Whore Hall of Fame Inductee Paul Wunder is dead, but here's what
he would have said about some of the current movies:
Hey Whore, how's
the whoring? According to this week's Quote Whore:
The Watcher is "Spine-tingling! The best
thriller of the decade!"
Bait is a "tasty piece of chum!
Jamie Foxx delivers a big hook full of laughs!"
Beautiful is "quite simply, beautiful!
A movie every woman who wants to be pretty should see!"
The Final Cut is
"A surprise! A very scary movie with an excellent cast...
oh, who the hell am I fooling? I'm a fucking loser!"
Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.
"What was that? Did you hear something?"
I had never seen "The Exorcist" before. Not because
I'm a big pussy, but because I never believed the hype. I doubted
it was as scary as everyone said because all I ever heard about
was some girl in a room puking up green shit, and I saw plenty
of that the time my sister ate snail pellets because she thought
they were dog food (don't ask). I thought it was something that
was scary in 1973, but looked like a bad episode of "Touched
by an Angel" by today's standards.
My reluctance to see it wasn't because I'm a big fucking scaredy-cat,
although I am. In fact, my girliness is why I won't go see "The
Exorcist" again. Jesus Christ, it gave me the fucking willies
worse than the time we found that one-legged guy hiding in our
I assume everyone already knows the story. Father Merrin (Max
Von Sydow) uncovers satanic artifacts on an archeological dig
in Iraq. Shortly afterward, an innocent twelve-year-old (Linda
Blair) in Georgetown begins acting strangely. All the doctors
in the world can't figure out what's wrong, but they keep taking
painful, bloody tests to find out. Blair continues acting stranger,
blurting out obscenities, pissing on her mother's rug (Fuck,
I must have been possessed too). It slowly becomes apparent that
what's wrong with her is not psychological. Her bed shakes, she
is thrown about her room, objects move on their own, and she
mutilates her vagina with a cross. Creepiest of all, Blair crawls
down the stairs on her fingers and toes, upside down, stopping
at the bottom to reveal a gaping, bloody mouth.
Her mother, Ellen Burstyn, seeks an exorcist from the Jesuit
university Georgetown, and the likely candidate is Father Karras
(Jason Miller), a psychiatrist with his own self-doubts about
the church. Karras at first refuses to acknowledge a demon possession,
but eventually the evidence is overwhelming. The church calls
in Von Sydow to lead the exorcism, and the two priests go head
to head with the Big Bad Guy Satan inside this girl's body in
a winner take all Battle Royale.
"The Exorcist" is so Goddamn scary because it deepens
the scares with backstory. It slowly builds, piling up the spookiness
with flashes of evil, sinister shadows and increasing unseen
terror. It only lets up with a flat ending. Instead of taking
the knife to some dumb teenager alone in a house, the movie takes
the time to place the viewer in its world.
It exploits Catholicism and some of its kooky rituals, but
it does so effectively. It is one of the few movies that shows
priests as genuine and human. And like a good Catholic, it uses
guilt to make you feel dread to the bone. Trust me, I know all
about Catholic guilt; every time I say "fuck" I hear
Jesus crying. Burstyn is burdened because she and her husband
have divorced, depriving Blair of a father. Miller's priest believes
if he hadn't abandoned his aging mother, she wouldn't have died.
He also has doubts about his own happiness and whether he should
be a priest. And these things come back manifested in Blair,
like when she tells Miller "Your mother's in here. Would
you like to leave a message? I'll see that she gets it."
Other horror movies are roller coaster rides; they make you
jump out of your seat, then laugh and all is fine. But "The
Exorcist" doesn't let you off so easily. There was something
really uneasy about the hidden devil's faces that flash in the
background and the way the story slowly convinced me there is
evil all around us, waiting to pounce; that anything terrible
was possible. At many points, I did not enjoy being scared because
it felt real, not in the roller coaster way. And when I got home
I was shivering while I took my dog out to crap on the neighbor's
lawn, and the trees' shadows kept moving all around me.
While it affected me as an adult, the teenagers that packed
the theater when I saw it were weirded-out of their pea-brains,
too. Those annoying wastes of sperm talked all the way through
the slow first half-hour, acting cocky and thinking this was
just a dumb old movie. Then they promptly shut the fuck up, trying
hard not to let their friends see them bawling their little baby
As I mentioned before, the ending is disappointing. The story
grows more horrific as Blair is slowly consumed by the devil,
but all of that is wasted as the story ends up a corny battle
of good versus evil. It's two priests with crosses summoning
the demon out, like I do to my dog when she knows I'm going to
shove tapeworm medication up her ass. An ending that made all
the teens in the theater involuntarily shit their pants would
have stunk something fierce, but it also would have been unforgettable.
And "The Exorcist" could have delivered that, but shied
away. Ellen Burstyn does the story no favors, either, making
her character too screechy, like cat with its tail in the wood
Four trembly fingers for "The Exorcist," a movie
I'm not so happy I finally saw. If you haven't seen it, believe
the hype. Don't ask me to go with you, though.