Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Exorcist II: The Heretic

Again, Realweegiemidget has me out of my element. I'm thrilled to take part in the Regaling About Richard Burton Blogathon, even though Richard Burton seems to have been in tons of great movies I haven't seen. Since Exorcist II: The Heretic is #85 on IMDB's Bottom Rated Movies (of which I've only seen 22, I guess I've been slacking), it would allow me to check another film off the list.

Since watching bad movies, checking things off lists, procrastination, and non-sequiturs are some of my favorite things, I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Krampusnacht, and I hope the holiday is merry and bright.

Anyway, I'll try to stay on message, but I can't guarantee anything.

Speaking of procrastination, even though I knew about the Blogathon for months, I waited until the last possible minute to watch this film, because I've been busy checking things off lists and searching the internet for pictures of Krampus.

Mrs. Deathrage doesn't care much for horror films, and I usually wait until she's asleep to watch those films, but because I procrastinated, I ordered the movie off Amazon and started it up while she was working at her computer, blissfuly unaware of what is about to go down.

Naturally, Mrs. Deathrage and I had the following conversation.

Mrs. Deathrage, as the TV shrieks and howls with the guttural wailing and caterwauling of the Ennio Morricone score: Oh no, is this scary? This sounds scary.
Me: No, it only got a 3.7 at IMDB, so it couldn't be that scary. 
TV, interjecting itself into the conversation by showing images of a woman pelting Richard Burton with lit candles and immolating herself:
Me: Hmm.
Mrs. Deathrage: Hmm.
TV, adding insult to injury, showing images of Linda Blair tap dancing to Lullaby Of Broadway:
Mrs. Deathrage, returning to her work:
Louise Fletcher: 3 people died.
Mrs. Deathrage, looking up from her work: Who died?
Me, incredulously: Are you expecting me to explain the plot of the first Exorcist film?
Mrs. Deathrage, guilelessly: Isn't it nice to be married to someone where you can revisit the classics again and again?
TV, trying not to be outdone, responding with 20 minutes of flashing lights and eye-blinking:

Then Linda Blair unexpectedly says the phrase, "Father, can you hear me?", and I try not to burst into song.

Meannwhile, as I wade through Youtube videos of the Yentl soundtrack, superimposed images of Linda Blair in a dual role grappling Louise Fletcher's gooey heart materialize onscreen, which was actually pretty cool.

Then Richard Burton tries to put out a fire with crutches, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but press release photos of this exact image. It's a Krampusnacht miracle.

Suddenly, Linda Blair hunkers down behind her Manhattan skyscraper rooftop chrome disco pigeon containment system, and that is a thing that apparently existed, but I'm not sure why it needed such a prominent role in this film.

However, I'm glad it did because I can now insert at least one video of a disco version of Tubular Bells.

Because it's in the script, Linda Blair tap-dances some more, and it's pretty dull in spite of the extravagant headwear. Wait a sec, I spoke too soon. LB lurches off the stage and has a sequined, screeching fit.

Sorry, I couldn't find a video for the sequined, screeching fit, however, I did find a video from Linda Blair's appearance in the film Roller Boogie featuring the disco classic "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" by Sylvester, and that's nearly as good.

See, that was good, wasn't it? Anyway, the cast takes planes, trains, and automobiles to the setting of the original film, just to remind everyone watching what this movie is supposedly about.

Because this movie takes place in the 70s, an unconvincing almost sort of plane crash is squeezed in like an unwanted commercial for about a million other movies involving plane crashes from the time period.

Then Richard Burton takes about 100 million bugs to the face, and he's a trooper about it.

Spoiler alert: The last few minutes of the film puts its foot on a bunch of paranormal stuff and mashes it right in there because it's desperately needed to liven things up, and there's a flaming car crash, Louise Fletcher being pierced by some barbed wire, another immolation, a building cracking apart and glowing, a serious insect infestation, Linda Blair's dubbed scream, and plummeting home values.

Exorcist II: The Heretic is ridiculous, dull, plodding, and completely scare-free. Considering the original film's subject matter, Exorcist II: The Heretic is surprisingly heavy with grasshoppers and sequins. Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, and James Earl Jones do the best they can with the terrible dialogue and meandering plot. I'm not 100% sure what Linda Blair is attempting to do. There's no pea soup, no Mike Oldfield, and no levitating beds, although one does hop around a bit.

So, strap on your roller skates and save yourself about 1 hour and 54 minutes and get down to the funky trailer, which shows every exciting thing that happens in the movie, including the sequined fit. Consider it a little Krampusnacht gift.