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Watch Unseen FX Test Footage From ‘THE EXORCIST’! (Exclusive)

I’ve been teasing a massive Halloween treat for a few days now. I hope this makes your head spin!

Bloody Disgusting is beyond excited to present you with an exclusive look at never-before-seen special effects test footage that’s been unearthed from William Friedkin’s 1973 horror masterpiece The Exorcist! The footage was provided by someone very special to us, who unfortuantely cannot be named.

Let me attempt to explain what you’re about to see (it will be broken into 3 parts with more “treats” coming in a few days!)…

This footage came from a 16mm print which was labeled as such: “Warner Bros color timed anamorphic test – The Exorcist.” The case had William Friedkin’s name hand written on the address label.

The following footage was shot on 35mm. This print was a 16mm reduction of the 35mm footage, probably intended to view tests at home or in the office.

The most interesting thing to my buddy is that this was shot SCOPE. As he explains, the camera slates in this footage list Friedkin as the director, so this leads one to assume Friedkin was originally going to shoot The Exorcist in scope. This footage, to the best of his knowledge, is totally unreleased anywhere and is the ONLY footage ever seen of the Exorcist set shot in scope. And it’s premiering exclusively right here on Bloody Disgusting!!!

He also believes that the man you sometimes see standing by the bed with a moustache is WILLIAM PETER BLATTY supervising the tests. (Note: this may appear in future videos I share next week.)

Another interesting thing you see in this footage is the ENTIRE ROOM is on some sort of device which makes it shake back and forth violently. Neither of us remember a scene in the finished movie where the entire room swivels around as if it is unhinged from the rest of the house…


Below you’ll find the first of 4 videos (shared over 3 days) in which we see some effects tests where Regan floats, and where she is being thrown around her bed. Frightening even in test footage!

Watch more videos here!

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  • djblack1313

    WOW! that’s awesome! i agree even in this test footage it looks scary as hell. this test footage (and the subsequent actual film footage) is better and looks better than so many modern movies today. and i love Linda Blair! 🙂

  • BabyJaneHudson

    Interesting to see the different aesthetic approaches they tried. Looking at Reagan in the straightjacket I was thinking yeah, why didn’t they do that in the movie (from an actual real life practical restraint point of view), but the nightgown is so much more effective when she’s levitating – it doesn’t work nearly as well when she’s so restricted…

  • Darkness69

    A true horror gem! This makes me want to watch the Exorcist again tonight!

    • Taboo


    • TRS66

      Same here!!

  • m-m-m-MONSTER_KILL

    Ya know, I feel like an idiot for never realizing that they had Linda Blair on some sort of rig for when she was getting flung up and down on the bed. I dunno, I guess whenever I saw it the thought briefly crossed my mind that she must have really great core strength or something…but that’s stupid because she was only like 14 at the time. What the hell is wrong with me?

  • xAshleyMariex

    This is so awsome!!!!

  • lucie-with-a-gun


  • Samhain2010

    Freaking awesome!!! Can’t wait for the rest.

  • TRS66

    I was wondering does anyone else think this could be the footage where Linda Blair damaged her spine? It wouldn’t be in this footage but it could have been on the same day or something

    • TwelveVacancies

      Linda damaged her back during principal photography (and what you see in the film is her really screaming out in pain), whereas this test footage was shot a few months before and you’ll notice the design of her bedroom is completely different. There’s some outtake footage online of Linda crying just before they cut – search “The Exorcist – Behind The Scenes #1” on YouTube.

  • Simon Allen

    Poor old Linda Blair !!! Those thrashing effects must have been pretty difficult to deal with !

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