The Return of the Exorcist (1975)

I discovered this film at Cult Action, where they described it as “one of the most ridiculous clones of The Exorcist of all time,” and after a month or more of watching films — shall we say — influenced by that film, this one lives up to the hype.

This one has tons of titles, like Exorcist 3: Cries and Shadows, The PossessorUn Urlo Dalle Tenebre and Naked Exorcist. It lives up to those titles, trust me. Particularly the last one.

A nun learns that her brother, Piero, has become possessed due to a pendant he found and a mystery woman who he isn’t sure that he saw. Within minutes — no need for the build of the original here — Piero has chest pains, is flipping out on everyone and sometimes becomes the previously mentioned woman. His powers aren’t well defined, but you won’t care. Your jaw will be on the floor at the craziness that this film has in its grip.

Oh yeah. There was also a huge Satanic orgy in the house a few years ago. We know this because this scene is repeated throughout the movie. Luckily, the Exorcist (Richard Conte in his last film. Conte was going to play Don Corleone in The Godfather, but as the film increased in budget, A-list actors started competing for the part. He did end up playing one of the film’s villains, Don Barzini.).

If you watched The Exorcist and thought, “This would be so much better with b-roll footage of Rome and, oh by the way, could we make it a ton sleazier?” then yes, this film is exactly what you want. Franco Lo Cascio is the perfect director for this, as despite starting his career with 1975’s Mark of Zorro (starring George Hilton from All the Colors of the Dark as Zorro!), he’s worked mostly as Luca Damiano in the Italian porn industry.

For all the movies that Warner Brothers sued out of theaters, the fact that this one got through unscathed is a miracle. Then again, when we’re referring to movies about Satanic possession, perhaps that isn’t the best choice of words.

A warning: this film is not for the weak. If you were offended by The Exorcist, you’re in for it. If Amityville II: The Possession upset you, you are also in for it. If you’re looking for a film that doesn’t suddenly stop the narrative and starts showing b-roll footage of nightclubs, you are also in for it.

 

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