The Exorcist III: Legion
Given the choice, I would make Exorcist III a short film, dropping the second half. Why? Because the first 40 minutes or so, while we are learning about the Gemini killer, and while there is a lot of quick witted, rapid fire, screwball comedy style dialogue between Scott and the priest who likes It’s A Wonderful Life (especially that story about the fish that Scott’s mother in law has been preparing in their bathtub for the last three days so he hasn’t been able to bathe), that stuff is great. Once Brad Dourif shows up, providing 15 minute scenes of exposition and coy, cutesy, rib nudging jokes, and vague references to the devil as “The Master” and his “friends” helping him out, along with his occasional ADR Satan growl, then it is a generic serial killer movie, that has a dead weight villain at its center.
Imagine the movie as dark humored religious thriller instead of its obvious studio concession attempt at Gothic horror and cheap scares (the woman on the ceiling, the ghost chasing the nurse, running into the assistant with the speech changes, even sinking as low as having important words repeated on the soundtrack so we can now recognize their significance, “that is a clear invitation to the dance, to the dance, to the dance”) which allows Scott’s smart, funny performance to go completely over the top with Rodney Dangerfield style eye bulging and a penchant for screaming and shouting, and you tell me which is a better film.