Movie Review: The Exorcist III (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

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The Exorcist III was written for the screen and directed by William Peter Blatty and stars George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Scott Wilson, Jason Miller, and Brad Dourif.

For more than fifteen years Police Lieutenant Kinderman (George C. Scott) has been haunted by the death of his friend Father Damien Karras. Now, on the 15th anniversary of the exorcism that claimed the priest’s life, Kinderman’s world is once again shattered when a boy is found decapitated and savagely crucified. It’s just the beginning of a nightmare series of bizarre religious murders. The brutal murders bear the hallmarks of the infamous Gemini Killer… who died in the electric chair fifteen years ago. But when a psychopath claiming to be the Gemini Killer reveals intimate, gruesome details that only the true killer could possibly know, Kinderman is confronted with a horrifying truth that he cannot begin to explain… and that will shake him to his core.

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The story centers around Kinderman, who is focused on uncovering how this young boy died and who (or what) was actually behind it. More deaths follow and they all resemble the Gemini Killer’s handywork and all of this leads to a meeting between Kinderman and a mysterious mental patient. This killer has been dead for years but this patient confesses to Kinderman that he’s the Gemini Killer and behind the deaths that are happening. At times, this patient also looks like Father Karras who also died years earlier during an exorcism. This patient claims to be one person but he resembles another and they both happen to be dead. So how can this be? This leaves Kinderman more determined than ever to get to the bottom of this mystery but as he does, more people close to him become unsuspecting targets for this evil. In the end, Kinderman discovers the terrifying truth about the mysterious mental patient that results in a battle between good and evil.

The Exorcist is a horror classic that is called one of the scariest movies ever made. This third outing doesn’t come close to the scares that the original produced but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad movie. What this movie does is continue Blatty’s vision of The Exorcist with this new story that is connected to the original by just one character and of course the evil that ultimately reveals itself as the movie plays out. This is more of a whodunnit murder mystery that is mixed with some elements of horror. The story is really good and thought-provoking but the movie itself is a little on the slow side during the first half. Things do pick up in the second half that finally delivers some unholy scares for the viewer. The movie features some impressive cinematography at times that really helps set the dark mood of this watch. There are some scenes that are really beautifully shot. The Exorcist III isn’t heavy on the special effects but what it does offer up looks really impressive. There’s also a little blood and gore, but not much.

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the all-new artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve also features the original artwork and movie credits. Both discs feature individual artwork/characters and the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the new 2K transfer from the inter-positive was crisp and clear. The high-def upgrade for the theatrical version is seamless where the Director’s Cut looks fantastic but it does include some key scenes that were edited in and unfortunately they’re not the best of quality. All of this is explained at the beginning of the watch. Still, this is a pretty epic release because we do finally get to witness Blatty’s vision “Legion” and not the studio cut that most of us have all previously seen.

Bottom line is, it had been a long time since I had watched The Exorcist III and the movie looks absolutely amazing with this new high-def upgrade that Scream Factory gave it. To top this off I got to witness this brand-new alternate version of the movie that gave the entire watch a completely different vibe – and much more Brad Dourif! I’ll confess that I like both cuts of the movie. Those scenes with Damien Karras get downright creepy!  Exorcist 2: The Heretic is one of those sequels that should never have been made (thanks greedy studio!), so The Exorcist III is William Peter Blatty’s own personal sequel that continues the story and completely ignores the sequel. This movie is its own beast and doesn’t attempt to retread what’s already been told so it only references back to the original horror classic and that’s it. The Exorcist III arrives on a 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on October 25th and comes highly recommended. I’d like to thank Scream Factory for sending this over for me to review!

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: Theatrical Cut – 110 Minutes / Director’s Cut – 105 Minutes

Rated: Theatrical Cut – R / Director’s Cut – Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: Theatrical Cut – DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 / Director’s Cut – DTS-HD MA 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH              

Special Features: Good Stuff! This 2-disc Blu-ray set includes over 4 hours of special features. The first disc includes lots of extras imported over from previous releases and the second disc is loaded with all-new bonus material that includes interviews/featurettes with some of the cast and crew.

Disc One: The Exorcist III (Theatrical Cut)

  • New 2K scan of the inter-positive
  • Vintage featurette (07:13)
  • Deleted Scene/Alternate Takes/Bloopers (05:44)
  • Deleted Prologue (02:44)
  • Vintage interviews (featuring behind-the-scenes footage) with writer/director William Peter Blatty, George C. Scott, Jason Miller, Ed Flanders, Grand L. Bush, executive producer James G. Robinson, production designer Leslie Dilley, Larry King and C. Everett Koop (38:35)
  • Theatrical Trailers (03:10)
  • TV Spots (02:25)
  • Photo Galleries – Behind-the-Scenes (03:37) – Posters & Lobby Cards (05:45) – Stills (04:07)

Disc Two: Legion (Original Director’s Cut)

  • NEW Audio interview with writer/director William Peter Blatty
  • NEW A “Wonderfull” Time – interviews with producer Carter DeHaven, actors Clifford David and Tracy Thorne and production assistant Kara Reidy (24:30)
  • NEW Signs of the Gemini – an interview with Brad Dourif (17:42)
  • NEW The Devil in the Details – interview with production designer Leslie Dilley, assistant designer Daren Dochterman and illustrator Simon Murton (18:03)
  • NEW Music for a Padded Cell – an interview with composer Barry DeVorzon (15:16)
  • NEW All This Bleeding – a look at the re-shoot and makeup effects with production manager Ronald Colby, editor Todd Ramsay, effects artists William Forsche, Mike Smithson, Brian Wade and actor/body double Charles Powell (28:49)

 

 

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