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Legion: An Exorcist III fanedit by Spicediver

spicediver

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TRAILER:


Legion (1990): An Exorcist III fanedit by Spicediver


Edit released: March 2011
Original running time: 105 minutes (PAL)
Fanedit running time: 93 minutes (PAL)
Formats: MP4 (with AAC 2.0 audio), MKV and DVD (both with AC3 2.0 Dolby PLII Surround audio)
Audio bitrate (CBR): 256kbps
Video bitrate (average VBR 2-pass): 2500kbps h.264 (MKV and MP4), 6050kbps (DVD)

PLOT

15 years after the events of the first story, Georgetown policeman Bill Kinderman (GEORGE C SCOTT) is baffled by a series of murders that bare the marks of the Gemini Killer.

Yet the Gemini was executed 15 years previously - on the very same night Kinderman saw priest Damien Karras (JASON MILLER) die after falling from a bedroom window during an exorcism on teenager Regan McNeil.

Kinderman's trail leads to the local hospital and a high-security isolation ward where a formally catatonic patient claims to be the Gemini Killer (BRAD DOURIF)...yet who looks exactly like Damien Karras.

THE EDIT

In 1990 writer/director William Peter Blatty shot a loose adaptation of his novel LEGION, misleadingly retitled and released as EXORCIST III. The film is an unusual, dialogue-driven blend of humour, police procedural and religious horror, a semi-sequel to his novel and screenplay of THE EXORCIST (1973).

Spicediver’s reworking of the film is more in line with LEGION, the low-key film that William Peter Blatty originally shot before studio-enforced changes.

Although his shooting script was substantially different from both his novel and an early adapted screenplay, the studio infamously ordered its own changes after viewing his director’s cut. These included adding an awkward ‘exorcism’ subplot and ‘exorcist’ character - including an overblown finale - where none previously existed. The name was changed to EXORCIST III and all promotion and advertising of the film leaned heavily on the name and added theatrics.

This fanedit removes the ill-fitting exorcism subplot and recreates the lower-key ending that Blatty intended. No exorcism, no exorcist, no bug-eyed Fr. Karras or special effects mayhem.

It also softens or fixes some inconsistencies, tightens some scenes, and ties the film more closely with the character of Fr Damien Karras from THE EXORCIST.

While aiming to be faithful in spirit to the shooting script as it stood at the start of filming, that version of the script remains unpublished and all cut footage is now believed lost. The story therefore has been re-imagined with available materials.

WHAT TO EXPECT

LEGION is about a different kind of demonic possession.

Blatty never intended a repeat of THE EXORCIST and the story that he intended to tell in his director's cut is not a movie for everyone. It's character-driven, quirky, sometimes funny, relatively low-key and it shuns theatrics in favour of dialogue, punctuated by occasional well-executed shocks.

It is not a traditional horror film by any means and neither is it a traditional sequel. Its style and tone is very different from THE EXORCIST and viewers hoping for more of the same will be dissapointed. The studio tried to mimic some of that tone with its added exorcism and exorcist which Blatty later said was "... utterly unnecessary and changes the character of the piece".

EDITS/CUTS/ADDITIONS & MAIN FEATURES

* Approx. 15 minutes cut, 3 minutes added
* A recreation of the shooting script's ending, closer to Blatty's intentions
* A coda, shorter and different from the original
* No exorcist Father Morning and no exorcism
* New B&W prologue of Fr Karras' final moments, using footage from THE EXORCIST
* Several new lines of dialogue and several altered lines
* Quite a few other little changes and remixes

TO GIVE THE DEVIL HIS DUE...

Although most of the changes ordered by the studio hurt the film, one late decision actually improved it: the casting of Exorcist star Jason Miller.

At first, all scenes in the isolation cell had been shot with Brad Dourif playing the possessed Father Karras and Blatty loved his performance. Forced to accept the recasting of Miller and faced with the unpleasant decision of replacing Dourif completely, Blatty hit upon the brilliant idea of using *both* actors to portray the two personalities inhabiting Karras's body: who Kinderman actually sees (Karras) versus who kinderman is mostly talking to (The Gemini Killer).

While all of Dourif's scenes in the isolation cell were re-shot on a new set, the dual actor idea meant that most of Dourif's mesmerising performance is preserved.

FURTHER READING ON THE FILM'S PRODUCTION CONTROVERSIES

http://legion.theninthconfiguration....goria_may1993/
http://legion.theninthconfiguration....eview_nov2004/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exorcist_III

Also check out Blatty's book "Classic Screenplays - The Exorcist & Legion" (Faber & Faber, 1998) with an introduction by film critic Mark Kermode about the movie's troubled production.

