" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

May 9, 2017

William Peter Blatty and The Exorcist

William Peter Blatty passed away this year on January 12th, 2017 and he was responsible for one of the most scariest novels and movies in pop cultural history, 'The Exorcist'.
"The Exorcist is a 1971 novel by American writer William Peter Blatty. The book details the demonic possession of twelve-year-old Regan MacNeil, the daughter of a famous actress, and the two priests who attempt to exorcise the demon.
Published by Harper & Row, the novel was the basis of a highly successful film adaption released two years later, whose screenplay was also written by Blatty, and part of 
The Exorcist franchise.
The novel was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University.
As a result, the novel takes place in Washington, D.C., near the campus of Georgetown University."
He also had a crack at directing 'Exorcist III'.
The Exorcist still resonates today through the pop culture world with Fox bringing it to the small screen, as well.
There was even a haunted house set up at Universal Studios in 2016 based on 'The Exorcist' movie.
What drew my attention to 'The Exorcist' movies apart from William Peter Blatty passing away this year (2017) was me seeing that 'The Exorcist II' was released in 1977, when I was writing my post about the year 1977 -
1977: The Present Can Only Be Viewed from the Past?
But 'The Exorcist II' was such a Box Office bomb that I didn't bother mentioning it in that post.
But I'm now working on a post for 1987 and a few things have caught my eye that can be linked back to the Exorcist movies, especially to the actor Jason Miller, who played
Father Damien Karras in the 1973 horror film The Exorcist, a role he reprised briefly in The Exorcist III.
Jack Nicholson (born in 1937;-) was the original choice for the role, but Miller was cast after Friedkin saw his play,
That Championship Season, and meeting the playwright/actor after the performance.
Jason Miller (April 22, 1939 – May 13, 2001)
Miller acted occasionally in feature films, including
The Devil's Advocate (1977).
Miller was the father of actors Jason Patric 
(by first wife Linda Gleason, daughter of Jackie Gleason) and Joshua John Miller (by second wife Susan Bernard).
Jason's son Jason Patric starred in one of the most popular films in 1987, 'The Lost Boys' and that same year Jason Patric's grandfather Jackie Gleason would pass away.
Oddly enough I just listened to a podcast about exorcism at 
'Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole' involving a talk between two Jasons.
Jackie Gleason (February 26, 1916 – June 24, 1987)
Jackie Gleason (1977)
On May 13, 2001, Miller died of a heart attack in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Oddly enough, Andy Richter played Father Harris in Scary Movie 2 (2001), in a scene parodying Miller's Father Karras role in
The Exorcist the year Jason Miller would die.
Scary Movie 2 came out May 4th, 2001 and Jason Miller passed away on May 13th, 2001.
Bronze statuette of Pazuzu, circa 800 BC –- circa 700 BC, Louvre Museum.
Hmm...that pose looks familiar don't you think?-)
"In the 1971 novel The Exorcist and the film based on the novel, Pazuzu is supposedly the evil spirit that possesses the young girl Regan MacNeil.
He reappears in the 1977 sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic.
In this film, Pazuzu is both named as the demon antagonist of Regan MacNeil and the unwitting helper of Father Philip Lamont (played by Richard Burton), as he seeks to finally free Regan from his hold.
Although Pazuzu is, himself, considered to be an evil spirit, he drives and frightens away other evil spirits, therefore protecting humans against plagues and misfortunes.
Pazuzu appears on the album cover of the Gorillaz compilation album D-Sides, as a statue in front of the band's former recording studio, in the music videos for the band's songs "Dare" and "Rockit""
"D-Sides is a 2007 compilation album by the British virtual band Gorillaz.
The album contains B-sides and remixes from singles and
bonus tracks for the band's second studio album Demon Days, as well as previously unreleased tracks recorded during the same sessions.
It was released on 19 November 2007 in the UK and on 20 November in the United States and is available in standard and deluxe editions."

"The Simon Necronomicon is a purported grimoire written by an unknown author, with an introduction by a man identified only as "Simon".
Materials presented in the book are a blend of ancient 
Middle Eastern mythological elements, with allusions to the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and Aleister Crowley, woven together with a story about a man known as the "Mad Arab".
The book was released in 19
77 by Schlangekraft, Inc. in a limited edition hardback printing, followed by a paperback release by Avon Books, and a subsequent paperback release by

Bantam Books."
"Pazuzu is mentioned in the Simon Necronomicon, a publication of Avon Books that purports to document incantations to invoke "incredible things, beings, and monsters into visible form". 
He is described therein as "Lord of all fevers and plagues, grinning Dark Angel of the Four Wings, horned, with rotting genitalia," and as the "brother of HUMWAWA".
The book claims that he is among the most fearsome of all entities, stating in part: "It is the able magician indeed who can remove PAZUZU once he has laid hold of a man, for PAZUZU lays hold unto death."
Although the book makes the claim that Pazuzu (like all entities listed therein) was of Sumerian origin, critics 
John Wisdom Gonce III and Daniel Harms document the erroneous nature of such a claim, stating: "Likewise, the demon Pazuzu does not appear in myth until Assyria's rise in the first millennium B.C., long after Sumer's prime ... Thus the beings of the Simon Necronomicon bear little resemblance to either Sumerian myth or Lovecraftian fiction."
Jack MacGowran
The Exorcist actors Jack MacGowran, and Vasiliki Maliaros both died while the film was in post-production.
The Exorcist was MacGowran's last film role as the alcoholic director Burke Dennings.
Maliaros, who played Karras' mother, also died before the film was even released - and they both died in New York.
On the first day of filming there were also two deaths to close relatives of the main cast.
Linda Blair, who played the possessed Regan MacNeil, lost her grandfather, and Max Von Sydow, who was freeing Blair from her demons on screen, lost his brother.
Could you imagine modern day pop culture without Blatty's novel coming along in the early 70s?
The life like Regan puppet used in 'The Exorcist' movie
James Wan's (born 1977) Annabelle doll...hmm
The real Annabelle doll on the left, Wan's on the right

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