The Exorcist III: Legion

By Adam Lippe

exorcist3image3Given 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.

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1 comment on “The Exorcist III: Legion”

  1. Frank Mather says:

    I watched this film after a late shift with the head phones on (so as not to wake my grandparents). Ten minutes in my grandad took the head phones off and we started watching. 2’oclock in the morning I’m at work at 6 am grandad at 7 , both of us sat through an absolutely brilliant addition to this franchise . This film remains one of my all time favourites !!!!

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By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]

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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.