This book contains an early Legion screenplay with an entirely different ending - where the Gemini Killer simply drops dead in his cell after his father dies - and a related subplot about his abusive father in the form of childhood flashbacks. This published version never found studio financing and is *not* the Legion shooting script.

WHAT WOULD A DIRECTORS CUT LOOK LIKE?


William Peter Blatty has long expressed a desire to assemble and release his original cut should Morgan Creek Productions ever find the lost footage.

Conspiracy theorists will delight in the possibility that the cut footage is not really lost at all and that the studio is being less than truthful in the matter. Morgan Creek's creative interference during production of both EXORCIST III and the fourth Exorcist film DOMINION/THE BEGINNING has seen the studio embarrass itself not just once but twice with the franchise. Pride and politics may be the problem here, not missing cans of celluloid.

The LEGION shooting script is unpublished, so its exact contents remain unknown to all but a relative few people. However based on published articles, interviews and the published early Legion screenplay, it's reasonable to assume that that Blatty's original cut would differ from Spicediver's LEGION fanedit in the following ways:

1) No Jason Miller as Father Damien Karras.

As hard as it may be to imagine now, in the original cut Karras is actually played by Brad Dourif - there is no switching back and forth between actors to symbolise the dual personalities inhabiting Karras body. Jason Miller was reportedly on a writing assignment at the time of casting, so Dourif got the part. To better connect LEGION with the first film, Blatty shot a prologue featuring Dourif as Karras' in the final minutes of THE EXORCIST. Also shot for this same prologue was a scene where Kinderman (George C Scott, presumably without grey hair) views Karras' body in the morgue. After he leaves we see a heart monitor, at first apparently silent, showing ominous signs of life.

2) The exhumation of Father Damien Karras' body.

This scene in the local Jesuit cemetery belongs about halfway through the film. It was shot but for reasons unknown was left out of the final cut. The body is later discovered to be Brother Fain, an old Jesuit who was tending Karras' body before burial and who disappeared from the priesthood 15 years ago. A follow-up scene where this plot point is uncovered by Kinderman and the Jesuit President may or may not have been filmed. The scene certainly exists in Blatty's first screenplay adaption and one presumes it was in the shooting script, in order to give the exhumation scene some context.

Snippets of the exhumation scene survive in the form of a "faked" funeral which closes EXORCIST III.

3) A different isolation cell.

Publicity stills shot before late changes to the film show Dourif sitting in a sparse cell against a brick wall, obviously a different set. When Jason Miller was cast late in production all the isolation cell scenes were re-shot on a new set with both Miller and Dourif featured. Blatty was reportedly happy to reshoot anyway as he disliked the original cell. Dourif thought
otherwise, saying he felt his best performances happened during the original shoot. Seeing Dourif's fine performance in EXORCIST III, you might find it hard to imagine a better turn.

4) A different setting for the final scene.

Given that the brick-walled cell seen in publicity stills was the setting in Blatty's original cut, the final scene where Kinderman returns to the cell and executes Karras/The Gemini would take place against a different backdrop.

AVAILABILTY

DVD, MKV and MP4 may be available at www.fanedit.info.
 

LastSurvivor

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Spicediver - am stoked to see this. Always loved Exorcist III, but your cut sounding as close as is possible with the footage available to Blatty's original vision, has got me more excited than almost any fanedit around at the moment. Bring on the DVD :)
 

spicediver

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steFANedit said:
what are the source material from which you added 3 minutes?

Mostly from The EXORCIST which makes up the prologue.
 

Xtroid

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I recently downloaded it. Pretty good... I saw an edit similar to mine.

 

sub_atomic

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I'm really looking forward to watching this edit! Thanks for sharing it.
 

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I saw this fanedit yesterday.

I just loved the added quick shot of the decapitated priest, taken from the infamous promo card. Well done!

It has been a while since the original, and I'm really tempted to watch that one now also to compare to this cut. However, since it's been a while, it's hard to compare. But I can say 2 things:

1) This is an exciting fanedit. I watched it with pleasure, and I loved the extra stuff that I noticed and remembered compared to the official Exorcist 3 movie (for example the decapitated priest).

2) I now understand why the studio wanted an exorcism. The original way, Kinderman just shooting father Karras/Gemini Killer, is not a big pay off. It doesn't have a big impact or doesn't feel like big finale. It's just a simple ending. This way, it feels more unrelated to the original Exorcist. It feels more like a (supernatural?) thriller instead of a horror movie. Which was probably the intention Blatty wanted it to be. Now again, I must say that's it's been a long time ago since I watched the official Exorcist 3 movie, so I will have to watch that one again to do a decent compare to this fanedit.

