Watch the Exorcist trailer that was banned for being too disturbing

WARNING – the trailer linked below features intense flashing images. Viewer discretion advised.

Back in 1973 Warner Brothers were preparing to release their latest movie The Exorcist. A trailer was put together by the film’s editor Bud Smith and composer Lalo Schifrin was hired to create the accompanying music for it. The trailer that was created was never put into wide release and was not generally known about until a couple of years ago. Then in March 2018 Scott Derrickson (director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), Sinister (2012) and Doctor Strange (2016)) tweeted a video of the trailer, and asked William Friedkin if he could authenticate it. Friedkin replied, saying he thought it was the best trailer ever made for the movie, but was kept back due to fears it was too disturbing.

In an interview for Score Magacine back in 2005, Schifrin said, “What happened is that the director, William Friedkin, hired me to write the music for the trailer, six minutes were recorded for the Warner’s edition of the trailer. The people who saw the trailer reacted against the film, because the scenes were heavy and frightening, so most of them went to the toilet to vomit. The trailer was terrific, but the mix of those frightening scenes and my music, which was also a very difficult and heavy score, scared the audiences away.”

The truth might be a little different. The trailer itself starts with the iconic shot of Father Merrin being dropped off at the MacNeil house, getting out of the cab and the famous poster image of Merrin silhouetted against the house. What comes next is an assault on the senses – a series of quick flashes of still images of Linda Blair as possessed Regan and Eileen Dietz as demon Pazuzu (a.k.a The Demon Face), accompanied by Schifrin’s moody and creepy score. The images are a mixture of stills from the movie and posed publicity shots, all in black and white.

Now, I’m not sure about rushing off to the toilet to vomit, but all the flashing images and lights certainly gave me a headache! It may be that the strobing was too much for audience members, and the line about the trailer being too disturbing or frightening was just to cover up people’s physical symptoms. Either way, it is certainly an effective piece of marketing, but it is also completely understandable why it was never widely released.

What do you think? Have a look below and let us know (unless you’re sensitive to very flashy things). We also talk more about the hysterical reaction the film received in 1973 and Lalo Schifin’s involvement in the movie in “The Extra-cist”, our latest post over on our Patreon page. You can also join us on Twitter @ManiacsHorror or on Facebook.

Episode 4: Captain Howdy’s Pea Soup Party – The Exorcist (1973)

Our 4th episode (and 2nd episode in isolation) sees us tackling one of the most talked about movies in horror history – William Friedkin’s The Exorcist from 1973.

Among other things we discuss the real life inspiration behind the story – a documented exorcism from 1949. This led William Peter Blatty to write the fantastic novel that the movie was based on, as well as the screenplay for the film itself. Blatty sadly passed away in 2017 but he leaves a legacy that will live forever with this story, as well as the follow up novel Legion in 1983 which he then adapted into the movie The Exorcist III (1990), which we will definitely be talking about in a future podcast.

We also talk through many behind the scenes stories, the cast, the themes and intricacies of the plot and the fact that some people to this day believe the movie to be ‘cursed’.

Listen on Apple Podcasts here or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also stream it directly here.

What do you think of The Exorcist? Join us on Twitter @ManiacsHorror or on Facebook to let us know!

Episode 3: Self-isolation Dark Angels – A Quiet Place (2018)

Now online – our third episode, and the first of possibly a few self-isolation quarantine podcasts. Due to the events surrounding COVID-19 we were unable to get together so Peter dropped off sterilised recording equipment to Phil’s doorstep and then we recorded separately while talking on the phone. The final result took longer than usual to edit but hopefully still sounds the same as usual.

Anyway, we talk all about the fantastic movie A Quiet Place from 2018, directed (and co-written) by John Krasinski and starring Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe. During the chat we actually find a lot of similarities and ties to the current worldwide emergency, from keeping yourself isolated, home schooling, saying hi to your neighbours from a distance, and the news that the sequel has been temporarily shelved due to the virus. This is a complete coincidence – we decided this would be Episode 3 back in January. Weird.

But mainly it’s a discussion about the movie itself in graphic spoilerific detail – if you haven’t seen the film yet then definitely do – it’s excellent. Enjoy the podcast!

You can find Episode 3 wherever you usually get your podcasts or you can stream it directly here.

Also join us on Twitter @ManiacsHorror or on Facebook here.

A Quiet Place Part II release delayed due to coronavirus

It seems that A Quiet Place Part II is the latest in a string of movies pulled from release due to the coronavirus. John Krasinski took to Twitter today to inform the world about the move and there doesn’t seem to be a future release date in mind yet. 

This is a brave move by Krasinski and Paramount as the film was due to be released next week and they have spent a huge amount of money already on its marketing, but it makes perfect sense due to what’s going on in the world right now. As Krasinski says:-

Other movies that have been postponed due to the virus are the James Bond film No Time to Die (delayed until November), Peter Rabbit 2 (delayed until August) and the new Fast & Furious movie “F9” delayed almost a whole year from May until April 2021.

Our 3rd podcast all about A Quiet Place (the first one) will be out later this month. 

Join us on Twitter @ManiacsHorror or on Facebook here.

Max von Sydow passes away aged 90

The fantastic actor Max von Sydow has died aged 90 it has been revealed today. He will be known to a variety of different fans for appearing in several genres in a career spanning over 70 years.

Born in Lund, Sweden in 1929, von Sydow’s breakthrough role was in The Seventh Seal in 1957 – the movie where he famously plays a game of chess with Death. Among many other film credits he went on to play Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon (1980) and Blofeld in the James Bond remake Never Say Never Again (1983). He also appeared in Conan the Barbarian (1982), David Lynch’s Dune (1984), the Stephen King movie Needful Things (1993), Judge Dredd (1995) and Minority Report (2002). More recently he was seen as Lor San Tekka in Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) and as the Three-Eyed Raven in Game of Thrones (2016).

But for horror fans he will be best known for his star performance as Father Merrin in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973). Only 44 years old at the time, special make up was used to turn him into the elderly Merrin, apparently taking 3 hours every day. His performance is so iconic in the movie that he IS the image of the movie.

(He also reprised the role of Father Merrin in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) but the less said about that film the better)

He was a phenomenal screen presence and he will be sadly missed.

Join us on Twitter @ManiacsHorror or on Facebook here.



Welcome to Horror Movie Maniacs. We are a new podcast discussing horror movies in graphic detail – from the plots, characters and themes to the behind the scenes stories that made the movies possible. This is our website/blog to accompany our podcast in which we shall be posting short news stories and occasional spoiler free reviews of new movies playing in cinemas.

Check out our podcast – we’re available on Apple Podcasts here or you can just stream us directly here. Also follow us on Twitter @ManiacsHorror for up to date stories and general horror based fun.