Exorcist: Parental Guidance Not-Advised

The Exorcist opened on December 26, 1973 to mixed reviews, but is now considered a horror classic. Adjusted for inflation, the film is the top grossing R-rated film of all time. Personally, I would class it as the top grossest film of all time – think pea soup, crucifix masturbation, lick me, and what your mother does in hell.

I was not of legal age to see the movie when it was released, so I was somewhat surprised when my mother asked if I wanted to see the film with her. Our relationship was still strained from that whole misplaced stash of marijuana incident, so I agreed to go for the sake of mother-to-son bonding. Because I was underage, my mother was required to confirm that she was my legal guardian before I was allowed into the theatre. For some reason, the ticket clerk was not buying the fact that my mother was my legal guardian. To be fair to the ticket clerk, it was probably the first time my mother was required to publically claim ownership of her son, so the look on my mother’s face may have been misinterpreted as someone weighing their options.

We waited for the lights to come up before leaving the theatre and we were silent on the drive home. Three days later at breakfast, my mother asked if I was feeling OK because I looked a bit haggard. I admitted that I had not slept well since we saw the movie and that I was having extreme nightmares. She gave me one of her motherly scowls and replied “me too”. The movie scared the crap out of the both of us, but perhaps for different reasons.

I learned much later that my mother was a bit of a witch. Apparently, my mother read fortunes and had the ability to talk to the dead. Seriously. She was also able to sense when one of her loved ones was in turmoil. My grandmother had a similar gift and I guess her psychic abilities were passed on to my mother. Truth be told, I had a few “otherworldly” experiences when I was a young boy, but I shut it all down after being spooked by a visit from my dead grandfather.

I watch The Exorcist every Halloween and every Halloween it has the same terrifying effect on me; however, I still enjoy Halloween because it precedes my birthday celebrations. I was born on November 1 or All Saints Day. When my mother was alive we would have the same discussion every year on my birthday. It would always start by me telling her I was such a good kid because I was born on All Saints Day. It would always end by her telling me that I was a prolonged labor and that I was actually born a day late. I was also a breach birth, which I thought explained why I tend to see things from a different perspective, but perhaps my mother passed something on to me other than a sense of humor.

Refer to the Doctor’s blog “Bill Gates: The Number of the Beast” for more Halloween chatter.  Otherwise, Happy Halloween and All Saints Day.

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