The Horror Honeys: “Jesus Loves You, Everyone Else Thinks You’re an Asshole.”

“Jesus Loves You, Everyone Else Thinks You’re an Asshole.”

A Supernatural Honey Review by Suzanne

The Exorcist III (1990)

Easter is a time for ham, chocolate eggs, and judgmental hares. Of course, it’s really the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Since my birthday happens to fall on Easter weekend this year, I’m celebrating by bringing you one of my favorite resurrection films, The Exorcist III. Written and directed by William Peter Blatty, based on his book Legion (also the original title of the film), the sequel to The Exorcist.

Fifteen years after Regan MacNeil’s exorcism and the death of Father Damien Karras, Lieutenant Kinderman (George C. Scott) and Father Dyer (Ed Flanders) mourn the loss of their friend. At the same time, a series of murders begin to occur with the same motive as “The Gemini,” a serial killer who was executed years earlier. 

After Father Dyer is killed in the hospital, Kinderman enlists the help of Dr. Temple (Scott Wilson), the head of the psychiatric department. Temple leads Kinderman to a patient, Patient X, who was found fifteen years earlier, a catatonic until recently, when he claimed to be the Gemini. The man just happens to look exactly like Kinderman’s friend, Damien Karras.

More deaths occur and the Gemini takes credit even though he has not left his cell. He tells Kinderman his soul entered Karras’ body just after he died. His “master” chose Karras as retaliation for the exorcism of Regan and so the Gemini can continue his work.

Well... that will not end well.
The Exorcist III is a completely underrated film, although hardcore horror fans know what a gem this really is. A true sequel to the original film, it, like everyone else, pretends The Exorcist II never happened. 

Screens on the windows help keep old ladies out...
The visuals in this film are often startling and unsettling. The old woman crawling on the ceiling, a nurse being suddenly apprehended by a figure in white, holding a giant pair of medical shears, not to mention the religious imagery. It’s a beautiful looking film, despite some bad effects. It’s a tense, character driven thriller. It may be one of the best sequels of any franchise.

The cast is superb. George C. Scott, who stepped into Kinderman’s shoes, due to the death of original actor Lee J. Cobb, brings a slightly different dynamic to the character. The Gemini is portrayed by the one and only Brad Dourif. Of course, the grand return of Jason Miller as Damien Karras. Scott Wilson, who most will know in the role of Hershel Greene on The Walking Dead, is stellar as the chain smoking, paranoid Dr. Temple.

Nope. No chance of that ending well either.
My only real disappointment with the cast is Ed Flanders. Not that Flanders is bad, but he brings a little too much humor to the role. The actor who originated the role, real life priest, Father William O’Malley, was also a technical advisor on the first film and, with good reason, brought realism to the role.

There are a few issues with the film, the timeline being one of them. This takes place in 1990 and is supposed to be 15 years after the original, which actually took place in 1973. That makes it actually 17 years. I guess maybe they figured everyone was bad at math or wouldn’t notice. The other problem I have, personally, is how Kinderman refers to Karras as his best friend. If this were a true movie sequel, the cop and the priest had a mere acquaintance. 

OH SHIT! Is there an old lady behind me?
The real horror of this film is that it isn’t Blatty’s original vision. Legion was initially conceived as a film, but due to problems with development, he turned it into a novel, then back into a screenplay. After filming completed, the studio decided it needed an exorcism, which was not part of the plan, nor part of the book. Blatty has since stated that he would like to share his original vision, but the cut footage is supposedly lost. Let’s hope it’s found and we can see Legion as it was meant to be.

Supernatural Honey Rating: 4 murderous catatonics out of 5

The Exorcist III is available on Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Google Play, iTunes, & blu-ray/DVD