Podcast Review: Inside the Exorcist

Inside The Exorcist is about the making of The Exorcist and what lead to its creation. The host is Mark Ramsey who has created other podcasts such as “Inside Psycho”, “Inside Jaws”, and “Inside Star Wars.” Ramsey describes the tale of demonic possession that lead to William Peter Blatty writing his novel The Exorcist  and how it was turned into a movie by director William Friedkin. Ramsey examines Friedkin’s casting choices and content he allowed to be in the film. He also talks about controversies Friedkin encountered after the film was made. Besides being an examination of the movie, stories of demonic possession, audio clips from the movie The Exorcist, and creepy background noise give it the feel of a horror movie. Those who are fans of The Exorcist and enjoy being frightened will be fascinated by this podcast.       

Inside The Exorcist begins with the tale of a “haunted boy” who became possessed by the devil. Each of the following episodes of this podcast provide more details about his possession and eventual exorcism. Upon hearing the story of this boy, William Peter Blatty wrote The Exorcist. Details from the exorcism of the boy, such as moving furniture, levitation, and speaking in strange tongues, appear in Blatty’s book. The book was so stunning that it grabbed the attention of movie director William Friedkin. It is interesting to learn about the inspiration of both the book and movie. 

William Friedkin was somewhat of a maverick in Hollywood. When he was encouraged to change the name of The French Connection, which he directed, Friedkin declined and his instinct proved to be correct and the movie had enormous success. He kept a similar demeanor when it came to the creation of The Exorcist. Rather than cast famous actors as he was encouraged to, he selected largely unknown actors for lead roles, such as Jason Miller. Friedkin cast Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil because of how innocent she looked after watching hundreds of auditions for that role. In a time when there certain lines directors did not cross, Friedkin included grotesque and vulgar scenes in the movie that shocked William Peter Blatty. Parts like these in the podcast will be fascinating to fans of The Exorcist.   

Controversies occurred with a couple of actors that were part of the movie. They were Mercedes McCambridge, who is the voice of the devil that possess Regan, and Eileen Dietz, who was Linda Blair’s stunt double. There was a dispute regarding Mercedes McCambrige not being credited in The Exorcist. Friedkin alleges that McCambridge asked to be not credited in the movie as to not take anything away from Linda Blair, whereas McCambridge states she was intentionally left out. An interesting fact about McCambridge is that to make her voice sound demonic, she endlessly smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol. Eileen Dietz argued that she was not properly reimbursed for her contribution to iconic scenes of the movie whereas Friedkin stated she was only in The Exorcist for a few seconds. Neither side is disproved but these controversies make for interesting background information about the film.

Inside The Exorcist is more than just an examination of The Exorcist. It is designed to scare you with the menacing theme song and stories of demonic possession. When these stories are told, there is creepy background noises and demonic voices. The noises are well crafted and in some cases you feel like you are listening to demons. Those that are fans of The Exorcist and enjoy the horror genre will love this podcast.

You can listen to Inside The Exorcist on the podcast website or apps such as Spotify, Apply Podcasts and more.

Due to the mature content in Inside The Exorcist, it is recommended for mature audiences only.

Michael Walsh

Adult Services-Will Branch