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Exorcist II - The Heretic [VHS] (1977)

Richard Burton , Linda Blair , John Boorman  |  R |  VHS Tape
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Exorcist II - The Heretic [VHS] + The Exorcist: 25th Anniversary Special Edition [VHS] + The Exorcist III [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Burton, Linda Blair, Louise Fletcher, Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn
  • Directors: John Boorman
  • Writers: John Boorman, Rospo Pallenberg, William Goodhart
  • Producers: John Boorman, Charles Orme, Richard Lederer
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: December 4, 1992
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302814391
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,422 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This sequel to the Oscar-winning horror film based on the novel by William Peter Blatty was virtually laughed off the screen when it came out in 1977. It was an unintentionally hilarious mishmash and received such terrible reviews that director John Boorman yanked it out of theaters. He reedited it, cutting eight minutes in hopes of getting the story (written by William Goodhart) to the point of coherency, to no avail. The film remains a kind of reverse gold standard for sequels. It's still a ridiculously overacted, although at times visually haunting, movie. Richard Burton stars as a troubled priest (something of a specialty of his) who is brought in to follow up on the case of Linda Blair, who is institutionalized, still troubled by her encounter with the devil (who wouldn't be?). By the time they confront Satan's minion in the final struggle, you'll be rooting for evil to win. --Marshall Fine

Product Description

It's four years later. What does Regan remember? The impact of "The Exorcist" was immediate and explosive: it won numerous awards, broke box-office records and endures as one of the most influential horror films ever made. John Boorman's different but equally haunting sequel"Exorcist II: The Heretic" assembles a cast as powerful as that of the original (including Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Kitty Winn reprising their roles) to again fight ages-old evil. Bizarre nightmares plague Regan MacNeil (Blair) four years after her exorcism. A jesuit (Richard Burton) assigned by the Vatican and a dedicated child psychiatrist (Louise Fletcher) join forces to unlock the secrets of Regan's subconscious. Has Pazuzu, demon spirit of the air, returned to reclaim her? An African (James Earl Jones) who survived possession and exorcism as a young boy may hold the key. Director Boorman ("Deliverance," "Excalibur") often depicts landscapes of hallucinatory beauty and eerie power. He does so here, making exhilarating Steadicam camera use to portray the demon in flight and engulfing viewers in a climatic locust swarm as "Exorcist II: The Heretic" weaves its terrifying spell.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is why movies are great!!! August 26, 2002
Format:DVD
When the whole world tells you a film is absolutly awful and you take the time to watch it and are hypnotized from fade in to fade out. This is what happened 20 years ago when I took the time to watch this film because I admired Boorman's POINT BLANK so much. Unbelievable!! If Boorman had just made a movie called THE HERETIC without the pretense of being a sequel to THE EXORCIST it would have a bigger following then it does now. This film is a delirious flood of images and ideas about the collective subconscience, good and evil, and is more a critique of Blatty and Friedkin's documentary approach to the original film then a sequel to it. Just as Boorman's films ZARDOZ and EXCALIBUR are dreamlike abstractions where the acting and plot are secondary to the visuals THE HERETIC does not play on our expectations of things that go bump in the night. BOO! He is more interested in the things that connect our dreams to our souls and our souls to the dreams of the rest of mankind. Pretenious? Maybe. Absurd? Certainly in spots, that is undeniable. But this movie is original, daring to be original when making a dull rehash of THE EXORCIST would have given Boorman the biggest audience of his career. Forget THE EXORCIST when you watch this film. Watch it for what it is. One of the greatest fantasy films ever made and one of Boorman's best.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Drastically underrated January 7, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Yes, big problems with this film are really evident. It's badly miscast, not well-written, and the acting is often hammy and way over-the-top. But give it a chance. The set-design, fx, music and cinematography are extraordinary. It's a visionary film that is highly ambitious in its investigation into the nature of evil. For that it's worth looking at with a different eye. If you go into it expecting something like the original film then you'll rightfully be disappointed, possibly angered by it.

There's a reason why Martin Scorsese admires this film quite a bit.

See it not as a comparison to the orginal but as a film that stands on its own.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel August 25, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The Heretic is a better sequel than what most horror movies have. Why does everyone put it down? I loved it the first time I saw it. True, it's not as disgusting and vulgar as the original, but it's still got a good plot. Sequels usually ruin films yet this one doesn't.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I can sum up what's bad about this movie in one word, 'synchronizer.' If not for the fabrication of this silly, non-existent machine I don't believe this movie would be as badly berated as it has been since its '77 release. Demons, the Devil we can accept, but an instrument that allows a person to see the images and visions in the mind of another, RIDICULOUS! Yes, Richard Burton does ham it up quite a bit and it would have also been better without Louise Fletcher reworking her Nurse Ratched role from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" but somethings you just have to live with.

