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The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology (The Exorcist/ The Exorcist- Unrated/ The Exorcist II: The Heretic/ The Exorcist III/ The Exorcist: The Beginning/ The Exorcist: Dominion)

Ellen Burstyn , Max von Sydow , John Boorman , Paul Schrader    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
For fans of the series, this is a great box set. It includes all of the films and the price is good. The set itself is worthy of 5 stars because it is complete. The films however vary in quality and the only one that is worthy of 5 stars is the original.

The Exorcist *****
Regan (Linda Blair), the sweet & lovable daughter of a famous actress (Ellen Burstyn) is suddenly struck down with an unknown cerebral disorder and her clueless doctor's are unable to determine what's causing her ailment. It becomes apparent that the poor child is possessed by an evil demon who is determined in destroying the poor child's soul. The monstrous entity takes total control of her body and transforms her from a sweet 12 year old into a violent, cussing, vile spewing creature with a bad temper and who likes to do bad things with holy relics. A young, troubled priest (Jason Miller) and an older, more experienced priest (Max Von Sydow) are called in to exorcise the demon. A highly original & disturbing film that makes the unbelievable subject of demonic possession believable. This classic film, when released back in 1973, was controversial. People in the audience reportedly screamed, fainted and vomited when presented with the film's grisly spectacle. Despite the passing of the years, "The Exorcist" remains engrossing and an effective thriller and time has done nothing to diminish its impact. The performances from the cast are excellent and many received Oscar nominations. Despite the material, they pull off their roles successfully, never resorting to over-acting and the characters are given an emotional depth and human element that is rare in horror pictures, at least the horror films of today. You get 2 versions of the film here, the original release and the "Version You've Never Seen".
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The good, the mediocre and the abominable July 12 2010
The only reason I bought this anthology was that I wanted to get my hands on the original theatrical version of "The Exorcist" (it seems that its no longer available as a single dvd, since it was rudely supplanted by "The Version You've Never"). I have seen this latter, augmented version, and I can't say I'm impressed. I think maybe some of the extra footage was okay, but a great deal of it (such as the "spider walk" scene) should have stayed on the cutting room floor. I also objected to the CGI ghoul/demon faces and what not. To me, this director's cut represents a serious error in judgment, and adds nothing to the original, but no doubt its a lucrative cash-in (see "Apocalypse Now - Redux"). So, purely for the reason that one can see the original movie on this anthology (as well as some interesting bonus features pertaining to the original movie), I give it two stars, grudgingly. The only other movie on this set I have watched is the sequel, "Exorcist II - the heretic". Despite having high production values, A-list actors, a crew with impressive credentials, and a score by Ennio Morricone, this certainly ranks as one of the worst hollywood movies ever made. A true monumental turkey. It simply has to be seen to be believed. The first time you watch it, you will get some laughs out it (where none were intended); if you have the stomach to watch it a second time (preferably after several years), you will simply shake your head in disbelief that anything this awful could be made. So I guess it does have a certain camp/kitsch value. I haven't watched the other films- Exorcist III and the two prequels. I have heard that E3 is an improvement over E2 (wouldn't take much); I have read disparaging reviews of the prequels, so I don't expect very much. Read more ›
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 1 good movie out of 5... July 26 2013
By Dogbury
The item itself is great. Good packaging, includes all 5 exorcist movies, and BOTH versions of the first exorcist movie: (e.g., the original theatrical edition and "the version you've never seen" later renamed "the extended director's cut"). lots of bonus material. Awesome! Where it fails, is when watching the movies. The Exorcist is a 10/10 movie. Exorcist II is so bad it is hard to believe. It has almost nothing to do with the first movie, and is quite possibly the worst movie hollywood has ever produced. Seriously. It's THAT bad. Not scary, not interesting, no exorcism, no plot, no tension, no story and bad acting. Just 2 hours of useless film. The Exorcist III is mediocre at best. Some have said it is decent, I am not so generous. 3/10. The next two movies are prequels. The special effects are bad, and they are low budget movies, that explain Father Merrin's first exorcism. Once you get to the second prequel, you realize all of this is garbage. This is not a collector's set, but just an attempt to turn the Exorcist movie into a franchise to be milked for every dollar. The first movie is the only one worth owning. The rest just drags down the original one. Don't bother.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  81 reviews
109 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet deal! Oct. 29 2006
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
You can find this set for around $25 and for that price it's definitely worth it. True, the first one is the best (I prefer the original over the "Version You've Never Seen", but they're still both very good), but the third one isn't that bad (in fact, I think it's pretty good) And neither version of the prequel is good, but it is sort of neat to have two VERY different versions of the same film, and in this context, for comparing the power of editing and the how the perspective of a director can affect a movie, these discs are interesting. True, the second one has no merit, but what can you do? But I won't complain. It's good for a laugh.

