23 January 2011

23 Jan- "I think the point is to make us despair. To see ourselves as animal and ugly. To reject the possibility that God might love us"

The Exorcist (1973)
dir. William Friedkin

Ellen Burstyn (The Wicker Man, 2006)
Linda Blair
Max Von Sydow (Minority Report, 2002)

I managed it on the second go this afternoon. And like most things, it wasn't as scary as the anticipation, and it's good that I can cross this off the classic movies I haven't seen yet list (Maybe Taxi Driver will be next).

I was surprised though, by the degree of sexual violence implied by possession. There's one part where the mother runs into Reagan's bedroom and she's bleeding as she stabs the crucifix into her crotch repeatedly, shouting, "Let Jesus fuck you!" after that, Reagan grabs her mother and pushes her head down, saying, "Lick it!" I guess the perversity was startling to me. It's not something I've seen in the more modern movies about demonic possession.

On that note, why is it that only girls are possessed? There's Exorcist (1979) and The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), The Last Exorcism (2010). Or how about The Reaping (2007), End of Days (1999), Ghostbusters (1984), Stigmata (1999), or that chick who needs to be rescued in Constantine (2005).

Can we think of men who are possessed? Sort of, maybe Constantine can be used again, since Keanu is sort of walking the line between life and afterlife in that one. For the same reason we could use Hellboy (2004), and Ghost Rider (2007), there's also Fallen (1998).

What's the difference? Besides the fact that the first bunch are, on the whole, better movies, the men who get possessed continue to act from a position of power. They use their new evil powers to fight MORE evil, or maybe they just go on a killing spree. They certainly don't get tied to a bed and wait for the evil to be beaten out of them - because they're men they get to do some beating of their own. Men gain control, women lose control.

I also have a rant about superheroines in movies as compared to superheroes. If I ever subject myself to sitting through Catowoman (2004), you'll get to hear it; unless someone wants to propose a superheroine movie they think it actually good.


  1. What about Tomb Raider? I thought it was mildly entertaining. That's the only movie that comes to mind for me... You bring up a good point though. I hear there are talks of a Wonder Woman movie...

  2. Tomb Raider is NOT a SUPERheroine, neither does she become possessed, she's just a scrappy lady on a quest.

    Xena is SORT of a superheroine, but mostly she's a warrior-princess and that's why she's awesome. Also not a MOVIE, CELIA!

  3. Sorry :( The only other superheroine in a movie I can think of is Elektra but I heard it wasn't very good. Also the woman in the yellow suit from Watchmen.... Point taken, Paris. :)

  4. Elektra was totally angsty and impaired in her hero-ability by OCD. And the yellow lady (Silk Specter?) didn't do anything heroic because she was being jerked around by the naked blue guy and the owl-man.