However once you get past the negatives you are left with a wonderfully directed, visually and musically haunting film that will remain within the inner resesses of your dreaming mind for quite sometime. Director John Boorman (Emerald Forest) smoothly and expertly moves to and fro between two interconnected worlds, the physical and the spiritual, resulting in the illusion of a heightened sense of awareness in the viewer. It's almost as though we have become privy to the thoughts and images within the mind of the demon Pazuzu. In spite of what many critics have to say, there is depth and thought behind the storyline, only much of it's implied and left up to the viewer to discern on their own.

Flawed as it is, this film points out a very important fact concerning the spiritual dimension and the subject of demonic possession. Deliverance doesn't necessarily bring an end to confrontation, in most cases it's only the beginning. Demons are known for their persistence. This film deals with this subject matter superbly and in some cases quite insightfully. It certainly isn't as good as the original but it covers new and important ground in the ongoing storyline. That along with the visuals make "Exorcist II - The Heretic" a worthy sequel.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Good Locust August 6, 2010
Format:DVD
Anyone who appreciates a bit of philosophy/theology, or renderings of remote Ethiopian clifftop monasteries, or the splendor of flight through exotic landscapes, or a piercing moment of realization, or the battle between good and evil, or an unbridled imagination, or the acting of the great Richard Burton and the charming Linda Blair, will certainly also appreciate Exorcist II: The Heretic. Evil targets the innocent (gleeful at their ruin) and urges society's slide toward debauchery (Sodom and Gomorrah): Who can resist the frenzy of the swarm? Soundtrack by Ennio Morricone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I really thought that Exorcist 2: The Heretic was a better sequel than Exorcist 3! Though the film may have been flawed, but what sequel isnt? I in some ways got just as scared watching this one as I did watching the first. Linda Blair was once again brilliant in this film. Richard Burton added a subtle chill to the film which I thought worked very well. The film over all I think was very creepy in a very psycological and subliminal sense. All the African and Pazuzu back story was a nice touch as well. The climax of the film I would say is the best part of it. I feel that the reason that this film was not accepted as well as the first is because that people expected too much from it, and also in my opinion it did not need to be like the first. I think the film stands on it's own merit very nicely! I give it four stars!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars love it.
the best original movie I've seen in awhile. would recommend this movie cause its the best. it is very awesome.
Published 1 month ago by Peggy Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars I was very surpise how soon we got this package.
A classic movie that I really enjoyed, and l would recommend this movie to any adult that loves horror movies.
Published 1 month ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Liked it better than the first
This one seems to go more in depth which I always tend to enjoy but I like all of em...
Published 3 months ago by Jason A.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the travesty that it seems, but not the movie that it should have...
Linda Blair is beautiful (and young) here, and she is reason enough to find the film a ravishing visual movie. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Leslie Karen Rigsbey
2.0 out of 5 stars It Was Horrible, Utterly Horrible,...And Not Fascinating.
Viewed: 3/14
Rate: 3

3/14: Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, James Earl Jones, Paul Henreid, Max von Sydow and Ned Beatty...all in the same film. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Austin Somlo
5.0 out of 5 stars Exorcist II, The Heretic
Ordered for friend to go with his other Exorcist collection. Was as he remembered. Good movie, good action. Loved it.
Published 5 months ago by Cecy
3.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious, but misguided sequel
Make sure to check out my horror movie review blog at: brandoncsites.blogspot.com

Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) **1/2 / 4
D: John Boorman
C: Linda Blair,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Brandon Sites
5.0 out of 5 stars will the evil force be defeated?
this sequel takes place with the mutual assistance of an older Regan, a priest, a psychologist, and a man who had been possessed by the demon Pazzuzu. Read more
Published 8 months ago by jack kiker wyatt
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie!
I think people complaining about this sequel are missing the point. Sure it's a bit of a train wreck at times. Nothing is gonna live up to the original. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Eutha
2.0 out of 5 stars All over the place
If there's anything this film will become famous for, it's for being one of the worst sequels of all time to one of the biggest original pictures. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Paperbackstash
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Movies Filled to the Brim With Unintentional Laughs
Huzzah!!! on your mention of Santa Claus. It is painful to watch, yet you can't turn away! I'd say it's even worse than my other Christmas favorite, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Watch the two back to back and chug down some Cocktails of Remembrance. That'll get you in the holiday spirit.
Sep 28, 2009 by Swamp Thing |  See all 4 posts
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