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The Exorcists 40yr old secret


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#1    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:14 PM

So last night,I went to The Macabre Grim fair .
http://www.livingdeadmafia.com/

I like to do something Halloween related ,once a weekend ,all October long.

One of the guests ,is a woman named Eileen Dietz.
Now having seen the exorcist ,opening night ,as a,child ,left a lasting impression upon me.
My mom made me read the book,before she would allow me to see them movie .
My mom was a single parent ,with no money for a baby sitter . She took me with her to these movies,for which she had read the book .
These books were blockbuster best sellers at the time.
So I read jaws,the other ,and the exorcist,despite my age,long before they came out.

I always said :no ma,the book didn't scare me .
So I was very young when I saw the exorcist .
I watched all the interviews ,read articles .
The full compliment of facts of the case the  oobookis based upon ,didn't even come out ,until decades later.
It was rumored,it was also loosely based on Shirley McClaines daughter . The character ,even the last name ,is very close to the facts as well . Shirley,if no one knows this,packed her daughter up ,and shipped her off the Japan ,as a teenager .She lived there for years . No one ever knew why,but it was suggested ,it was after the exorcism ,and she did it to keep her in an environment,devoid of a lot of Catholicism .

It's possible,if you ask me ,and the story is a combination of the two cases .

All that aside ,as I just wanted to convey just how into the whole exorcist story I was.

So ,I met this woman ,Eileen,last night ,and she was touted as the face you see. The white face with the blackened eyes that flashes on the screen here and there .Pazuzu with a "human" face .
But,what she told us ,stunned me .

At the time of filming .1970-71 I think. No one was allowed on the set ,save crew and actors . No press.Everyone was gag ordered .No one was allowed to take and keep photos,including the princlple photographer.
She said william freidkin was an utter dictator.
Most of the actors were loners. The star was a child,usually in the company of her mother.

(I did ask about the alleged curse .She didnt seem to want to go into detail ,but she said; yes,a lot of odd occurances ,and bad luck befell most of the cast ,in one way or another,including death ,or close relative death .)

So she kept talking,and I realized ,she kept referring to herself as the character ,Reagan.
So I asked what she meant.
The scenes where the child is possessed by the demon,are her,not Linda Blair.
A secret that is now about to be 40 years old.
The 40th anniversary of the movie,is 2013.

She said she's written a book about it all. It will be out on kindle first ,but it sounds fascinating . She does the horror circuit ,so she does conventions a lot.
She was also in Planet of the Apes ,and did a few soap operas .
I think,in the original movie,she is completely uncredited .
She said she doubts it would ever be remade ,given the curse . She said its absolutely based on a true story ,and she herself is not sure if exorcism is a valid recourse in such instances ,but its definately utilized a lot .

She said in total,six people created the full character of Reagan McNeil ,and if that had come out at the time ,instead of being such a secret,so it seemed as if a little girl did it all,they might have won more than just two  oscars.

All in all,a fascinating story . All these years,and I never knew .

Edited by Simbi Laveau, 20 October 2012 - 11:20 PM.

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#2    GoSC

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:42 PM

Wow, thats interesting. I didnt know all of that.

Thanks, this is something I will research tonite, Simbi. :tu:

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#3    Ashotep

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:43 PM

I saw the Exorcist and found it scary.  I would like to see it again this Halloween.  I saw a story on the history channel that it was based on the possession of this kid that ended up in St. Louis, wasn't where he was from, where they had the exorcism.  Wish I could remember his name.


#4    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 12:35 AM

View PostHilander, on 20 October 2012 - 11:43 PM, said:

I saw the Exorcist and found it scary.  I would like to see it again this Halloween.  I saw a story on the history channel that it was based on the possession of this kid that ended up in St. Louis, wasn't where he was from, where they had the exorcism.  Wish I could remember his name.
I've heard this story two ways . The boy was from the Washington dc area .Which is how William peter blatty found out about.When he was in college in the dc area,he heard the rumors ,and he investigated it .
Then ,the other version  ,it was a boy from st Louis . I believe it was one boy,and they moved .From DC *to* st Louis .
The final exorcism took place in st Louis ,and the priest did not die . He actually was the priest who married the boy later in life.
The boy is a man now,and completely fine.
I'm not sure why Blatty made it a girl ,unless of course it is as I suspect ,a composite of two possession stories ,one boy,one girl.


