Monday, September 21, 2015

everyday is halloween

movies that scared the pee out of me: exorcist II: the heretic [1977]

i don't remember when i saw the original.  i was baptized catholic before my father renounced his religion and became an agnostic.  for the record i am an atheist.  but when i was a kid i was fascinated and frightened by the occult and mysticism.  i braced my young thinking on the scaffolding of catholicism even if i never fully understood it.  but certainly the thought of the devil ran wild in my imaginings.

so what the hell were my parents thinking bringing me and my brothers to the drive-in to see this flick?!

okay, in retrospect my parents were very young and they wanted to see a movie.  i was crazy-insane for drive-in theaters and the movies shown at the drive-in.  it was, to use an early 21st century expression, a win-win for us all.

all but for the devil.  see, old itch scared my shitless.  my parents didn't know.  i never told them.  so this movie, starring linda blair reprising her role as tormented regan, richard burton as a priest, and louise fletcher as regan's doctor, starts in africa where resided, i assume, a demon.  the same demon that possessed regan?  i don't know.  for what i remember was a kind of hoky spectral presence haunted the flick.

and the movie is awful.  so bad is this pic it hurts the eyes and insults the brain.  burton must've been hard up for roles at the time.  but then again john boorman was at the helm and he had a smash success with deliverance [1972] a few years earlier.  perhaps everyone had high hopes on this sequel.

what i remember is a scene that chills me even as i type.  regan and doctor are strapped to a device that enhances a hypnotic effect to allow the doctor to delve into the patient's subconscious.  regan is a little girl in need of deep therapy considering all the hell she went thru in the first flick.

then the demon shows up.  only regan can see it.  the demon starts digging into fletcher's chest, thru the rib cage and down to her heart.  the demon giggles.  the demon is having a grand time.  i was frozen in fear.  i was scared so badly my sight telescoped to a single dot of the demon at play on a woman's chest.

i don't remember the rest of the movie.  too traumatic i suppose.  i haven't sought it out either except in bits and pieces. i do remember the car ride home from the drive-ins.  my parents were in a good mood.  i don't remember what my brothers were doing.  it was dark.  the trip simultaneously lasted forever and was too short.  i knew i would have to step in to the inky black of night.  was there a demon waiting for me in the blackness of night?  i would have to enter a darkened house and travel the long corridor to my room.  i remember the pathway from the driveway to the front door.  the longest path i would, at the time, have to walk.  blackness surrounded me.  my parents were nearby but they might as well be on the moon for all the help they could provide.  for i was in hell that only i experienced.  a hell that existed solely in my head.  i had no idea what waited for me in my room.  all i could do was run to my bed and dive under the covers.



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