General News

The Devil's Handiwork?

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Has America become too prudish for projectile vomiting? Apparently the Motion Picture Association of America thinks so.

The powerful ratings board recently gave a thumbs-down to a trailer for the upcoming re-release of "The Exorcist," deeming it too "extreme" for modern audiences.

Yes, we're talking about "The Exorcist," that high-falutin' devil-possession movie that came out in, uh, 1973. Twenty-freakin'-seven years ago.

This has director William Friedkin, who supervised the restoration of the film, including 12 minutes of footage that was cut from the original version, hopping mad.

"Rejecting it on the grounds that it was too intense is like rejecting it on the grounds that it's too funny," Friedkin told The Hollywood Reporter last week.

"It makes no sense at all and seems to be contrary to the purpose of the ratings board, which is not to judge content but simply to issue a rating based on certain material in the shots -- nudity, excessive violence or language -- and this trailer has none of that."

Friedkin described the nixed trailer as "... Very abstract and impressionistic. You won't get the story line out of it."

We called the MPAA to get its side of the story, but haven't received word yet as to what the association found objectionable in the trailer.

The trailer, by the way, can be downloaded from the Ain't It Cool Web site (www.aint-it-cool-news.com), but you've got to hunt for it (hint: search for the word "Exorcist").

According to the movie's official Web site (www.theexorcist.warnerbros.com), the restored version of "The Exorcist" includes something called the "spider walk" scene, wherein Regan (Linda Blair) turns upside down and walks down a flight of stairs in a crab-like posture.

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