“The Exorcist” premiers at the National theater, Westwood, CA – December 26, 1973
William Peter Blatty – Heavy ’70s “The Exorcist” Icon – 1928-2017
William Peter Blatty, 89, transcended on January 12 leaving physical plane culture and humanity with an impressive legacy in book and film.
Blatty did what no one has ever done, (except for Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds), and that is administer a virtual LSD experience to general audiences. This exquisite historic, horrific, deeply religious, and utterly mind-bending film directed by William Friedkin from Blatty’s best-selling book, “The Exorcist” is a perfect example of why 1970’s cinema was the last great film era.
Since the late ’60s and early ’70s 00individual had delved into Occult knowledge, and on the day after Christmas ’73 he found himself standing in line looking at the scary window prop on the side of the Westwood National theater for the first showing of “The Exorcist” as the line wrapped around-the-block behind him. The ambiance of standing with his girlfriend under the darkened sky and drizzly rain with two Nuns right behind him in line was already kinda weird. 00individual’s girlfriend read Blatty’s book and stated that it was a documentary; a movie based on real events.
Well, for 00individual this film was real and an Occult wake up call. He had been spared. He was shown that his sincere efforts sitting naked surrounded by candles invoking arcane text in attempts to connect with “others” had the potential to get extremely messy. So, understanding the possible implications of past serious experiments, 00individual strode the neutral path forever after. The Exorcist delivered a real karmic warning and was considered by 00individual as “a word to the wise is sufficient.”
A decade later 00individual was a USPS “Postman to the Stars” in Malibu as a T6, a position that required that he knew / memorized five routes, one-third of Malibu, to relieve each Postman’s day off. Part of one route he delivered was the Malibu Colony where 00individual became familiar with the actors and directors who lived there. Due to the fact that retaining specific and general trivia was a big part of his mutant strain of Hyperthymesia, 00individual was able to converse as an informed individual about film, culture and esoteric stuff.
Blatty had a beach-front house, # 29 if memory serves, and rented it out while renting a house just across the alley/street within the Colony; others did this too – summer beach-front rentals for one month could cover their entire summer’s mortgage, rent, and then some. Most entertainment people were home a lot and very congenial, and 00individual spoke with Blatty on several occasions, especially about the whacked “Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane”, his novel that he wrote, directed and produced in 1980 as “The Ninth Configuration”. Where “The Exorcist” was an all out thriller horror religioso event, 00individual could tell that the Ninth Configuration’s reality / sanity subject matter was closer to Blatty’s heart, and 00individual had seen his movie, loved it, and had some brief but memorable cosmic conversations with him about the Occult, the power of religion, life after death, and the mysteries of the world, and specifically reality and sanity – topics that collide and blend – things he surely knows a little bit more about right now.
William Peter Blatty gave 00individual his first truly religious spiritual experience with “The Exorcist”.
“It’s not a matter of whether there is a God or a Devil, its about believing in it All with no limits. Imagination manifests – everything is real, everything exists. Be prepared. Let nothing astonish.”
Still, seen in secluded, quiet, darkened-room conditions the appreciation of the adrenaline producing thrills and scares that “The Exorcist” still evokes, says volumes.
Blatty and Friedkin – the ’70’s Dynamic Duo.
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