Quick “review”: The Exorcist (1973)

Synopsis: A young girl in Washington D.C. begins exhibiting some incredibly odd behavior. It turns out that, well, she’s possessed by a demon. Holy men are called to rid her of the unholy spirit. Heads do not roll so much as rotate around, 360-degrees.

Controversy: The self-mutilating crucifix masturbation, the film-long buffet of sacrilege, “your mother sucks cocks in hell” – even audiences who had become accustomed to the loosening of restrictions on sex and violence were shocked by William Friedkin’s the-devil-made-her-do-it horror movie. Paramedics were supposedly called to numerous screenings, and rumors that people died of heart attacks watching some of the movie’s intense scenes persist to this day. The U.K. banned it from home release for a decade, and scholars have obsessed over the controversial presence of subliminal messaging in the film in order to disturb viewers – something Friedkin has confirmed over the years.

Rating: 7


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