Day Four – The Exorcist
First let’s all agree that this is one of the best things eyes have ever looked at. If it was a child’s rushed attempt at getting something in before the teacher walks into 2nd grade art class it’s one of the best things eyes have peeped and blinked at. If it’s the work of a Master as he/she/exorcist prepares for their exhibition at the Louvre it’s one of the best things ever to be looked at by eyes. But it is none of those things. It’s artwork done presumably by a living person in an attempt to lure Polish humanoids into a movie theater showing what is widely considered the most terrifying movie ever made. It is adorable. It is lazy. It is one of the finest things to pass through a retina since the Earth shot out of God’s urethra. The Polish have brought the world many things. Like Roman Polanski, kielbasa, and underage people experiencing Roman Polanski’s kielbasa. Their finest export by far has been their movie posters, bizarre and oftentimes jaw-dropping interpretations of films from all over the world. Sometimes literal examinations of their source but sometimes absolutely batshit pieces of art that almost take on a life of their own. Over the next fifteen weekdays I’ll be sharing some of the best examples of how these creative necromancers interpret American cinema. The Exorcist is about a family faced with the unthinkable: Piss on the carpet. Also demonic possession of a minor.
The Polish poster offers a schematic of the nitty gritty details of a demon entering its host. If the host has already had their head ruined open by some unseen force. Imagine having the worst hair day of your life and then having a demon fill the vacancy in your brand new hollow head without the slightest ‘head’s up’. Worse yet, that minion from the sweaty depths doesn’t jump in through some crazy ritual but simply by dipping their tail in your zone in the most cavalier manner possible. If this was how demonic possession happened there’d be fuck-all Paranormal Activity movies. It’s not cinematic. It walks a tightrope between adorable and adorable/uncommon but it flat out doesn’t sing to an audience. Folks who have seen the movie know that the villainous Pazuzu spends quality time in his young female host but his arrival and departure are more cerebral. I’d bet many refunds were requested in Poland when not one halved head got a devil’s asswhip dipped in.
What would this movie be like?
Nonstop fun, for one thing. Demons running around in their birthday suits dipping appendages into unwilling people would be insane. Kinetic, penetrative, and unforgettable. A huge opportunity was missed because as massive as the legacy is for William Friedkin’s classic is, this would have ruined lives. In a great way.
Who is the audience for this film?
The possessed. The repossessed. The 1%. People with a few mixed marriages in the family tree. Me.
What the fucking fuck is fucking fucking?
Pretty self explanatory, really. The demon is dipping its tail into a hollow human head. What’s not to totally understand?
The domestic poster for The Exorcist:
Tagline vs. Tagline?
The American one sheet showcases the titular character on his way to the worst job he’s ever had. He will hate the shit out of this gig and [SPOILER ALERT: Will be unable to clock out at the end of his shift] this artwork conveys his solemn, doomed mission. It’s an iconic image and though there were millions of ways to sell the movie to a ripe 1973 crowd it’s hard to imagine a better distillation of The Exorcist. The Polish one sheet takes everything that is The Exorcist and puts it in a pink balloon and floats it around a playground filled with unsupervised children and scorpions. There’s no real tagline for the film though the USA has a little summation of the mayhem ahead. The Polish poster could say anything really.
“Fuck kids!” “Popcorn Buffet!” “This demon’s got plans!”
All work when you have an image of an archaic evil whipping his ass at a harried youth.
What other movies could effectively use this poster?
Beaches. Morning Glory. Vice Squad. Enchanted.
Tomorrow: Double down.
The Exorcist (1973) 122 min
When a girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.
- 03.16.1974 (USA)
- William Friedkin
- William Peter Blatty
- William Peter Blatty
- Ellen Burstyn
- Max von Sydow
- Lee J. Cobb
- Kitty Winn
- Jack MacGowran
- Watch or buy now