Exorcist II: The Heretic - 3 hour version?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Blake Comeaux, May 17, 2002.

  1. Blake Comeaux

    Blake Comeaux Stunt Coordinator

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    I was reading the user comments on Exorcist II: The Heretic over at IMDB to see others opinions of the film.. I noticed tow or threepeople mention an original 3 hour cut of the film which is rumored to be far superior to the "butchered" version that was released to theaters.

    One of the users wrote:

    "I was fortunate enough to see the extended, three-hour plus cut of this movie in its original preview run, and what I saw took my breath away. In its complete state, EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC could have very well been one of the best sequels ever made, worthy of mention in the same vein as ALIENS, GODFATHER 2 and even TERMINATOR 2."

    I wonder if John Boorman would be interested in revisiting this film and returning it to the original runtime. And if he was would Warner let him do so. It would be wonderful if Warner would include this version on the DVD, but I'd probably be more likely to see a Five Star Edition of Porky's Revenge from Fox than that actually happening. I guess I should thank Warner for even releasing this film to DVD at all. Would anyone else like to see the uncut version.
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    This is one of the few Boorman flicks I haven't seen, but which will of course be included in the library. It wouldn't surprise me if there had been massive changes, since Boorman does know how to make a film, and this one has become his most criticised (next to Zardoz).
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    But, Jeff, as you well know, Zardoz is much praised as well. Never heard many praising Heretic. Saw it once during its original theatrical run. My comment to my then wife upon emerging from the theater was to express hope that Mr. Boorman's career would survive that flick. Luckily, Excalibur put him back on track.

    The music in The Heretic, however, is quite nice. There are some good shots and scenes in the film. But when Linda Blair matter-of-factly explains to an autistic child about having once been possessed by the demon Pezuzu, well, I, along with the rest of the audience, burst out laughing.

    Even a very good director can make a major mistake. This was John Boorman's major mistake.
     
  4. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Jack Briggs wrote:
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Rex:

    You are talking to this board's two most vocal, staunchest, vehement, and activistic supporters of Zardoz. Jeff and I have many a war story to tell you. And this Forum played the key role in getting Fox to commit this title to DVD. (Jeff actually contributed value-added material to the DVD.)

    I have no idea how many times I've seen Zardoz, but, theatrically, I've seen it fifty-eight times.

    Looks like we've reached our first disagreement! Zardoz is far, far, far from "stupid." It's brilliant.

    "The Tabernacle is indestructable and everlasting!"

    JB
     
  6. Kenneth English

    Kenneth English Second Unit

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    The trouble with the whole "3-hour version is better" theory is that it assumes there is something left in the movie as released that is, in fact, salvagable.
    Another hour and a half isn't going to make Richard Burton's god-awful scenery chewing or Louise Fletcher's stoned automaton-esque performance any better. And it's not going to make all the mind-synchronization/ESP jazz less painfully ridiculous and laughable. EXORCIST II's flaws have nothing to do with its length but rather with its ideas and conception. This one was a still-birth from the moment it's ludicrous script was approved. The filmmakers did humanity a small but significant service by trimming their monstrosity.
    If there is any truth to this rumor I'd still love to see the deleted footage. The movie is so funny as-is that I can only imagine what the stuff they cut out must be like. [​IMG]
     
  7. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    I didn't know about this 3-hour version at all, but when I found out about the Exorcist II DVD release, I was disappointed that Boorman did not record a commentary track. With Exorcist IV coming up soon, this DVD will sell well- even though it's not a good film. Now is the time for it to be done right. Mr. Ulmer, are you in touch at all with John Boorman? Perhaps you are able to find out if the 3-hour cut is in fact the 'director's cut'...

    Petition anyone?
     
  8. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    If this release is anything like the other Boorman releases, chances are he doesn't even know about it - the studios aren't exactly forthcoming with directors, at least not the first time out. He was in Panama shooting when I tracked him down for Zardoz. I tried to get him involved with Hope and Glory, but never heard back on that one, and the disc came out without his participation. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to keep in touch with him.

    I do find it a bit strange that a film as universally panned as Exorcist II would be out before Point Blank or Beyond Rangoon, more Boorman MIA titles (I can understand a couple of the others, like Having a Wild Weekend, being hard to find). Warner has at least one of those, and got him involved with Deliverance and Excalibur.
     
  9. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I saw Having a Wild Weekend on, of all things, one of our local PBS affiliates a few months ago. The Dave Clark Five achieves immortality! (We all have to start somewhere.)
     
  11. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    So Jack, are you telling me you have seen immortality at work? [​IMG]
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    "What's the trick?" [​IMG]
     
  13. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Jack Briggs wrote:
     
  14. Chris Dugger

    Chris Dugger Supporting Actor

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    All I know is.....

    On that opening Friday night, during the first evening show....

    I get this.....

    BANG... BANG.... BANG... on the projection booth door.

    I answer it and there is this rep from Warner and he has a reel of film under his arm.

    Before I can get a word out he asks.... "I need the last reel of your film".

    "Huh?"

    He says again, "I need the last 20 minute reel of your print". "Here, this is the replacement".

    Next, I get a call from the Manager downstairs and he says "Just Do IT!"

    Never saw that last 20 minutes again... until now on the dvd.

    Dugger
     

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