For everyone who knew there was a great movie just beneath the surface in Exorcist III this edit is probably as close we’ll ever get to Blatty’s original vision.
The opening works perfectly.
The tightened scenes throughout are justified.
The Father Morning/Exorcism scenes are not missed.
The new ending is more than satisfying.
The dialogue changes/reconstructions work well. Fans who know this movie inside out may find them slightly jarring on first viewing but I’m sure this will fade with more viewings.
The extra scare shot during the murder of Father Kanavan is worth the download alone.
All in all, one of the most satisfying, worthwhile and competent edits I’ve found on this site. As much as I enjoy the original I can’t see myself watching it anymore, Spicediver’s edit is indispensable.
I just loved the added quick shot of the decapitated priest, taken from the infamous promo card. Well done!
It has been a while since the original, and I’m really tempted to watch that one now also to compare to this cut. However, since it’s been a while, it’s hard to compare. But I can say 2 things:
1) This is an exciting fanedit. I watched it with pleasure, and I loved the extra stuff that I noticed and remembered compared to the official Exorcist 3 movie (for example the decapitated priest).
2) I now understand why the studio wanted an exorcism. The original way, Kinderman just shooting father Karras/Gemini Killer, is not a big pay off. It doesn’t have a big impact or doesn’t feel like big finale. It’s just a simple ending. This way, it feels more unrelated to the original Exorcist. It feels more like a (supernatural?) thriller instead of a horror movie. Which was probably the intention Blatty wanted it to be. Now again, I must say that’s it’s been a long time ago since I watched the official Exorcist 3 movie, so I will have to watch that one again to do a decent compare to this fanedit.
Too bad we probably never get the real director’s cut as fthe footage has been lost (according to the movie studio), but this fanedit gives us a glimpse at what could have been. It’s a good effort. Right now I would rate it 8/10. Might change to 9/10 after I have seen the official Exorst 3 movie again.
Its been a long time since I’ve seen the original, and I’ve forgotten more of it than I remember. So watching this version was like watching it fresh. The editing is very very good. I was looking for seams or jumps that felt out of place, but I really couldn’t find any, and the pace of the edit was very smooth, even if I thought the story itself was slightly illogical.
Overall, and this really has nothing to do with the edit itself, I think the film is still a bit of turkey. Its an interesting idea as far as supernatural detective thrillers go, but it doesn’t quite work. Its not a very scary film seeing as the subject matter is about demons and serial killers and whatnot, and I never believe in George C. Scott’s character as an active detective (he’s just too old for the part). Kinderman and Father Dyer’s rapport and back and forth is believable and fun to watch, but that’s really the best part of the film for me. Also I can’t watch Brad Dourif and not think of the other character’s he’s played. Wish they had flashed back to Jason Miller most of the time.
So, the edit deserves a 9/10, but the actual film is still confusing and forgettable and deserves maybe a 4 or 5 out of 10.
Exorcist 3 was a mildly interesting failure--the book Legion and the film adaptation shared the same weakness--mainly that they are way too talky. Anything in Exorcist 3 that a horror fan would actually want to see happens off-screen. If you want to see a movie in which a series of murders is described to you through dialogue then Exorcist 3 is definitely for you.
William Peter Blatty actually came up with a pretty cool story--basically there are a series of grisly (or so we are told) murders and the trail eventually leads to the psych ward of a hospital which has a patient in solitary who is the splitting image of deceased Father Karras from The Exorcist. He also was admitted to the hospital around the same time that Karras. died. The mental patient knows details about the murders that only the killer could know but he's kept under strict lock-down, so how can he be the murderer?
While the hospital patient is supposed to be the spitting image of Father Karras (Jason Miller) anytime there's dialogue he's played instead by Brad Dourif, which might seem odd but it turns out to be the best choice William Peter Blatty made. In Dourif's mouth the talky dialogue actually comes alive and the scenes become electrifying. The rest of the time the movie is generally a bit dull and way too restrained. It's a shame William Friedkin didn't direct this--restraint was never part of his cinematic vocabulary--it's likely he would have hit this one out of the park.
I haven't seen the theatrical version since it played in theaters so I can't really compare it to the fan edit. I can say that Legion was much more entertaining than I remembered Exorcist 3 being but the new ending is pretty abrupt and unsatisfying--it's very possible that this ending is an improvement but I don't even remember the original ending so I definitely couldn't say.
I would recommend this fan edit of Exorcist 3 but viewers shouldn't expect a lost classic because the original movie really wasn't very good.