Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Controversy Of The Exorcist

It was March 14th 1973, when director William Fredkin triggered controversy with The Exorcist hitting the big screen. Based on a true story, and inspired by Peter Blattly’s bestselling novel of the same name. The horror\thriller movie has since been recognised as ‘the scariest movie of all time, for one reason, it strongly delivers on what we expect from the horror genre. With a dramatic imagery of blood, guts, gore, and aggressive violence it definitely has it all. If you haven’t watched this horror classic; then there can only be two possibilities, either you’ve been living under a rock for thousands of years, or you’re just not a fan of horror.

I can honestly say, The Exorcist was one of the few horror movies, where I was genuinely scared. Controversy surfaced, when the movie debut in cinemas, but didn’t receive a warm welcome, as it exasperated vomiting, fainting, and heart attacks due to the explicit content. The British Board of Film Classification, (BBFC), felt it was appropriate, to issue the uncut version of the film an 'X' certificate. Later, in 1979, the BBFC requested to review the movie again, in order to fully understand if The Exorcist violated the New Protection Of children Act of 1978. Due to the film consisting of horrifying, and sickening scenes, of a young child possessed by the devil.

So, what are these horrific, and unforgettable scenes you might ask\? Well, it might not be good to go over them all right now. But, I will say this much, in the uncut version of the film, we see the 13 year old girl Ragan, real name Linda Blair, walking down a flight of stairs, with her legs over her shoulders. This horrifying scene, amongst others, prevented the movie to have a UK release until the early 1990s. The BBFC finally issued the video release an 18 certificate. The consequences were strong, as the film was removed from store shelves. Further action was taken by the BBFC, which resulted in the movie being outlawed for eleven years. It was the distributors, who wanted to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Exorcist by re-releasing the movie in UK cinemas, after a close inspection from the BBFC, it was realised that it didn’t come with any of the pandemonium that happened in 1973. However, later in March 2001, The Exorcist debut its first premiere on UK television on Channel 4.

Since the 1973 release, there have been follow ups of the movie; entitled Exorcist: The Heretic, released in 1977, Exorcist III released in 1990, and Exorcist: The Beginning in 2004. However, the follow-ups didn’t really have as strong of an impact, compared to the original release in 1973. Have you watched The Exorcist? If so, I would like to know, which scene scared you the most? Don’t be shy feel free to comment. I will definitely be waiting!

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