Arts Review 6-27-77


One of Greg's early on-air reviews; the only one for which a script remains among his papers.


Film producers have always believed that if something works well the first time, it will work well again. Obviously, they never buy used cars, or they'd know that for every good one, there are five others that are little more than collections of old parts.

EXORCIST TWO: THE HERETIC is a used-car of a movie. (Actually, it's a repossession, but more about that later.) Some of its parts are still good. It's a nice, shiny-looking movie, and has four fine actors: Richard Burton, Max Von Sydow, James Earl Jones, and Louise Fletcher. In the trunk there's a retread: Linda Blair, who seems to have done nothing since Exorcist One but get silicone injections in her cheeks. Not since Shirley Temple has an actress done so much with chubby cheeks.

But look under the hood of EXORCIST TWO and you'll find an old Studebaker engine: the script. The plot is confusing--I still don't know what happened to Richard Burton after he fell off the bed--and you can hear better dialogue in the IBM Building elevator.

Well, see for yourself. In this scene, James Earl Jones is the guy with racing stripes on his cheeks, and a big locust on his head.

(INCUE: BURTON: "My faith is in Jesus Christ.)

(OUTCUE: Jones spits out an orange, it lands on some spikes, and Burton reacts for approx. 1 second.)

I bet Anita Bryant wishes she could do that.

In EXORCIST TWO, the devil is no longer called the devil--maybe he complained--he's called evil, and his name is Pazuzu. Burton and Fletcher try to get Pazuzu to leave Linda Blair once and for all, though I don't know why they bother. She's much more interesting when she's Pazuzed.

Pazuzu himself, when not possessing Ms. Blair, likes to flap around as a locust. He likes it better than possessing Ms. Blair, in fact, which says a lot about her. ...