'Last Stand' and 'Exorcist III' are terribly under-rated

In response to Schwarzenegger’s Still a Movie Star:

I’m sure some of the buzz over Ahnold’s busted comeback is the growing sense that he can’t “open” a film any more – people won’t show up just because he’s on the marquee.  In these days of $200M budgets and $15 movie tickets, that’s a big problem.  Theatrical releases are pricing themselves into some weird niches, and it seems like the only one Schwarzenegger might fit in could be franchise sequels, such as “The Terminator” or maybe that long-gestating “King Conan” film.  “King Conan” sounds like the better of the two ideas to me – probably should have done that last time and let Jason Momoa play Conan’s upstart son.

It’s sad that “Last Stand” flopped, because that was a solid little action movie that made excellent use of Schwarzenegger’s status as an aging badass who can still come through in a pinch.  Since every other aging action star is evidently trying to copy Liam Neeson’s playbook, maybe Arnie will try a “Taken” ripoff.

To add a thumbs-up to one of your other posts: “Exorcist III” is a severely under-rated movie, with at least one scene that ranks among the most suspenseful and unsettling in horror cinema.  (Those who have seen the movie will know exactly which scene I’m talking about; wouldn’t dream of spoiling it for the rest.)  

The climactic exorcism is pretty good, too… it just has the immense misfortune to be laboring in the shadows of a classic that is frequently hailed as one of the best movies ever made, not just horror films.  Even with William Peter Blatty on board, “The Exorcist” is a damned hard act to follow (pun intended.)  The Blatty book that was adapted into the film, “Legion,” includes some creepy cosmic ruminations about the true nature of Creation that make for interesting reading, in light of how Darren Aronofsky shanghaied “Noah.”

“Exorcist III” is a rare beast of a film – a movie that would almost certainly have fared better if it didn’t bill itself as a franchise installment.  If it had simply been called “Legion” and the Exorcist name was left off entirely, leaving it up to viewers to make the connection when the main character makes a vague reference to the exorcism case he worked on long ago, it might have been given a better chance to stand on its own considerable merits.

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