The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology

The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology

On DVD: 
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Running Time: 
700 Minutes

Included are: The Exorcist: Special Features: Cast & Crew filmography / “The Fear of God: 25 Years of the Exorcist” featurettes / commentaries / Interview gallery / Original ending / Sketches and storyboard / TV spots / Theatrical trailer / “Exorcist: The True Story” / Awards list / Introduction by director William Friedkin

The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen: Special Features: Cast & crew filmography / Radio and TV spots / Theatrical trailers / Commentary by director William Friedkin

The Exorcist II: The Heretic: Special Features: Alternate opening / Cast & Crew filmography / Teaser & theatrical trailer

The Exorcist III: Special Features: Theatrical trailer

Exorcist: The Beginning:Special Features: Commentary by director Renny Harlin / Behind-the-scenes featurette / Theatrical trailer

Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist: Special Features: Commentary by director Paul Schrader / Additional scenes / Stills gallery

You knew it was bound to happen. Warner Bros. loves your money and they prove it by packaging every Exorcist film together in a boxed set and loosing it upon the world like the evil that these films feature. Now I’m not the largest fan of even the original Exorcist but I can still appreciate that it’s regarded as a great movie by many. That’s fine and dandy, but then we get into the sequels (and prequels for that matter). They suck. I just…they suck.

Sure, there’s a fan base for every form of entertainment and “quality” is a subjective term but my understanding this doesn’t make me care about an Exorcist boxed set. I can just pick up the original Exorcist on its own for less. I still get a good movie but without the additional garbage. Seriously, would you buy a Halloween boxed set? What if I said “Season of the Witch”? That’s what I thought.

For the sake of numbers 2 and 3, it’s a take it or leave it deal. Some priests realize that, HOLY SHIT, there really is a devil and the church serves more of a purpose than to globally support child molestation. They pull out a Bible-era phone book and call upon every name they can think of, which eventually does work in expelling the evil. I never understood that part. That’d be like a person calling upon Citibank, Visa, and the U.S. Treasury Department to pay their rent for them. I don’t think it works that way. I didn’t see these films as original or creative. They were just there.

Then you have the prequels. Both star Stellan Skarsgård as the young Father Merrin and take place in post WWII Africa, surrounding an archaeological dig. The DVD case would have you believe that there was a grand vision of allowing two directors to offer different visions of events in Merrin’s past. What actually happened was that the first film, (The Beginning, directed by Renny Harlin) was thrown out by Warner Bros., who didn’t care for the final product and decided to start fresh. With Paul Schrader directing, they reused the sets, some of the actors, and even a few shots, and made what was supposed to be the one and only prequel. That one sucked too. Oops.

Yes there is a wealth of special features in this collection but they’re almost entirely limited to the original film and its “The Version You’ve Never Seen” edit. After that, you’re not left with much in the way of content. If you love the entire Exorcist series to death, this is for you. Otherwise either buy the original on its own or don’t buy into the series. There isn’t enough here to make it worth your while.

Review by Baron Aloha