Today, Halloween Day, is the fortieth anniversary of William Friedkin’s Oscar award winning movie The Exorcist that scared the bejesus out of us baby boomers when it first hit theaters in 1973 and has been scaring the bejesus out of our kids and grandkids ever since. I vividly remember going to the Abilene, Texas premier of The Exorcist with a friend of mine named Ron at a theater that was so crowded when the movie began that there were people sitting in the aisles and was almost deserted well before the movie ended. This theater was initially packed because there had been a tremendous amount of interest in this film. People had been talking about it. The local paper had been writing about it and God knows the local preachers had been preaching about The Exorcist for weeks in advance of its arrival in our little God-fearing city.
I went to the Abilene, Texas premier of The Exorcist at some movie theater I forget the name of forty years ago today and I still recall the experience vividly. I went with four friends only one of whom was able to sit through the whole movie with me. O.K., truth is, I thought a time or two about chill’n at the concession stand myself. In fact, far more than half of the folks who had paid good hard worked for money to watch The Exorcist on Halloween night in Abilene, Texas forty years ago to this very day decided to leave well before the movie was half way over. It was an extremely intense experience, no question about it.
Finally, when the credits were rolling with that eerie soundtrack Tubular Bells still sending chills down my spine and goose bumps infecting my entire body, I looked around and saw that Ron and I were two of a few small group of people who were still in the theater. Ron and I sat in our seats until the overhead lights came on. I can’t remember if it was me or if it was Ron who said “O.K. I could use a drink.”
The Exorcist is one of the greatest movies ever made. It is also one of the most frightening movies you’ll ever see. Do yourself a favor and watch it. Tonight would be a good night. It’s HALLOWEEN! Boooowaaaaa!!!