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LINDA BLAIR IN EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC W/ LOUISE FLETCHER

year: 1977 cast: Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, Kitty Winn, Max von Sydow rating: **
Perhaps DELIVERANCE director John Boorman chose to make an EXORCIST sequel for the rugged exterior locations, as the new Priest in town, played by a melancholy Richard Burton, travels to Africa in hopes of destroying the demon Pazuzu in its origin...

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And these are the worst parts of the film, centering on swarms of locusts and screaming possessed natives, straying from a lovely teenage Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil, who, with the help of Louise Fletcher's Dr. Gene Tuskin, recovers at a mental telepathy center.

One scene, as the good doctor's plugged into Regan’s mind, reliving the death of Father Merrin (Max von Sydow turning up in a ghost-cameo), is somewhat intense: mostly thanks to Fletcher's energetic performance.

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And any part involving Regan’s attempts to remain a normal kid as the demon closes in (or perhaps he’s there already) are comfortable and appealing – it’s great seeing the character all grown up, allowing Linda Blair to use her own voice for the entire trip... Yet as a horror film, THE HERETIC is not a bit scary – nor are their any effective moments of chilling/shocking suspense...

Despite the abundant flaws, the finale has potential: as Burton and Blair literally put their minds together to destroy the demon once and for all...

Although a random barrage of flashbacks of the original film, and the eventual return to the same two-story house, is downright blasphemous. And in one very memorable scene, where a sensuously repossessed Linda Blair seduces priest Richard Burton in bed, God only... or rather... Satan only knows how many intriguing, salacious, bizarre paths this sequel could had gone without all the bugs and backstory.
LOUISE FLETCHER ("DR. GENE TUSKIN") REFLECTS EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC
We shot at Warner Brothers and there was a great deal of money spent. It was interesting and I think John Boorman didn’t want to do a sequel... He tried to move heaven and earth to make something that was going to be more dazzling than the first one, you know, he had to make his mark. And I think he missed the mark… I don’t know why, it just… That whole approach with Etheopia and, I don’t know… It just didn’t work… But I tried very hard…
Linda Blair in EXORCIST 2: THE HERETIC
Linda Blair in EXORCIST 2: THE HERETIC
Linda Blair in EXORCIST 2: THE HERETIC
Linda Blair in EXORCIST 2: THE HERETIC
Linda Blair with Richard Burton in EXORCIST 2: THE HERETIC
Linda Blair with Richard Burton in EXORCIST 2: THE HERETIC
Dana Plato, who tried out for the lead role in the original, provides a cameo
"Remember the original... Remember the original... You are not the original... You are not the..."
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