensitized to violence. Sure, probably the film is a masterpiece. Most likely, though, it is an overly pretentious, overblown artsy fartsy crapfest about religion, guilt, loss of innocence, tormented souls, doom and so on. I mean, R.E.M. made a song about it. Just check the facts that I have totally made up about the song “Losing My Religion”.

But enough ranting and raving. Instead of pouring bile all over it, I will do a little exercise I just came up with on the spot: trying to understand The Exorcist as if it were a different type of movie.

1.           Exorcist – The Romantic Comedy

 EXCATALIN

A hilarious story about two gay priests that arrive just in time to save a young lady from PMS-ing all over her house. Hilarity ensues with the help of gross-out gags (in 3D) and, in a scene reminiscent of The Sound of Music, the girls masturbates with a crucifix. Eventually, one of the priests falls in love, literally, with the possessed girl.

2.           Exorcist – The Lady Gaga Musical

 EXCATALIN2

A high fashion, low brains musical written, starring and designed by Lady Gaga, featuring the vomit inducing hit “Judas”.

3.           Exorcist – The Horror Film

 EXCATALIN3

An effective horror film, in the vein of The Last Exorcism which is actually thought provoking and has any actual value. Nothing we’ve seen in the actual movie, then.

4.           Exorcist – The Disaster Movie

 EXCATALIN6

A series of earthquakes terrorize a young girl and make her sick. One hour and a half of character development and half an hour of action. Unfortunately, there’s no Victoria Principal running around with an awesome ‘fro. It would happen one year later, though.

5.           Exorcist – The Porno

 EXCATALIN5

True, this has already been done. It’s not like nobody was expecting it to be turned into a porno.

30 comments

  1. @IPC I totally remember discussing the Exorcist movies with you, and I’m glad you finally watched the first one, but I’m honestly not surprised that you were a bit underwhelmed by it. That happens to me almost every time I see an old blockbuster movie for the first time; I think it’s because of all the years of hearing about it, seeing it parodized and ripped off, and basically. like you said, already knowing all about it before you even see it because it’s such a pervasive part of the culture. It happens so often that there ought to be a specific word for it, besides “meh” or “disappointment.”

    @Cinenema I would never get mad at someone for NOT liking a movie I like (unless they come over to my blog and call me a moron for liking it, of course) but I have to say I never thought of The Exorcist as exploitation. I have always placed it squarely in the American New Wave/New Hollywood category. I think you might have a point. I suppose if it was missing the vomit, the crucifix dildo, and the spinning head, it might be the thoughtful drama it wants to be. The one thing exploitation movies all have in common is that they pretend to be serious about something while actually giving you a good opportunity to gawp at the subject in question, so, yeah, The Exorcist is exploitation. I still like it though.

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    • Well, I’m glad you did not get mad. It was all for fun, mostly. I did try to make some points, though and it seems they did come across so I’m happy for that.

      I still like you even though you like The Exorcist 🙂

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  2. Hahahaha, wow at the hatred from Cinenema! I liked this one but then I was all of 18 when I watched it for the first time and it was one of my first “horror” movies. Maybe watching it now I wouldn’t like it so much. I totally understand how it can be viewed as exploitation too. Haven’t seen 2 or 3 so I can’t comment on those. I did however try to watch The Last Exorcism and couldn’t even get halfway through it I was so utterly bored.

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      • Good guy! HA! As if!

        @Misty: Really? You disliked The Last Exorcism? It’s one of the few found footage movies I loved. And one of the few exorcism movies I loved. It’s a slow slooooooow burner, for sure but the payoff is so worth it!

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  3. @cinenemablog – If it’s the movie I’m thinking of then yes, it was insanely boring and redone to death. Of course, I have also seen a million and one exorcism movies so there’s always the chance that I’m thinking of the wrong one!

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    • theipc

      Misty – I have found that Catalin and I disagree on many things one of which is his believing that I deserve to live. ANother is our choice of movies we tend to like. I thought The Last Exorcism was awful and he hearted it. I hearted LOVELY MOLLY and he hates that almost as most as much as he hates me, if not more.

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  4. Ericson, if I didnt like you I would summon The Entity to grab your long balls and squeeze very firmly. I think the key is watching movies within ten yrs of its release. Ten seems to mark a span between the evolution in horror. The Exorcist at its release was easily the most disturbing movie EVER. I watched when I was 8 and now 42 I still have a hard time watching it alone. For fuck’s sake she made that cross her bitch! E3 was good! All the others sucked. I like movies that freak me out and this one did it. The Strangers did as well. Amityville did but only back in its day. Serpent and the Rainbow was up there and even Event Horizon. I enjoy gore but i’m more into freakin – out. With that said, i’d love to get your take on some other freak me out kinda movies. Do not mention any PA films.

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    • theipc

      D MINUS – that’s what I’m sayin’ – if I had seen this as a kid it probably would have scared me to death and I would still be traumatized – like The Shining did. I am saying that we’ve all become so anesthetized to horror as we’ve grown up that this seemed really tame to me…

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  5. Pingback: The Versatile Blogger Award – from “Written In Blood” | CinEnemA

  6. I saw Exorcist a few years after it came out–but through slatted fingers, mostly. It scared the *** outta me!! Cuz wow, it truly was the first of its kind, and I get scared at movies pretty easy anyway. I think there’s something to be said for the first anything: since you saw the movies in non-sequential order, of course the first one you saw would have made more of an impression.

    Which one is the funny one? The spoof one?

    Great review style. I dig the conversational tone. 🙂

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    • theipc

      Yep – I think if I had seen the first one “first” it would have made more of a difference to me : )

      thanks for the compliment!!

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  7. Damn, I don’t think I’ve read reviews like these for The Exorcist before. The point about exploitation might be valid, though.

    And I’m totally on board with 3 perhaps being better than the original. Not a lot of people talk about it, but it’s a fucking awesome horror movie.

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  8. I love this review!! It is so cynical and refreshing. Like I said in my brief review about The Exorcist, I happen to like this one, but I know that I wouldn’t like it had I watched it today for the first time. This movie gave me nightmares as a child because. I tuned in exactly when crucifix did its job “between her down there” and she was saying some wild stuff … Since I was born in Germany I saw the German sync which sounded just terrifying, but then again, what isn’t terrifying when you are 5? Give it a second thought, It is one of those movies that gives me chills just because I relive a childhood moment, nonetheless I like it. 😀 Great review!

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    • theipc

      Thank you!!

      I believe if I had seen this and been scared shitless as a kid, it would mean a lot more for me today. I remember my mom took me to see Psycho 2 in the theaters and it scared the shit out of me. If I watched it again today it probably still would even if it’s not so good… : )

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  9. You’d think that your super baptist-y dad would be okay with this. In essence it is a movie about the power of faith and is a major triumph over Satan. You could have been all “But papa, every time you watch this movie Satan gets butt-raped”

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  10. So that’s why you took so long to watch this one! Well, I didn’t see it until I was well into my 20s as my mom was like “never watch that horrible movie!”. It’s okay but very dated now & I don’t love it. Not seen any of the others.

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