The Exorcist III: Legion

Year: 1990

Director: William Peter Blatty

Written by: William Peter Blatty

Threat: Demon

Weapon of Choice: Bone Shears

Based upon: novel - Legion - William Peter Blatty

IMDb page: IMDb link

Exorcist III: Legion

Other movies in this series:
The Exorcist
Exorcist II: The Heretic
Exorcist: The Beginning

The tyranist's thoughts
On the recommendation of a long time reader of the Horror Film Compendium, I finally queued this one up after only a year of ownership. Here at the HFC we have what we call the HFC Collection and a wide variety of horror flicks make it into this library every year. Unfortunately, we are often bad at remembering to pull them out of the collection to watch.
Fifteen years after the original Exorcist, a cop who was friends with Damien Karras starts to see a pattern he recognizes in the latest himicides to plague his fair city. An old, dead killer has apparently resurfaced and is back to killing in an unusual way.
This was apparently a completely independent story from The Exorcist but when Blatty wanted to make it the studio forced him into transforming it into a sequel to the original. And it shows. There are places where leaps are made and the most tenuous connections clung to. Mostly this is a pretty good movie in and of itself, but it gets tied up at times trying to relate it to its predecessor. In fact, I'd surmise that if this had been made as a faithful version of the novel, without the baggage of one of the scariest movies ever made, it probably would have been a great movie.
Brad Dourif appears here as a truly evil bastard. It should probably tell you how much I respect him that I mention him above the person most would consider the movie's star, George C. Scott. The cast is very solid, however you look at it. The script and direction are remarkable for a novelist. All in all this is a very nice production.
There were several scares, although it is nothing as bad as the first movie. There was one absolutely brilliant moment that got me out of my chair. I would have cheered, but I find it inadvisable to make loud enough noises to roust the house demons at that time of night.
If you are a fan of possession movies, this is a very good one. While it isn't as scary as it might have been, the movie is very good where it needs to be.
Posted: April 25, 2005

Total Skulls: 9

Sequel skull
Sequel setup
Rips off earlier film
Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie
Future celebrity appears
Former celebrity appears
Bad title
Bad premise
Bad acting
Bad dialogue
Bad execution
MTV Editing
Girl unnecessarily gets naked
Wanton sex
Death associated with sex
Unfulfilled promise of nudity
Characters forget about threat skull
Secluded location
Power is cut skull
Phone lines are cut
Someone investigates a strange noise skullskull
Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door
Camera is the killer
Victims cower in front of a window/door
Victim locks self in with killer
Victim running from killer inexplicably falls
Toilet stall scene
Shower/bath scene
Car stalls or won't start
Cat jumps out
Fake scare skull
Laughable scare
Stupid discovery of corpse
Dream sequence skull
No one believes only witness
Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth
Warning goes unheeded
Music detracts from scene
Death in first five minutes
x years before/later
Flashback sequence
Dark and stormy night
Killer doesn't stay dead
Killer wears a mask
Killer is in closet
Killer is in car with victim
Villain is more sympathetic than heroes
Unscary villain/monster
Beheading skullskull
Blood fountain
Blood spatters - camera, wall, etc.
Poor death effect
Excessive gore
No one dies at all
Virgin survives
Geek/Nerd survives
Little kid lamely survives
Dog/Pet miraculously survives
Unresolved subplots
"It was all a dream" ending
Unbelievably happy ending
Unbelievably crappy ending
What the hell?