"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 2000 rerelease runs 132 minutes, 11 minutes longer than the original; with Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Jason Miller, Linda Blair, and Lee J. Cobb.
Director: William Friedkin
Producer: Noel Marshall and William Blatty
Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Lee Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, Reverend William O'Malley, Barton Heyman, Pete Masterson, Rudolf Schundler, Gina Petrushka, Robert Symonds, Arthur Storch, Reverend Thomas Bermingham, Vasiliki Maliaros, Titos Vandis, Wallace Rooney, Ron Faber, Donna Mitchell, Roy Cooper, Robert Gerringer and Mercedes McCambridge