Just so people know, this set does contain all the extras the other releases had. So that even sweetens the deal more!

Disc 1: The Exorcist

This is the same flipper disc from the original Special Edition release

Side A:

Intro and commentary by William Friedkin

Commentary by William Peter Blatty and Special Sound Effects Tests

Side B:

The Fear of God: The Making of the Exorcist

Interviews, Storyboards, Production Sketches

Original Ending

Theatrical Trailer

TV Spots

Disc 2: The Exorcist "The Version You've Never Seen"

Commentary by William Peter Blatty

Trailer, TV Spots and Raidio Spots

Disc 3: Exorcist II: The Heretic

Alternate Opening Sequence

Theatrical Trailer

Disc 4: Exorcist III

Theatrical Trailer

Disc 5: Exorcist: The Beginning

Commentary by Renny Harlin

Behind-the-scenes Featurette

Theatrical Trailer

Disc 6: Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist

Commentary by Paul Schrader

Additional Scenes

Stills Gallery

And there you have it. Everything is there. True, you could get just get the original for cheaper, but I still think this is a solid set and a great deal at that!
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific set for completists and gift-sets, but some might want to wait for individual releases. June 30 2014
By James Donnelly - Published on Amazon.com
First, let's dispense with the obvious: William Friedkin's original THE EXORCIST, based on the spine-unraveling novel from William Peter Blatty, is the most terrifying film ever made. The cast is extraordinary. Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Lee J. Cobb, Max Von Sydow and naturally Linda Blair are all amazing. Friedkin, with a few examples, gives the film a very documentarian look and feel, making the horror of the film even more immediate. He also adds a healthy dose of humor, giving you moments to breathe until the film sneaks up on you and steals your breath. The 2000 Director's Cut of the film has some originally deleted scenes (such as the infamous "crab walk" sequence), as well as some enhanced effects. Whether or not it works better is debatable, but it certainly doesn't lose anything in this release.

EXORCIST 2: THE HERETIC is a pretty awful film, sadly. John Boorman, who has done some brilliant work in his career, obviously is doing work-for-hire, as well as Richard Burton, who gives a characteristically over-the-top performance. And poor Linda Blair had to reprise her role as Regan, but not to her benefit, since this film is an extremely poorly-conceived sequel.

THE EXORCIST III is strangely and wholly unexpectedly great continuation of the story of the first film. With William Peter Blatty adapting his own novel "Legion" and directing the film as well, he shows a great deal of confidence behind the camera. He doesn't ape Friedkin's style, but rather giving almost every shot in the film a very still and very photographic quality. This time, the story focuses on Bill Kinderman (George C. Scott, taking over for the deceased Lee J. Cobb) and his discovery that the long-believed-dead Father Karras may still be alive and in a psychiatric ward. This film also features terrific performances from Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Scott Wilson, Nancy Fish, and Jason Miller sort of reprising his role from the original film.

Make no mistake, EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING and DOMINION: A PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST are two vastly different films, despite the presence of Stellan Skarsgard as the younger Father Merrin, and his first encounter with Pazuzu. With THE BEGINNING directed by hack Renny Harlin, it's filled with faltering jump scares, an all too predictable story and very poorly rendered CG jackals. DOMINION was written and directed by the great Paul Schrader, who made this film prior to Harlin's version, but the studio heads felt that DOMINION was too slow and cerebral to make the big money, hence the hiring of Harlin and making a more horror-audience friendly film. DOMINION was finally released in very limited screenings, and while it is a little on the dull side, it's a much more fascinating meditation on the nature of evil, and how people are so easily susceptible to evil.

I have to say that for the price, this is a pretty darn good collection, but for my money, I'll be waiting until they're released separately so that I can finally own EXORCIST III on Blu-ray since I already own THE EXORCIST and the director's cut on Blu.

A breakdown of rating by film:

THE EXORCIST: 5 out of 5 stars.
THE EXORCIST: The 2000 Director's Cut: 5 out of 5 stars.
EXORCIST 2: THE HERETIC: 1.5 out of 5 stars.
THE EXORCIST III: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING: 1 out of 5 stars.
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection Dec 15 2006
By Kendra Smith - Published on Amazon.com
And a great start for horror newcomers as well! I've been a fan of horror movies for years and the original Exorcist was not only one of my first, but it became a personal favorite of mine. For many, it's not only the sheer frightfulness of it that made it such a good film (back in the 70's, anyways. Even my mom said it wasn't as scary today as it was back then), but it was what it made people think about as well. In a world where religion tends to be the prime concern of all people, exorcism began to drift out of the minds of many as well as many ideas behind Satanism and supernatural evils. This movie brought this line of thought back and in full force. What better way to watch these classics than to purchase such a great collection at a reasonable price?

