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The Latest in Horror Entertainment
In this issue: 9 pages of reviews, covering Film Reviews • including Gus Van Sant's Psycho and Practical Magic Book Reviews • including a batch of Buffy books and Faith in the Flesh by Tim Lebbon Video Reviews • New horrors on DVD including The Exorcist, Mimic, The Lost Boys, Sphere and Fallen TV Reviews • the next three episodes of Season 6 The X-Files
Video Review
The Exorcist: Special Edition
Director William Friedkin

Starring Ellen Burstyn, Max Von Sydow, Lee J Cobb
Region 1 DVD

selected and edited from Shivers #62

The Exorcist: Special EditionSurely now that The Exorcist has been re-released theatrically without the country's morals being thrown into turmoil, the BBFC can hardly refuse the film a UK video release? Furthermore, it would be very difficult for the BBFC to justify making any cuts, (not that Friedkin is likely to allow its release if they do…) Frankly, it's academic when there's an almost perfect Region 1 DVD bursting with extra features available.

The R1 disc features the recently re-mastered version of the film, in its theatrical ratio of 1.85:1 (with an accommodation for 16:9 TVs) and with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. The new transfer has a warmer tone than the earlier versions, and better colour balance. Extra features include two interesting commentary tracks, one by Friedkin, the other, by writer-producer William Peter Blatty (which runs for about an hour). Following Blatty's contribution are test recordings of Linda Blair and Mercedes McCam-bridge running through some of Regan's demon-possessed dialogue.

On the other side of the disc is an extended version of the BBC's excellent documentary, The Fear of God, which is about 15 minutes longer than the one transmitted here. It contains interviews with most of the key members of the cast and crew, and features a number of deleted scenes (including the infamous Spider Walking sequence), Blair's screen test and other behind-the-scenes footage. A more complete alternative ending is also presented, (and is the subject of some considerable discussion), along with several trailers and contemporary TV adverts.

Finally, the disc also carries a mono French soundtrack, with Jeanne Moreau providing the demon's voice! English and French subtitles are also supported. If you've not thought about upgrading to DVD, consider this: the price of this disc is about £18.

Stephen Foster