This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Returning to my theme for the month October, as a fan of monster and horror films since childhood, I thought to tie these memories within that genre. And I’ve waited to delve into this specific film for some time now. Especially, since a great deal of history lies in the attic with this one. Might as well have the candlelight flare at this very moment.
“Ego te absolvo in nomine Patris, et Filiii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.”
The Rosecrans Drive-in:
January 1974: just about every parent I know learned the following at sometime or another. Of course, way before I’d heard the quote, I only proved it true:
There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, employ someone, or forbid your children to do it.
When The Exorcist came to movie theaters, to say there was a monumental buzz surrounding it would be an understatement. Even as the economy swirled toward the drain into the worst recession in 40 years, “going to Hell in a hand basket” as it were, what were the downtrodden masses doing? Simply, getting the bejesus scared out of them. And all byway of William Friedkin’s adaptation of a William Peter Blatty novel.
Just about everyone in my mother’s family had read this book. Most of them went to see the movie or cringed in fear of it (especially given the news reports of people fainting in, or running screaming from, the movie theater — see the video clip below). The grandmother I still lived with as I attended college being one of the latter. Her and my mom’s younger sister, in fact, worried for my well-being after I said I wanted to see the picture.
They begged me not to go. You know what that guaranteed (see above as reference).
Not wanting to get into the extended lines that surrounded some of the theaters showing this, I opted for something familiar. The nearby Rosecrans Drive-in being that (the same place I saw The Godfather). I did, though, show up an hour earlier than usual in my trusty Toyota Corolla to get a good spot. Only to discover others there already with the same idea. I did have to talk the girlfriend I dated at the time into the late January Saturday evening affair, however. I can’t for the life of me recall if she ever forgave me.