In my mind, I have always found Exorcist III not only scarier than the original film. Ever since I saw the film on home video in the 90’s, I think the film becomes even more haunting as I get older. Later, I heard that Blatty, the author of The Exorcist and the writer/director of Exorcist III, had to re-shoot an ending that included an exorcism which was mandated by the studio. For years, a “director’s cut” has been on the whispers of genre fans worldwide. Late last year, I found a tasty morsel of information that this rumored “director’s cut” was happening. Bigger genre sites picked it up immediately after our little site was the first to dig up the info from the source, TheNinthConfiguration.com, some credited us to finding the info and bringing it to the attention of many, most of the sites didn’t attribute us. It’s almost been a year since someone tweeted to Morgan Creek about this and I’m happy (sort of, read below why there are mixed emotions) that Blatty’s director’s cut of Exorcist III is finally coming out on shelves and, hopefully to your home, on October 25, 2016.
From the Press Release:
William Peter Blatty’s cult favorite The Exorcist III [Collector’s Edition] will be bearing its cross on a 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set from Scream Factory on October 25, 2016, in a partnership with Morgan Creek Productions. The must-have set boasts the first ever home entertainment release of the director’s cut, a brand-new, alternate version of The Exorcist III, reflecting William Peter Blatty’s original vision of his novel Legion.
The Exorcist III [Collector’s Edition] also features a new 2K transfer from the inter-positive and over 4 hours of special features. Highlights from the special features include a new audio commentary with writer/director William Peter Blatty and new interviews with producer Carter DeHaven; actors Clifford David, Tracy Thorne, and Brad Dourif; production assistant Kara Reidy; production designer Leslie Dilley; assistant designer Daren Dochterman; illustrator Simon Murton; and composer Barry DeVorzon, as well as a featurette titled All This Bleeding, which is a look at the re-shoot and makeup effects with production manager Ronald Colby; editor Todd Ramsay; effects artists William Forsche, Mike Smithson, and Brian Wade; and actor/body double Charles Powell.
Fans pre-ordering The Exorcist III [Collector’s Edition] directly from Scream Factory will receive a free 18″ x 24″ poster of the new cover art (while supplies last) plus early shipping!
In speaking to the process of creating the director’s cut for this release, Blu-ray producer Cliff MacMillan states: “We conducted an exhaustive search through a pallet of film assets from the original shoot to re-create William Peter Blatty’s intended vision. Unfortunately, that footage has been lost to time. To that end, we turned to VHS tapes of the film’s dailies to assemble the director’s cut. However, even some of that footage was incomplete, so scenes from the theatrical re-shoot were used to fill in the gaps. This director’s cut is a composite of varying footage quality from the best available sources.”
The Exorcist III is author/filmmaker William Peter Blatty’s personal vision of what followed after The Exorcist. Like the original, The Exorcist III combines elements of a detective story, a theological puzzle, and an unforgettable study in terror.
For more than fifteen years Police Lieutenant Kinderman (George C. Scott) has been haunted by the death of his friend Father Damien Karras. Now, on the 15th anniversary of the exorcism that claimed the priest’s life, Kinderman’s world is once again shattered when a boy is found decapitated and savagely crucified. It’s just the beginning of a nightmare series of bizarre religious murders.
The brutal murders bear the hallmarks of the infamous Gemini Killer… who died in the electric chair fifteen years ago. But when a psychopath claiming to be the Gemini Killer reveals intimate, gruesome details that only the true killer could possibly know, Kinderman is confronted with a horrifying truth that he cannot begin to explain… and that will shake him to his core.
DISC ONE: The Exorcist III (Theatrical Cut)
- NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
- Vintage Featurette
- Deleted Scene/Alternate Takes/Bloopers
- Deleted Prologue
- Vintage Interviews (Featuring Behind-The-Scenes Footage) With Writer/Director William Peter Blatty, George C. Scott, Jason Miller, Ed Flanders, Grand L. Bush, Executive Producer James G. Robinson, Production Designer Leslie Dilley, Larry King And C. Everett Koop
- Theatrical Trailers
- TV Spots
- Photo Galleries
DISC TWO: Legion (Original Director’s Cut) 105 minutes
- NEW Audio Interview With Writer/Director William Peter Blatty
- NEW A “Wonderfull” Time – Interviews With Producer Carter DeHaven, Actors Clifford David And Tracy Thorne And Production Assistant Kara Reidy
- NEW Signs Of The Gemini – An Interview With Brad Dourif
- NEW The Devil In The Details – Interview With Production Designer Leslie Dilley, Assistant Designer Daren Dochterman And Illustrator Simon Murton
- NEW Music For A Padded Cell – An Interview With Composer Barry DeVorzon
- NEW All This Bleeding – A Look At The Re-shoot And Makeup Effects With Production Manager Ronald Colby, Editor Todd Ramsay, Effects Artists William Forsche, Mike Smithson, Brian Wade And Actor/Body Double Charles Powell
After Scream Factory pulled off a miracle by finding all the original elements for their Nightbreed release, which was also under Morgan Creek’s production, it seems that they didn’t fare as well as they did with Exorcist III. I’ll be the first to say that I’m happy we will get a glimpse/idea of what Blatty’s original film could’ve been, this won’t be like the Nightbreed release. It seems like Scream Factory had no other option than to reference VHS dailies of this footage as the original elements have been “lost to time”. I just hope the VHS reference is clean because when I saw Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut, which was going to be presented on Blu-ray probably in a truncated form via Scream Factory prior to them finding/locating the original elements, it was very jarring. With myself being such a huge fan of the film, I know I’ll be buying this on day one.