Director William Friedkin has revealed just how angry fans were at the sequel to his benchmark horror film 'The Exorcist'.
Footage from Friedkin speaking at the Chicago Critics Film Festival last year has now emerged online, and he explains the reaction to an early screening of 'The Exorcist 2: The Heretic' in Pasadena in 1977.
Let's say it almost ended with its own display of horror...
“10 minutes into the picture, a guy stood up in the audience. He stood up and looked around and he said, 'The people who made this piece of sh*t are in this room',” Friedkin said.
“And somebody else said, 'Where? Where are they?' 10 or 12 people get up and he says, 'They're all back there!' The heads of the studio got up and ran out of the theater.”
Friedkin says that the executives had told their limo drivers to go and get lunch, so had to actually run from the screening room from the angry mob.
“They were chased down the street,” he added. “And that was the first public reaction to 'The Exorcist 2'.”
John Boorman, who helmed 'Point Blank' and 'Deliverance', was the director of the film, and Friedkin has made his opinions on the movie – and its director – in the past.
“I was at Technicolor and a guy said ‘We just finished a print of 'Exorcist II', do you wanna have a look at it?’,” he told Bob McCabe for the book 'The Exorcist: Out of the Shadows'.
“And I looked at half an hour of it and I thought it was as bad as seeing a traffic accident in the street. It was horrible. It’s just a stupid mess made by a dumb guy – John Boorman by name, somebody who should be nameless but in this case should be named. Scurrilous. A horrible picture.”
Though the film, which starred Richard Burton and Linda Blair, has been generally denounced over the years – critic Mark Kermode calls it the worst sequel ever made – it still turned a small profit, but nothing like the figures of the first movie.
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