By most accounts, "The Exorcist" is one of the most pants-peeingly scary movies in history. However, William Blatty, who wrote the screenplay and the novel it was based on, would like to assure us he didn't mean to scar us for life.
In an interview celebrating the 40th anniversary of the movie (and an accompanying Blu-ray), Blatty told the Los Angeles Times, "When I was writing the novel, I thought I was writing a supernatural detective story that was filled with suspense with theological overtones. To this day, I have zero recollection of even a moment when I was writing that I was trying to frighten anyone."
One of the featurettes on the new Blu-ray, "Talk of the Devil," has a number of interviews with Georgetown's Father Eugene Gallagher, the priest whose tale of demonic possession piqued Blatty's interest in the first place. (These interviews took place after William Friedkin's adaptation of "The Exorcist" came out, and include Gallagher's reaction to the film itself.)
Blatty also attributes the success of his novel to "a divine hand." The book languished in stores despite positive reviews and an exhaustive tour. Its lucky break came when the author was booked at the last minute for a spot on "The Dick Cavett Show." That divine hand also managed to finagle him 45 minutes instead of the scheduled five to chat all things spooky with the famous TV host.
The 40th Anniversary Blu-ray is out today, in case you're ready to celebrate Halloween a few weeks early.
[via LA Times]