Thanks to DVD and Blu-ray supplements, modern audiences are accustomed to seeing every bit of deleted, extra or bonus footage that a director shoots for a given film. But when footage from a nearly 40-year-old film – a classic, at that – emerges, it’s kind of a big deal. So horror fans are celebrating the fact that previously unseen FX test footage for William Friedkin’s The Exorcist has found its way online.
We have it for you below, courtesy of Bloody Disgusting:
The footage comes from an anonymous source, and shows us some incredibly impressive effects shots of young Regan levitating off of her bed. The site suggests that the man standing in frame supervising the shot is Exorcistnovelist (and screenwriter) William Peter Blatty, though that is unconfirmed at the moment.
What the clip can’t do, however, is reveal some of the tricks that are being used to make Regan float through the air. The man in the background gives an excellent perspective to the trick. It’s like watching a magician at work. You stare and stare at the footage, begging to see the wires.
The Exorcist remains one of the most disturbing and terrifying films to come out of the Hollywood system, not so much because of the demonic possession, but because the atrocities happen to a child. It’s even a little unnerving watching young Linda Blair thrash around in the bed for these test shots, because we know the worst is yet to come. Even close to 40 years later, Friedkin’s terrific masterpiece is the gift that keeps on giving, as this new footage shows.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.