I’m back with another edition of Cut the Commentary, in which I point out some of the more pointless audio commentaries from popular films. Today we examine The Exorcist.
The Exorcist is one of those movies that continues to scare nearly forty years after it first horrified audiences.
The commentary featuring director William Friedkin begins interestingly enough, with Friedkin setting the scene by giving us stronger, more tangible evidence for the U.S. to invade Iraq than the Bush administration ever did.
Unfortunately, Friedkin soon forgets that he’s supposed to be talking about the making of his most famous film and instead imagines himself playing the role of Anne Sullivan in The Miracle Worker, offering us endless pallid summarizing of what is being said and heard on screen.
Check out his lurid description of Ellen Burstyn reading a script and opening a door. Be sure to watch with the lights off!
He doesn’t miss a beat in this next scene, proving that he either doesn’t own a thesaurus or that he lost a bet with the sound engineer to see how many times he could say a specific word over and over again in the same paragraph. Can you guess which word it is?
The entire movie is narrated in similar monotone fashion with hardly an insight or tidbit of trivia to be found. By the end, I was left recalling Jeffrey Jones’ thoughts on The Handbook for the Recently Deceased:
“This thing reads like stereo instructions.”