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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)

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Released 3-Dec-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
Alternative Version-Alternate Opening
Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1977
Running Time 112:50
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (39:38) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By John Boorman

Warner Home Video
Starring Linda Blair
Richard Burton
Louise Fletcher
Max Von Sydow
Kitty Winn
Paul Henreid
James Earl Jones
Ned Beatty
Belinda Beatty
Rose Portillo
Barbara Cason
Tiffany Kinney
Joey Green
Case ?
RPI Box Music Ennio Morricone

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Sequels to classic films often stumble. Many sequels flounder while trying desperately to find a purpose, other than being a shameless box-office money grab. The Exorcist II: The Heretic is part-prequel/part-sequel, and attempts to be original, yet ultimately it comes off as being silly and pointless.

    Released in 1973, the Academy Award winning The Exorcist was a critical and commercial success. Even recent polls still list it as being one of the "scariest movies ever made". But The Exorcist was much more than that. With an excellent script, based on a great novel (and a true story), and a movie that exhibited superb direction, acting, photography, editing, art direction, and special/make-up effects, The Exorcist remains a brilliant movie, and an absolute 'corker' of a DVD (I'm referring to the digitally remastered The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen). Even though grossly vulgar and crude at times, the movie was stylish and classy (never B Grade), and featured unforgettable and startling visual and aural imagery.

    Exorcist II: The Heretic is set in New York a few years later. Regan (Linda Blair) is now a young woman, and regularly visits a psychiatrist, Dr Gene Tuskin (Louise Fletcher), to help her cope with her bad dreams. Meanwhile, Father Lamont (Richard Burton) is asked by the Church to investigate the death of Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow), i.e. the events of The Exorcist, and this brings him into contact with both Regan and Dr. Tuskin. Using Tuskin's synchroniser machine, which "syncs minds", Lamont delves into the repressed memories of Regan. As he does so, Lamont also explores the background of Father Merrin, and his years spent as a missionary in East Africa.

    Exorcist II: The Heretic features some of the all-time greatest screen-actors (Louise Fletcher, Richard Burton, Max Von Sydow, and James Earl Jones) in some of their worst performances. I can only blame the truly awful direction by John Boorman. This is a really amateurish effort - for example, Boorman feels the need to spoonfeed the audience, and thus spells out everything at least twice. The movie also includes some lousy special effects and unrealistic models and sets.

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Transfer Quality


    The grainy transfer is acceptable, but really shows its age.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness is acceptable, but the shadow detail is lacking. For example, consider the murky scene at 28:16. The colours are muted, and exhibit a grey/orange tint. The skin tones have a brownish hue.

    There are no problems with MPEG or film-to-video artefacts, but small film artefacts appear throughout.

    The English subtitles are accurate to the spoken word.

    This is an RSDL disc, with an awkward layer change (during a character speaking) placed at 39:38.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Exorcist II: The Heretic bombed at the box office internationally, and hence no loving restoration or remixing work has been done to the original mono audio.

    There are three audio options on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s), and Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s). The English version is the default audio.

    The dialogue quality is clear, but the audio sync is often out, such as at 9:26.

    The musical score is credited to the accomplished Ennio Morricone, and it is a suitably creepy score. Sadly, however, Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells are nowhere to be heard.

    As a mono audio track, there is no surround sound or subwoofer activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The extras are very slim.


    A simple menu.

Cast and Crew

    A text-based list of the principal cast and crew.

Alternate Opening

    Narrated by Richard Burton against a series of stills, the events of The Exorcist are told in summary. More spoon-feeding by Boorman. I'm glad this short segment was cut.

Teaser Trailer

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital mono audio.

Theatrical Trailer

    Also presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital mono audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 and R4 are identical, except for some of the subtitles and the inclusion of an Italian audio option with the R4. Of course, there is also the PAL/NTSC difference, but I would call it pretty even.


   As a movie, The Exorcist II: The Heretic lacks the style and substance of its predecessor. As a DVD, it also lacks the beautifully restored transfer and the English Dolby Digital 5.1EX audio of its predecessor. Indeed, it's just downright disappointing all-round.

    The video quality is acceptable.

    The audio quality is severely limited and mono.

    The extras are really not worth mentioning.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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