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Exorcist II - The Heretic [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 (232 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302814391
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,143 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

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.


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

Customer Reviews

This movie is one of the worst horror movies of all time!
This movie has great visuals, decent special effects, a great soundtrack, and an interesting continuation of the Exorcist saga.
David Tyson
This movie is just so bad, I don't even know where to start.
Jon Nelson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 1999
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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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Slowwit Billy on 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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. Willi on 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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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Brian E. Erland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 11, 2005
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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51 of 70 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 30, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The Exorcist is a masterpiece of horror and a winner of two academy awards (for best director and best adapted screenplay). This sequel won an award too. It was voted as the second worst film of all time at the Golden Turkey Conventions. Why is this? I love this movie! It wisely keeps the storyline of the first going (unlike William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist 3, which completely departed from the original story). It also has three returning cast members from the first. It has Kitty Winn returning as Sharon Spencer, Max Von Sydow as Father Lancester Merrin, and, of course, Linda Blair as Reagan MacNiel.
The plot takes place in many different areas around the globe, including Africa, India, Georgetown, and New York. The beggining scene involves a young woman who is being possesed and needs an exorcist. Father Phillip Lamont (Richard Burton), a good friend of the late Father Merrin, attempts to exorcise the woman, but she commits suicide using a bunch of candles. We then get to see how Reagan MacNiel (Linda Blair) is getting on with her life. She is now doing dance compititions nearly every day, and sees a psychiatrist (Louise Fletcher) as well. Reagan remembers her possesion, but refuses to talk about it with anyone, and they all assume that she doesn't remember (even at the end of the first one, Chris MacNiel, her mother, said she didn't remember, but I think she was faking). Father Lamont is instructed by the Cardinal (Paul Henried) to investigate the death of Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow). Lamont goes to the hospital where Reagan stays, and questions her doctor, asking if she remembers anything. The doctor dosen't want to ask Reagan, because she's afraid that it will trigger a shock, and Reagan will attempt suicide. However, they use a special mind machine to dive into her head and see.
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