by Kevin Zimmerman
Regarding William Peter Blatty, filmmaker.
Halloween is a favorite holiday for some cinephiles, given the opportunity to count down the Scariest Movies of All Time. Finishing high on such lists, and regularly topping them, is William Friedkin’s 1973 version of The Exorcist.
The film’s runaway success was derived in part from the runaway success of the equally shocking 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty, who based his plot on a 1949 exorcism he’d heard about while studying at Georgetown University. As a teenager curious as to what all the fuss was about, I checked The Exorcist out of the local library and beheld the likes of Regan’s being forced to masturbate with a crucifix, as the entity inside her roars: “Let Jesus fuck you, fuck you!” (italics Blatty’s).
The scene is repeated in one of the film’s still shocking scenes, with Regan smearing her vaginal blood on the face of her mother (played by the stalwart Ellen Burstyn) as the ever-quotable “Let Jesus fuck you!” pours from her mouth.
And all this is before the pea soup starts to flow.
Beyond The Exorcist | Moving Pictures | SPLICETODAY.com