Now onto separate quick movie critiques:

The Exorcist (Original and Director's Cut): The classic that started it all. There's not much here that needs to be said with a few exceptions. First off, if you have not yet seen this movie, prepare yourself to be possibly disturbed by some very grisly, disgusting and sickening scenes and visuals. Second, in the Director's Cut, there is a very graphic and bloody scene that was not included in the original. However, this is NOT the original version of the scene. The original footage was not all too believable and can be found on YouTube (search "Spider Walk Scene" and look for the original). And finally, again in the director's cut, watch closely for "subliminal" images, as I've seen them called before. Two hard to spot ones are he evil demon face in the stove hood when Mrs. MacNeil comes home and the power flickers and in the final exorcism scene, where in the window you can very briefly see Karass' mother. (5/5 stars to the original, 4.5/5 on the director's cut upon coming to understand issues the new scenes cause to the story's pacing)

The Exorcist II - The Heretic: Well, first thing that should be mentioned is that this story has some obvious continuity issues with the later prequels. I'll explain those differences in my reviews for those films, but the mistake involves the boy who was possessed in Merrin's past, in Africa. In this movie, it's a young black boy, (though I forget his name off the top of my head.) which is different in the prequels. Also, the story itself was kind of sub-par as were the visuals. The Exorcist actually looked believable with realistic special effects, but this one is fairly laughable. (2/5 stars)

The Exorcist III: I had my doubts about renting this at first, especially since I heard it wasn't too good of a movie and especially after seeing The Heretic it didn't seem too appealing. However, I couldn't have been more wrong. The story continues what happens years after the original Exorcist in an often overlooked sequel. However, the movie does include some incredible shocks and excellent plot twists. The movie is graphic in a subtle way and usually, more often than not, verbally not visually when the killer is describing his killings. Also, the visual effects during this scene are amazing. It's hard to tell that the person who the killer is possessing's face is changing into that of the killer's. (4.5/5 stars)

The Exorcist - The Beginning: This movie is hard to critique, really. The story is actually fairly well done, though there are many differences between this movie and, not only the originals, but in the other version of the prequel, Dominion. Also, instead of the young black boy being possessed (though it DOES appear he is) it is the nurse instead and the very last scene is like a poor ripoff of the original movie's final scene. Also it should be noted that the movie is often times just a gruesome bloodfest, unlike the older movies which tended to go more along subtle violence in attempts to disturb the viewers. (3/5 Stars)

Dominion - Prequel to The Exorcist: This movie is a much better version of the other prequel. In story, at least. Yes, the visuals ARE rather lacking. However, this is simply due to a lack of Warner Brothers trying to make it look better. This was clearly the raw footage that wasn't even fixed up to look nice. However, there is much less violence, blood and gore, which is instead replaced by much more psychological themes that make the story perhaps even better than the original in it's own way. The person possessed in this film was a retarded man who was rejected by his home village. Also in this movie, Pazuzu looks much different and, in my opinion, much more ominous. (4/5 stars for poor visuals)

Final Word: If you like horror, or even if you're just an avid movie goer, this collection is a must, or at least the original and the second sequel. For other very well made horror movies, I recommend Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the original one that was actually disturbing) and Rosemary's Baby, which also have a very Satan vs. God kind of theme.

**** 4.5 stars out of 5 ****

EDIT: Touched up some spelling and scores and would also like to point out, regarding my comment that The Heretic was rather laughable, it was actually laughed at during the premiere with the audience actually throwing stuff at the screen. So much for the as-of-then biggest production put out by Warner Brothers!
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reasons For Buying The New Boxed Set Of "The Exorcist" Jan. 4 2007
By Brian E. Erland - Published on Amazon.com
Here it is, the definitive complete collection of 'The Exorcist' in a nicely done cardboard cover containing four DVD's in individual plastic snap cases, just the way you like it.

Reasons for Buying:

1- You don't have the complete set yet so you might as well.

2- The cover art on the first disc is different than the original cover of `The Exorcist I' so you simply have to have it.

3- The first three films were released in the old cardboard snap cases while the next two came out in the plastic snap keepcases that can be replaced if damaged. (That's my reason, I'm a little anal and like everything to match).

4- The price is right, for less than $10.00 a disc who needs a reason.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the exorcist 3 July 11 2014
By Thunderhead - Published on Amazon.com
Warners for the love of god or the devil, go to the vaults and find William Blattys true version of the exorcist 3 this great movie with all the scenes taken out by the studio, and remove the stupid ending the studio wanted. then fill the Blu-ray with all the extras that the fans want, and there is a lot of fans of the film so dig deep and the find the good stuff. The soon to be released unseen true version of clive barkers cabal proves the stuff must still be there so please show some love to a 90s classic give us LEGION
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