Too bad we probably never get the real director's cut as fthe footage has been lost (according to the movie studio), but this fanedit gives us a glimpse at what could have been. It's a good effort. Right now I would rate it 8/10. Might change to 9/10 after I have seen the official Exorst 3 movie again.


edit:
Rated it 9/10 on the main page. I only forgot to change my review there, it still says I gave it a 8/10.
 

Dwight Fry

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This is, pure and simple, one of the most amazing fanedits I’ve seen, if only because absolutely NOTHING in it indicates that this is fanedited. I could have sworn this played in theaters, and I could have sworn this played in theaters back in 1990, as even the new opening credits have that optically printed feel, while most fanedit credits feel like homemade, albeit many of them very good, digital addendums. Speaking of credits, the ENTIRE closing credits crawl appears to have been retyped, every single word, just to cut out Nicol Williamson’s name and add some acknowledgements (any time, BTW!). Some meticulous work. Spicediver is not only an excellent editor, but even more of a perfectionist than I am.

As for the movie itself: I think the theatrical cut is a mess, and I think that even this version is flawed as cinema. It has some very interesting elements, but too much misplaced humor (“HIS GODDAMN NOSE IS BROKEN!!!” You’ve gotta be kidding) and Blatty’s limited directorial skills, much inferior to his talent as a writer and thus producing a mix of good moments and embarrassing ones (the scares could have been filmed by Ed Wood, and that dream sequence has to be a prank. It HAS to be a prank) keep it from exploring its many possibilities. The worst offenders could have been easily excised, but that’s not what this edit is about. It’s not how Spicediver wants the movie, it’s how he thinks Blatty would want it. And in that respect, this is a huge triumph, not to mention that, warts and all, it’s far superior to the theatrical. I particulsarly liked the simple but very effective way the ending was resolved. In this case, less is truly more.

Technically, this was flawless. Perfect video, perfect audio, indistinguishable from a store-bought official release. The menu is just a still of the cover, I think at least some music and a chapters menu would have been nice, but those are minor quibbles anyway. Extras are a nice trailer and some text links.

This said, I see no reason to not give this one a full 10/10. Great, very professional stuff.
 

spicediver

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DwightFry78 said:
This is, pure and simple, one of the most amazing fanedits I’ve seen,
.......
I see no reason to not give this one a full 10/10. Great, very professional stuff.

Really glad you enjoyed it. I'm proberbly a perfectionist, but nothing I make is perfect. ;-)

Re. the credits, I didn't retype them actually. What I did was take a series of screenshots of the original scrolling credits until I had a collection of about 20 .bmp files. Using these, I then created a very long and narrow image file in Photoshop (as a PSD file, working with layers) and did my handiwork from there. Finally I saved the finished result as a .png. file and reimported it into Premiere. I created the scrolling effect as one very long vertical pan.

That's a little tip other faneditors might find useful.

SD
 

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I wanted to post this over at the main site but being new here still haven't figured out how to do so, so I'll do it here.

Firstly I have to say, incredible. Absolutely incredible work. Ever since I first saw Exorcist III back in grade 11 or so (I picked up the DVD for 9 bucks at Future Shop and it was worth every penny) I've been singing it's praises: yes it was flawed but it was much better than I thought it would be, much better than it really should be (after all, sequels to nearly perfect films are never good, are they?).

Having said that it was many years ago, and much of my memory of the film had faded away. However after signing it's praises at a recent dinner with friends I decided it was time to revist it, but this time the highly praised Fan-Edit.

Like I said, this is my first time watching the film in many years so my memory of the original is foggy at best, but in many ways I think it helped make the viewing all the more enjoyable. I didn't spend any time thinking about what was missing/added, all I knew was that the god-awful exorcism was going to be gone and I was going to enjoy the ride.

And enjoy it I did.

Overall this is a truly fantastic fanedit. The edits are almost seamless (some of the sound edits are noticeable and there were one or two moments that felt a bit abrupt), the added footage fit in perfectly (I didn't even realize the added scare shot of the headless priest wasn't from the original that's how seamless that was), and the overall experience was a much tighter film, much more enjoyable film.

It did have some flaws, the aforementioned audio edits, artifacts (again mostly sound related) from the PAL speedup, and an abundance of lines that felt like ADR (the mix was just a little off, but to be honest that could even be in the original its been so long since I've seen it I don't remember), but absolutely nothing that detracts from the overall experience.

