Exorcist II The Heretic, a bad horror movie DVD, picks up the story about 4 years later. Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) is alive and doing very well. She remembers nothing about the events in the original Exorcist movie and is seeing a shrink (Louise Fletcher of Nurse Ratched One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest fame). Father Lamont (the scenery chewing Richard Burton) is asked to investigate the death of Father Merrin and by doing so opens the devil's Pandora box.
Through some kind of weird science-fiction style hypnosis machine the shrink gets into Regan's head which puts the original Exorcist into the shrink's head where Father Lamont gets to see a remake of the scene where Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow)dies. This seems to kick off the movie and story itself.
Father Lamont is convinced Regan is still possessed. Sharon, the live-in help (played rather blandly once again by Kitty Winn) who quit her job in the original Exorcist, is somehow back in this one and is the one who calls Father Lamont back and gives him the background info he needs. Lamont goes back to the shrink's office, wires up Regan and himself and calls up the nasty Pazuzu.
Exorcist II The Heretic is directed by John Boorman (Zardoz, Excalibur, Deliverance) and is below par for this great director. He seems unable to tell the story without a lot of flashbacks and after a while the viewer gets tired of trying to follow what is going on. Also, Richard Burton seems to overdo a lot of stuff while still giving the impression he does not quite know what the hell he is doing and saying lines that sometimes make little sense. I was surprised the camera never captured the phone Burton used for his entire performance.
Exorcist II The Heretic is really bad. Not only because it certainly is not up to par with the original and feels and looks more like a bad B horror movie on DVD than anything else. The heavy-handed, cheapo, overused special effects certainly do not add credibility to an otherwise less than stellar story.
Still, The Exorcist The Complete Series horror DVD box set it pretty decent overall. It includes The Exorcist and The Exorcist The Version You've Never Seen (all ten extra minutes), Exorcist II The Heretic, The Exorcist III, and the two, yes, two prequels, Exorcist The Beginning and Dominion Prequel to The Exorcist.