Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) * Worst Hit *

Tagline: It's Four Years Later.  What does she remember? Better question: Who effin cares?
Tagline: It's four years later. What does she remember?
Better question: Who effin cares?

Genre: Horror

Starring: Linda Blair (The Exorcist; Roller Boogie), Richard Burton (Equus; Where Eagles Dare)

Directed By: John Boorman (Deliverance; Point Blank)

Overview: When a Cardinal sends Father Lamont to investigate the death of a priest, his investigation into the once-possessed Regan reveals that the demon Pazuzu is still within her.
True Overview: When Hollywood saw the potential dollars in a sequel, they sacrificed artistic integrity to the point that it corrupted the original for the almighty dollar.

Performance:

Linda Blair was nominated for an Oscar when she played Regan in the original Exorcist. If you watch this you'd guess that since the crushing loss, she hit the bottle hard and vowed to milk her head-spinning fame until it cost her an illustrious career. You know she's still an actress, but she's no Ellen Burstyn, unless you consider an uncredited 'Obnoxious Reporter' in Scream, a female prisoner in Chained Heat or a parody of herself in Leslie Neilsen's Repossessed illustrious. She went the way of the child star it seems. Oh well she looks happy... Don't blame her, blame the production team.  You just know this was D-List in the scheme of things. 
Rating: 5

Cinematography:

I shit you not kiddies: this had promise, not really HORROR potential mind you, but once you look past the cheap mountain models and the occasional cheesy scene, there's these really immersive shots of Africa.  Tribesmen, fields of locusts and secluded churches in the mountains, combined with some pretty interesting open concept children's psychiatric facilities, and you realize they might have actually had creative people working and not a team of profit-hoarding bean-counting accountants with pocket protectors. Of course, don't expect a healthy dash scary bits or gore...
Rating: 6

Script:

Don't you understand... that I was face to face with the Evil that's inside her. Your machine has proved scientifically that there's an ancient demon locked within her!

Right, proof. It's perfectly appropriate that the next one takes place in a mental hospital cause the writers were just drooling mad.  Scenes with the same line repeated over and over, leaps of logic, overly symbolic poetic jargon that proves they're trying too hard... it's like they wrote the formula on bad dialogue! That's so wicked it's classic.
Rating: 4

Plot:

Wait.  Wait, whoa.  After all the trials and conclusions of the first film, that fantastic ending, that climactic awesome wickedness, you go and say she's still possessed?  Hello, revisionist history much.  Remember that freak out monologue in Misery? "And all the kids cheered! But I didn't cheer. I stood right up and started shouting. This isn't what happened last week! Have you all got amnesia? They just cheated us! This isn't fair! HE DID'NT GET OUT OF THE COCK - A - DOODIE CAR!" Yeah, right around there is where your emotions should be sitting. And right once you get over that, they run out of ideas, so they go back to the house and decide to have a climax that makes absolutely no sense. If they hadn't done scenes in Africa, this would have been the exact same film, and you know? I wouldn't have been surprised...
Rating: 3

Mood:

I know, I know! Let's begin with one of the core premises of the film: the hypnotic synch machine. This is where you and a friend strap on a little headband and each goes into a state of deep relaxation, and when you're both at the same level your mindwaves are in synch... meaning you're reading EACH OTHERS MINDS. There's a quote in the film, something like, "I can't believe that no one's heard of this machine of yours!"  Girlfriend of Squish replied "yeah, even 30 years later, no one knows about it!" Look kids, when you crack out horror premises that are far fetched, honestly, don't settle for some bullshit machine, use magic or a psychic, or some autistic kid or something, especially if the machine is just one big ugly blinking box off the prop set from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Want more?! MAKE SENSE!
Rating: 4

I curse thee with a mouthful o' locusts!
I curse thee with a mouthful o' locusts!

Overall Rating: 44% (Disavow This Dogma)
Aftertaste:

All together, I have spent probably an equal number of time hearing how bad a sequel this was as I spent watching this, so in no way was I expecting anything good. Now I can say I've seen 'em all, including The Beginning, and I can say I bought it for a dollar. And I can say I laughed out loud - hard - at the stupidity 3 times. 

To quote the film, "It was horrible, utterly horrible....and fascinating!"

It's guiltless. I don't care, it's just TIME, man.

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It's been a long time since I've seen the original -- I should really get to it again -- but III is definitely one of my all-time favorite 'horror' films. I was always told to avoid II - and you've just confirmed that course of action was the correct one.

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