Amy Nicholson’s The Canon Podcast was on hand to record a debate as to whether the Exorcist of the Exorcist III deserved to be in the canon of great films. Eric got to weigh in with his opinion. Plus a fun encounter with a genre film legend!
On Saturday morning, the brave souls who weren’t too hung over from the Bourbon Street experience and the Overlook Filmmaker’s party the night before staggered into the Bourbon Orleans haunted ballroom (Yes, it is reported that the ballroom is haunted by a little girl who rolls a ball around in the ballroom… a fairly benign ghost) to hear the Canon Podcast debate whether the Exorcist or the Exorcist III would make a better contribution to the canon of essential movies.
Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!, Night at the Musem, 17 Again), who was starring in the Puppetmaster Littlest Reich that debuted at the festival, was debating with Amy on this point. He was an absolute hoot, and seems to be covered in horror movie sauce, so he was a perfect panelist to have on the podcast. He made an argument that our own Mike Campbell made in our very first podcast that the Exorcist III was one of the very best horror movies of all time. This, of course, would go against the grain of conventional wisdom, given how significant a film the original was, and how horror sequels are generally perceived (mostly crap.) In a fun little moment in the spotlight, Amy, when trying to describe how a crazy person could be anyone in the audience and called me out… I think because I had my Sennheiser headphones on, and was easy to single out. Which, opposed to being the creepy Asian guy, for which I’m thankful was not the descriptor. I’d like to think that the headphones made me more a rugged leading man, but I couldn’t think of a comparable, so I’ll settle for being the creepy dude with the headphones. So when Amy calls that out in the podcast, that’s me! Mr. Demile! I’m ready for my close up! It’s a great debate, and I get to weigh in at around the 1:12 mark, with my pitch that the historical significance of the original film, allowing a hard R, almost X rated film would become so acclaimed and so successful, that it would open the doors for countless other films to come.
Who knows, if this film hadn’t existed, and the horror films that were of the hard-R variety, like I Spit on Your Grave, The Last House on the Left, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre… the MPAA may have altered the rules of what was allowable, but The Exorcist helped legitimize horror from beyond the fringe fans like us. The Exorcist III does feature a stellar turn by George C Scott and has some seriously intense scares to it, so it makes the decision a close one. I’m anxious to see how the vote comes out on the Canon Site.
As an added bonus, Udo Kier, the legendary veteran horror actor (243 acting credits! Count em!) chose to join the audience and was summoned to the stage. He is a storyteller supreme, and you’ll get a real treat listening to him banter with the panelists. I was fortunate enough to enjoy having drinks with him afterward in the hotel bar, and he continued to explain how he’s got a movie coming out with Sonia Braga (and has ten films all told that have just finished production… time for a break!), and how he would really like to do a film with David Lynch, and his philosophy behind “not acting”. Oh, I could have spent hours with him and hearing him talk about acting and moviemaking.
I wasn’t able to catch the Littlest Reich at the festival, but with a tagline like “World War III Begins on Your Toy Shelf” Deserves a watch, doesn’t it? And after meeting and conversing with Udo, I’m going to have to watch this film, as goofy as it seems.