Film & Water Presents: Turn It Off with Tracy #6

THE FILM & WATER PODCAST PRESENTS: TURN IT OFF WITH TRACY

Episode 6: THE EXORCIST

In this episode of TURN IT OFF WITH TRACY, we find out how far she’ll get into one of the most brutal, scary horror films of all time, 1973’s THE EXORCIST!

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19 responses to “Film & Water Presents: Turn It Off with Tracy #6

  1. Congrats Tracy!

    Are you now having bad dreams regularly, or just the Wolf one? This is a major component of my friends’ fear of horror films – the lasting trauma. Any ill effects AFTER the viewing experience.

    Bailey’s Superman? Rob’s MASH? For me it’s Trek on the American side, Doctor Who on the British side.

  2. Congrats Tracy!

    I remember the first time I saw this film. Kinderman reminded me of Columbo, and that line about the autograph was totally Peter Falk. Looking it up, William Peter Blatty thought he’d been ripped off too, but was sanguine about it.

    The poster was homaged for the cover of Justice League #27 with Amanda Waller in the Exorcist role – it was really well done.

    The first two novels are excellent, worth a read.

    I remember seeing Linda Blair in the 1975 TV film Sarah T: Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, she was pretty decent. (She never got to team up with Eve Plumb’s Teenage Runaway…)

  3. Congratulations Tracy. I have never made it through this film. Having had many experiences with things I can’t explain, I avoided this film for years. Now that I have a young daughter, I can’t imagine sitting through this. Everyone gets up and arms over how animals were treated in older films, but hearing what Linda Blair had to go through during filming, and the mental scars it apparently caused has made me put it off my personal watch list. I understand it’s a classic, and I appreciate that it reaffirms faith and love as being more powerful than evil, but I’m just not going to put myself through an experience like this to get that message. But kudos to you for making it through it!

    Chris

    1. It’s interesting, because it seems as though Friedkin was pretty good with Blair (there are pics of them goofing around on the set (like this one: http://nofilmschool.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_wide/public/uploads/2013/09/The-Exorcist-BTS.jpg?itok=lJXDz_Xh). I think he was a lot harder on the adults, which sounds a bit like how Stanley Kubrick behaved on THE SHINING.

      The movie is grueling, to be sure. For whatever reason I find it a rewarding watch (I think I’ve seen it at least a dozen times by now) but understand for some people it’s a no sale. As Tracy said on the show, she will not ever ask to see it again!

    2. I think I find myself in a similar boat to Chris on this one. Having a daughter of my own, this one might just hit a little too close to home for me. Of course, I recognize that’s all on me and my over-active imagination, and have no doubt that this is an excellent film. In fact, based on your discussion, it sounds like a horror film I might actually enjoy. Who knows? Maybe I’ll give it a try once my daughter is a little older. Heck, once she hits her teenage years, I’ll probably find the film quite tame by comparison to real life.

      Way to go, Tracy!

  4. FYI: William Friedkin will be on TCM this Saturday cohosting “The Essentials” with Alec Baldwin. They will be discussing John Ford’s The Quiet Man (about as far from The Exorcist as you can get).

    Also, a stage version of The Exorcist is making its way to Broadway. It opens in the UK later this year. I assume ponchos will be provided for those sitting in the first 5 rows:

    http://www.playbill.com/article/the-exorcist-sets-west-end-dates-ahead-of-broadway-arrival

    Finally, I never knew that there’s an Exorcist TV show now airing (with Geena Davis?!)

  5. Okay, I’ve already commented on The Exorcist, but I had to add that I recently saw The Time of Their Lives on TV. In addition to the seance scene that Rob mentioned, I found the scene where the bodies of Lou Costello and Marjorie Reynolds’ characters are dumped in a well, after being shot by revolutionary soldiers, to be surprisingly disturbing. Those two scenes give a strange feel to an otherwise funny movie. I’d be curious to learn the story behind that movie.

    1. I could be confusing this with another movie, but I THINK I heard (maybe on Svengoolie?) that the scene where Lou and Marjorie are shot was cut out of the film for years on TV. Time of Our Lives is my second favorite A&C movie after Meet Frankenstein.

      Chris

      1. Interesting. That certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

        I found the concept behind Time of Their Lives to be quite unique, because your seeing a haunting from the perspective of the ghosts. I got a real kick out of that. I wonder if a more “serious” horror film could work using that premise, or if that would ruin the fear factor?

        I (regretfully) haven’t seen A&C Meet Frankenstein to compare the two.

  6. Alright, some CORRECTIONS.

    There are actually 4 sequels to this movie: Exorcist 2: The Heretic; Exorcist 3: Legion; Exorcist: The Beginning; and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. Dominion and The Beginning are sort of the same movie by different directors. Paul Schrader was directing the first one, “Dominion,” but the studio hated his cut and hired Renny Harlin to do the movie over with “The Beginning.” Most of the cast is the same, but the possessions are different.

    Legion (Exorcist 3) doesn’t really undo the first one, but it does add an odd layer to it. The thing about the first one is, according to Blatty, a story of faith and spiritual triumph. Father Karras gives his life to save Regan. But his sacrifice is more or less cheapened by what happens in Legion. If you excise Blatty’s claim, the film works better. But it’s odd for a creative to be so contradictory about his work.

    Linda Blair was also in Jim Wynorski’s Sorceress movie and in Chained Heat!

    We need to cover the Exorcist series, Rob.

    1. I guess I also should have mentioned THE NINTH CONFIGURATION, featuring the astronaut character from THE EXORCIST, which Blatty considered a side-quel.

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