The first sequel to a successful film always suffers. In the case of EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC, it suffers perhaps unfairly. Exorcist II takes the next step in the story of Regan and does so, not by retracing it’s steps, but by setting out on a new path. Regan is a young adult now and living with her guardian Sharon in New York. She is also under observation from a psychiatric institute. When Father Lamont, a man questioning his faith, is brought in to investigate the death of Father Merrin, he gets wrapped up in Regan’s life unknowing that it is about to change. What follows is a series of far out events including locusts, a “synchronizer” brainwave machine, a trip to Africa, a male former exorcist victim and a little seduction.
The film has been consistently on most “worst” lists for years but it does have its charm. No it is not The Exorcist, but it should never have been compared. It is its own animal, very much influenced by the seventies. The psychic angle is definitely out there but what gets even more grief, is the possessed seduction scene. Many critics and cast members have found it tasteless or unwarranted. But she is possessed by a demon, what would you expect? There is no line and quite frankly, I would cry foul if the demon didn’t try to entice the priest with Regan’s young nubile body. It wouldn’t ring true.
Regardless of what you may think, EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC is an interesting film. Yes it is a bit of a mess but an interesting one, and far better than Exorcist The Beginning in some respects.
And now, Scream Factory has brought it home in grand style (as they always do). The new transfer looks fantastic, especially when compared to the previous bluray release. You also get two different cuts of the film. The theatrical and extended video cut which includes welcomed commentary by director John Boorman. Also included is an all new interview with Linda Blair where she is honest but respectful about the film.
In addition, there is also commentary from consultant Scott Bosco and an interview with editor Tom Priestley (a monumental task).
This is yet another solid Scream Factory release that takes EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC and makes it a must have part of your horror collection. It;s out now so what are you waiting for?