DVD & Blu-ray

It is still a great film!!!

‘The Exorcist’ on Blu-ray shows every last demonic detail
The Exorcist has frightened movie fans spanning four decades. So just imagine what that spinning head and infamous demonic vomit will do to people in high definition.
The 1973 classic based on William Peter Blatty’s book, which many people consider the scariest movie of all time, arrives today (Warner, single-disc DVD, $20; Blu-ray, $35) on a two-disc Blu-ray loaded with a new commentary, a look at the film’s locale in Georgetown and a breakdown of the differences between the original and the 2000 extended director’s cut, both of which are included in the set.
It also includes a documentary that shows how director William Friedkin and his crew pulled off their haunting special effects. “What it will show you is that this truly was, as we have been saying for so many years, the greatest magic act ever filmed,” says Linda Blair, who was 13 when she made The Exorcist.
Blair garnered a supporting-actress Oscar nomination, one of 10 for the movie. But those get lost amid all the horrific details that went into the story of a possessed girl in Washington, D.C., named Regan (Blair) and the two Catholic priests ó Fathers Merrin (Max Von Sydow) and Karras (Jason Miller) ó who attempt to drive out the devil inside her.
Friedkin remembers his motivation for making the film. “What I was really trying to do was not to make a horror film but make a film that mostly dealt with some of the brutal mysteries of life and the power and mystery of faith.”
Owen Roizman, the director of photography, captured everything that went on behind the scenes, including Blair’s hours in the makeup chair, the creation of a dummy whose head turned 360 degrees, the device hooked up to Blair’s mouth that spewed green bile (a nasty mixture of pea soup and oatmeal) and the exorcism scenes in which you can see the actors’ breath.
Friedkin says that for the last effect, he ran four large air conditioners all night.
“My main goal was to make it as realistic as possible, and in the case of the special-effects sequences, they were real,” Friedkin says.
Some of the film’s most controversial and disturbing scenes involve Blair.
Friedkin acknowledges that Blair at first wouldn’t want to say or do things, but he’d kid her into doing them.
“If you look at the dailies, you’ll see sometimes she’s done the most horrific thing, and I’ll say ‘cut,’ and she starts to giggle and a prop man hands her a milkshake.”
Blair applauds Friedkin for doing the best he could to keep things normal around her.
“There were a couple of things they had boundaries on, and there were certain things they didn’t discuss what it exactly was because I was still a juvenile. They crossed the lines quite a few times, but not with me personally,” she says. “I needed this documentary to show that I really was just a child actor.”
Now, she has been focusing on animal rescue through her Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation. And Friedkin starts filming the black comedy Killer Joe with Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch in Louisiana next month.
And though all the cool kids are converting their movies to 3-D, Friedkin is not a fan.
“Some of the greatest films I’ve ever seen, like Citizen Kane and All About Eve and Singin’ in the Rain and 2001, I don’t think they would be any better in 3-D,” Friedkin says. “They would look different, but I’m not really interested in seeing a desk in the foreground looking like it’s sticking out of the screen.”