Exorcist II: The Heretic - The Director's Recut - AKA: The Mark 4 Cut
Recently, my partner and I decided to take on this project in order to breathe a little from doing one continious project (Superman The Movie: The KCOP cut). Exorcist II - The Heretic - The 110 Minute Director's Recut was chosen as the alternate project. The film was released in the early 80's on VHS in fullscreen but we have obtained other material from various sources so that we can restore the film to its original Boorman recut look. We have decided to restore this cut using several rare cuts of the film to create (for the first time ever) a widesceen DVD release of the film. A trailer for the recut is below.
About the Film:
Shortly after its original release, John Boorman re-cut Exorcist II: The Heretic in response to audience reactions. Boorman shortened certain scenes, deleted some lines of dialogue, changed the order of some scenes, and changed some musical cues (most noticeably over the opening and closing titles). The plot, however, is not significantly different between the two versions of the film excpet for the ending. The original, completely uncut 118-minute release is now available on DVD. However, in the 1980s, the 110-minute re-edit was released on VHS. The differences in the 110-minute version, as compared to the 118-minute version, are as follows:
- A faster reworking of the opening theme is featured, with a bass rhythm similar to that in Lamont's stoning scene.
- An introduction with narration by Lamont and stills from both movies is shown; a shot of Lamont climbing the steps to the chapel in the opening exorcism scene is added as well.
- In that opening scene, Lamont's momentary prayer to Father Merrin and the touching of Merrin's picture is cut out.
- Generally, scenes are switched about so that all of those at the Institute are together and those with Lamont alone are together. This is probably because they realized that the first two scenes at the Institute feature everyone wearing the same clothing, even though the original cut indicated that they took place days apart.
- The first scene with Regan practicing her tap-dancing is cut out.
- Just about all of the first conversation between Lamont and the Cardinal is cut out; only the very beginning and ending are shown. Thus Paul Henreid's screentime in the revised Exorcist II is significantly shortened; also, the film's very title The Heretic makes less sense as all dialogue alluding to Father Merrin being accused of heresy is deleted.
- During the hypnosis scene, Lamont’s line of "I know where she is" in reference to the palpitating Tuskin is cut out, since the next thing he says is "help me to find her."
- Instances in which Lamont voices his fascination with the demon Pazuzu are cut out: his line of "horrible...and fascinating" is cut to just "horrible," and a later conversation with Tuskin is cut short also, with Tuskin's line "You're obsessed with the idea" dubbed over the original "How about adulation?" as she storms away.
- More voice-overs of "We're going flying" and such are added to Regan's dream about Africa as she wanders to the edge of the roof.
- A couple of lines are edited out of the scene where Regan talks with the autistic girl and the girl's mother walks into the room.
- The Communion scene in the mountaintop church is almost entirely cut out, as is part of Lamont's explanation for knowing the location of the missing body a few minutes later.
- Lots of snippets are cut out near the end: Tuskin playing with her children in the bathtub, Sharon whispering "stupid bitch" under her breath, Lamont telling the conductor "She is mine!", Sharon and Tuskin stopping to help the injured man in the car crash, Sharon telling the cab driver "Someone is dying," Lamont telling the bus driver to go because Regan has to get home, and a couple of other scenes.
- Regan’s line of "Let me reach you" to Lamont as he is slumped in the hallway is dubbed out.
- Stock footage of Linda Blair from the first film (though redubbed) is spliced in as Regan enters her old room.
- The "Be joined with us, Father" bit is cut out entirely, dubbed over with the later "Kill her" line instead.
- The final three or so scenes are mixed around differently, perhaps to cover up deleted lines. As a result, we don’t see Tuskin running around in the street yelling "Help!" or trying to get Sharon out of the fire. The recut film's title music plays over the scene of Sharon immolating herself and Regan struggling against Lamont.
- The very end is totally different: Lamont apparently doesn’t survive, and the shot with the roof falling in is mixed with a recording of him yelling "REGAN!": thus, the entire last scene is removed in which Sharon finally dies after receiving absolution from Lamont, and Tuskin says goodbye to Regan and Lamont. Instead, after the locusts disappear, we see a shot of Regan walking out of the rubble, another of Fletcher standing in a crowd of onlookers (originally the last shot of the movie), a cut back to a close-up of Regan, and then a fade to the credits.
- Lastly, the slow theme played during the ending credits is replaced halfway through with a rock version of the opening theme, which was used for the original theatrical trailer. This track is entitled "Magic and Ecstasy" on the Exorcist II soundtrack album.
Project Trailer: The film is in its final stage in its editing phase and we have constucted a trailer for a sneak peak at the restoration. (be sure to watch the trailer in its highest quality)
This edit has a TBA release date.
EXORCIST II - THE HERETIC- THE DIRECTOR'S RECUT
Remember, Highlander, you’ve both still got your full measure of life. Use it well, and your future will be glorious.