Happy Halloween from the year 1973

I can’t confirm that this trailer for William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty’s “The Exorcist“, supposedly unreleased because it was too scary, is authentic — though it feels authentic. However, I can confirm that it’s extremely creepy, whoever put it together.

THE EXORCIST: Movie TrailerWatch today’s top amazing videos here

I’ve only seen “The Exorcist” once — yes, I’m a big cinema chicken who managed to wait until the 2000 re-release to see it. And, yes, when I did I suddenly had to go to the bathroom just before the spinal tap scene. But I don’t remember Mr. Devil Man in there at all. Anyhow, if any “Exorcist” mavens are reading, I’m wondering if maybe the other reason this trailer was “banned” by the studio is that it was actually kind of misleading and oversold the horror aspects. Better to create a sense of anticipation than blow things up too much in the trailer.

Certainly, the Warners marketing people did a good enough job. It was the first of a series of seventies and eighties megahits for which, before the era of the multiplex, audiences would wait literally hours to see. I’m old enough to remember being surprised by the crowds outside the recently torn down National Theater in L.A.’s Westwood Village. Here’s some of what was going on inside. If you think “Paranormal Activity” is creating a sensation, take a look.


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