WHILE I WAS waiting in a long, cold line to get into The Exorcist, a girl who was with a group of people behind me detached herself from the group and went to sit on a stone stoop.
“Hey, I hope you freeze your tail off,” one of her friends said.
“Hey, I hope you get a hemorrhoid,” one of her male friends said.
When I got inside the theater and The Exorcist started, the dialogue did not get any better. But the movie was terribly scary.
The Exorcist is a movie which is so bad that one must stand back and watch the full scope of the retreat on which it has led modern moviemaking to fully understand its significance.
Such story as there is concerns the devil’s taking up residence in a human body. And not just any old body. The devil enters the body and soul of a lovely, not-yet nubile twelve-year-old girl. She is the daughter of a movie star who is temporarily living in Washington, D.C., in a mansion in Georgetown.
(Why the devil, who could presumably go anywhere, should go to Washington is never explained, which is just as well.)
We know that the girl is inhabited by a devil when she starts urinating on the floor and talking dirty. She also does many other stunts, such as vomiting upon people far across the room and twisting her head all the way around in a circle.
Well, what’s a mother to do?
She takes the tyke, whose name is Regan, to a series of doctors who suspect brain damage and put the child and the devil through a series of medical procedures which make anything the devil does look positively beatific by comparison.
Of course they find nothing and neither does a psychiatrist, whom Regan knocks across the room with a single punch. So Regan has to go to the hospital for the insane, where nothing can be done either. Finally someone has the presence of mind to suggest an exorcist from the Holy Mother Church, and then the contest begins.
While all of this has been going on, there is a parallel plot about Damien Karras, S.J., a psychiatric priest, whose job it is to treat priests who think they have lost their “vocation” while he is rapidly losing his.
All of this is about half as exciting as an examination in trigonometry. But the movie is punctuated at regular intervals by individual horror events, such as the highly touted scene in which Regan abuses herself with a crucifix.
That is the problem.
The whole movie is just a backdrop for one horrible event about every seven minutes—a beating, some super-filthy language, vomiting, tons of blood. The movie is just a carnival of scary scenes. It is strung together without any sensible connective tissue whatever. All of the scenes between the horror are pure filler. They are utterly unmemorable and serve only as prelude to each new shock.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?