An utterly bizarre film with so much to say. Bursting with fantastic images and ideas. It's a clear influence on a certain Scorcese film but to say which one would give away something in the film. Particularly great is Jason Miller, who played Father Karras in The Exorcist. Thematically an infinitely better follow up to The Exorcist than the infamous sequel The Heretic.
What starts off like "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" if it had been directed by Guy Maddin, morphs into a "Catch-22"-esque tragi-comedy, before a bleak but redemptive and transcendent final third, A serious study of faith in a seemingly insane and godless age, it is a more mature film than the head-spinning antics of "The Exorcist" -and I feel it's a better one, too.
Blatty will always be best known for writing 'The Exorcist' but this is his far more ambitious project. The film is a flawed but fascinating work that touches on the meaning of faith, psychosis and sacrifice in its tale of a makeshift madhouse. The lead turns by Keach and Wilson are quite good as is supporting turns by Ed Flanders and Neville Brand. Chock full of quotable dialogue and a barroom brawl for the ages.
Strange film from William Peter Blatty. A meditation on faith, reason, and sanity. It works best in it's most outlandish moments, but it wastes a good cast (particularly Jason Miller) by dropping most of them for the second half of the film. Still, an unusual and interesting film that more people should see.