As for the new ending, it's a good shot (no pun intended). While I like it much more than the original it still feels... off to me. I think it's a fantastic execution (again, no pun intended) given what material there is to work with, but as an ending it feels slightly abrupt. Having said that, having read about the different endings that were written/planned (the novel, the early screenplay, the supposed shooting script ending, and of course the final exorcism ending) none of them feel right to me. None of them feel satisfying. So, I think what we get is the best of the bunch, even if it's not perfect, but again that has nothing to do with the edit itself, which is masterfully executed (again, no pun).

Overall this is a fantastic edit, right up with Star Wars Revisited. Everyone else has really hit the nail on the head - the titles are perfect, the edits are perfect, the pacing is perfect, it really is a perfect edit. The only thing that would make it better would be the original missing footage being restored, but sadly, I think the ship has sailed on that one.

If I could make one suggestion: were Spacediver to revisit this one more time (seeing as he's apparently done so in the past) I would make 2 small tweaks, both related to the added scare of the priest:
1) the levels of the image could use a bit of tweaking - the face itself looks a bit washed out and pale. A little bit of colour correction/level tweaking will help it better match the surrounding footage and help it blend in a bit more.
2) this one is less easy but would really help sell the effect (which, to be fair, I thought was from the original until I found out it was from the promo card and then a simple zoom in on said card) - you'll notice the pool of blood on the floor and the blood on the scarf - if you were to animate the blood running down the scarf slightly, and the pool of blood on the floor expanding ever so slightly it would help sell the image as being actual film footage rather than simple a still. Tiny little subtleties that would make an already fantastic addition just that little bit more fantastic.

Again, subtle, and not really nescicary since it wasn't until I found out the shot was an addition that I went back and re-watched and noticed what it actually was but just little things to help sell it all the more.

Again, fantastic work.

VIDEO: 10/10
AUDIO: 8/10 (perhaps not the fault of the edit itself but problems with PAL and the Mix)
EDIT: 10/10
 

spicediver

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woodsyallen said:
I wanted to post this over at the main site but being new here still haven't figured out how to do so, so I'll do it here.

Firstly I have to say, incredible. Absolutely incredible work. Ever since I first saw....

-SNIP-

.....help sell it all the more.

Again, fantastic work.

VIDEO: 10/10
AUDIO: 8/10 (perhaps not the fault of the edit itself but problems with PAL and the Mix)
EDIT: 10/10

Hi woodsy,

Welcome to the Forums and thanks very much for your kind post re. Legion. :)

Re. audio imperfections such as Auto Dialogue Replacement, it's nearly all in the film source I'm afraid. Less then perfect mixing of ADR is pretty common in films of that vintage.

I worked with the original Exorcist III stereo track, as I did with my Dune edit too. I don't have a 5.1 speaker rig in my studio setup, so I stick to trying to build and polish stereo mixes. Although I do sometimes extract all audio from the 5.1 DVD source for rebuilding purposes in certain scenes.

Re. the headless priest scene - not sure I could make the shot look any better but I'll keep it in mind should I do a revision!

I see you wanted to post your review on the main fanedit.org Legion page? It's easy to do. You just have to login with your username and password seperately from the Forums. Go here http://fanedit.org/13576/ and try your existing Forums name and password first - it might work. Otherwise look up in the top right hand corner for "Register to FE" link.

Once registered and logged in, you then you can click for your star rating (near the top of the page) and write your review/comments at the page bottom.

So glad you enjoyed the edit - a lot of love and hard thinking went into it, and I had a great bunch of people giving me frank feedback when I was making it.

SPICEDIVER.
 

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425651_363095520380152_156479414375098_1102934_1146861297_n.jpg


Holy crap.

My inner fanboy is going bezerk. :)

I can now confirm my "Legion" fanedit is screening at the Mad Monster Party movie convention on Sunday March 25 in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

Introduced by one of the film's stars Brad Dourif with a Q&A session afterwards about the film's controversial production.

The Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=363095520380152&set=pu.156479414375098&type=1&theater

The weekend schedule:

http://www.themadmonsterparty.com/events2.html

That is all.
 

Dwight Fry

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Wow indeed, Spicediver! Will you be there? It must be quite something to be able to meet Brad Dourif and discuss the edit with him and the fans.
 

spicediver

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Dwight Fry said:
Wow indeed, Spicediver! Will you be there? It must be quite something to be able to meet Brad Dourif and discuss the edit with him and the fans.

Alas no, as I live on the other side of the world.
 

Metrostar

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spicediver said:
I can now confirm my "Legion" fanedit is screening at the Mad Monster Party movie convention on Sunday March 25 in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

Introduced by one of the film's stars Brad Dourif.

That really is awesome. Congratulations!
 
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