- DVD TRILOGY BOX SET
William Friedkin, John Boorman, William Peter Blatty
Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow, Richard Burton, George C. Scott
Warner Home Videoís Exorcist DVD
Trilogy collects the three canonical movies in one bijou box set: a
fold-out digipack in a hard, matt finish, gold-embossed casing (one of the
nicest examples of DVD packaging we've seen).
The first film is represented by the
dual-sided Special Edition DVD of Friedkinís seminal movie (the
UK version of the
25th Anniversary Edition).
Itís a bit of a mystery why Warner didnít re-press it as a dual-layer
disc for aesthetic reasons, so that all the discs in the box set would be
picture discs (they match the background image on the digipack). This
would also have made it more convenient for viewers. It's a shame that
Warner Home Video didn't take the opportunity to upgrade the disc to
include the longer version of The Fear of God documentary, which is
still only available in its extended version on the Region 1 disc. (The
version in the box set still doesn't have chapter markers, but since
there's no chapter listing for the documentary this time (or for the films
themselves, for that matter) it's of no consequence).
second disc presents the extended (112'51") version of John
Boormanís extraordinary Exorcist II - The Heretic, which made its
UK home video debut in 1997, as part of Warnerís Terror Vision
collection. The film is presented in 1.85:1 ratio, with anamorphic
enhancement. The disc comes with an alternate two-minute opening sequence
(which recaps the original movie, and adds a brief exterior shot to the
filmís startling opening sequence, Father Lamont (Richard Burton)
arriving at the chapel, to perform an exorcism). This material was added
to the beginning of the shorter, theatrical, version of the film
(102'29", according to the BBFC website), after Boorman re-cut the
movie, following its disastrous premiere. The disc also contains a teaser
trailer and full theatrical trailer. The film has mono audio at 192kbps.
The Exorcist III is a terrific
finale to the series, with some very chilling moments. Although George C.
Scott makes an uncharismatic lead, Brad Dourif makes up for it with a
creepy performance as the Gemini Killer. The film is presented in 1.85:1
ratio, with anamorphic enhancement. The audio is a rather smart Dolby
Digital 5.1 mix at 384kbps. The disc features a teaser trailer, made while
it still had the subtitle Legion, but lacks the full trailer, which
contained at least one shot that didnít feature in the completed movie.
DVD Trilogy box set is unforgivably lazy: virtually no effort has
been expended on the two sequels. John Boorman's thoughts on The
Exorcist II, for example, would have been fascinating, (he's
certainly not adverse to contributing commentary tracks, as
testifies). This is a common complaint with many DVD box sets -
all the attention is paid to the first movie, and nothing to the sequels (The
Omen box set is another example).
Both sequels had troubled production
histories (the studio, not unreasonably, perhaps, demanded the inclusion
of an exorcism scene in The Exorcist III, and the resulting
sequence sticks out like a sore thumb) , but the box set doesnít even
contain production notes to fill in some of the background. It's also
missing any deleted footage (including the notorious shot of the
decapitated priest with his head in his lap, from The Exorcist III,
The Exorcist - UK Home Video History