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#5    DancingCorpse

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:25 AM

I adore The Exorcist! Dietz plays the part of Regan during the scene where she slaps her mother (Ellen Burstyn) because Friedkin wanted a more forceful vision for the attack. She also is in the actual pea soup vomiting scene as Linda was having trouble with the mechanism I think. She plays the famous Captain Howdy demon face that appears periodically (and quite wonderfully!) I don't believe she is in many more scenes, it's 80% Linda Blair and her face and mannerisms that are present throughout, you can tell that is her. Linda originally did the demon's voice too but was overdubbed for a much more powerful and daunting effect by a woman called Mercedes McCambridge (she even ate raw eggs to make her voice really messed up!) and as a result Blair didn't win the Academy Award as many felt she duped them as Friedkin didn't give MM credit. Who the heck could expect a child to conjure up a hellish voice like that though?? All of the performances in the film are outstanding and it is a very beautiful film at the heart, of love and faith and struggle. I feel it is more of a drama than a horror film.

Edited by DancingCorpse, 21 October 2012 - 01:27 AM.

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#6    pallidin

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:37 AM

Quite frankly, the way my mind has occassional weird thoughts, sometimes I think I might need an exorcism.


#7    MysticStrummer

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:51 AM

View PostHilander, on 20 October 2012 - 11:43 PM, said:

I saw the Exorcist and found it scary.  I would like to see it again this Halloween.  I saw a story on the history channel that it was based on the possession of this kid that ended up in St. Louis, wasn't where he was from, where they had the exorcism.  Wish I could remember his name.

Douglas Deen. I wonder what important knowledge my brain purged so I could retain that fact...  ; )

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#8    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 02:22 AM

View PostDancingCorpse, on 21 October 2012 - 01:25 AM, said:

I adore The Exorcist! Dietz plays the part of Regan during the scene where she slaps her mother (Ellen Burstyn) because Friedkin wanted a more forceful vision for the attack. She also is in the actual pea soup vomiting scene as Linda was having trouble with the mechanism I think. She plays the famous Captain Howdy demon face that appears periodically (and quite wonderfully!) I don't believe she is in many more scenes, it's 80% Linda Blair and her face and mannerisms that are present throughout, you can tell that is her. Linda originally did the demon's voice too but was overdubbed for a much more powerful and daunting effect by a woman called Mercedes McCambridge (she even ate raw eggs to make her voice really messed up!) and as a result Blair didn't win the Academy Award as many felt she duped them as Friedkin didn't give MM credit. Who the heck could expect a child to conjure up a hellish voice like that though?? All of the performances in the film are outstanding and it is a very beautiful film at the heart, of love and faith and struggle. I feel it is more of a drama than a horror film.

She said she did the scenes with the statue of pazuzu in the bedroom .The cross m********ion scene ,the hypnotism scene and the end ,fighting with Karras .She said as soon as the demon shows up ,its mostly her .

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#9    DancingCorpse

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 02:22 AM

I also keep hearing rumours of a remake but if that ever happened I think I would vomit pea soup! It is untouchable and totally unnecessary except for a stupid cash cow. It would be an insult to those involved and I'm quite sure Friedkin woul sabotage the filming being the crazy man he is :D

Yes Simbi I can see how the non close up scenes would fit her profile better than Linda's, I love that statue in the bedroom scene, it's so freaking eerie! It is wonderful information you have and so cool you got to talk to someone so involved! Like MM I can see how Friedkin wouldn't credit her as much as he should.

Edited by DancingCorpse, 21 October 2012 - 02:25 AM.

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You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.

#10    ReaperS_ParadoX

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:20 AM

Yeah they had a crap load of the excorcist movies made but none of them could live up to the original

Edited by R4z3rsPar4d0x, 21 October 2012 - 03:20 AM.

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#11    thewild

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:32 AM

I never saw the face in the kitchen shadow until my husband pointed it out to me. Scary!!

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#12    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 04:05 AM

View Postthewild, on 21 October 2012 - 03:32 AM, said:

I never saw the face in the kitchen shadow until my husband pointed it out to me. Scary!!
That part is only in the newer version with the added footage ,so you never noticed it,because it wasn't there in the original version .

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#13    Belial

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 04:20 AM

Nice titbits here.



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#14    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:46 AM

View PostBelial, on 21 October 2012 - 04:20 AM, said:

Nice titbits here.


Wow.Imagine that being your job ? The test guy for the vomit .

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#15    MysticStrummer

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:40 PM

View PostR4z3rsPar4d0x, on 21 October 2012 - 03:20 AM, said:

Yeah they had a crap load of the excorcist movies made but none of them could live up to the original

I enjoyed Exorcist 3 with George C Scott, though from what I read the big exorcism scene at the end was added at the request of the studio. I've never seen anything on what the original ending was but the exorcism certainly wasn't as tense as the original's.

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