"Doubtless this tale of spirit possession in Georgetown packs a punch, but so does wood alcohol," wrote Reader
critic Don Druker in an earlier review of this. I wouldn't be quite so dismissive: as a key visual source for Mel Gibson's depiction of evil in The Passion of the Christ
, as well as an early indication of how seriously pulp can be taken when religious faith is involved, this 1973 horror thriller is highly instructive as well as unnerving. William Friedkin, directing William Peter Blatty's adaptation of his own novel, aims for the jugular, privileging sensation over sense and such showbiz standbys as vomit and obscenity over plodding exposition. This is the original release version, which runs 121 minutes; with Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Jason Miller, Linda Blair, and Lee J. Cobb.