Audiences ran out of the theater — but not because they were scared
William Friedkin, the director of "The Exorcist," has never seen any of the 1973 horror movie's sequels, and is particularly glad he didn't go to the first public screening of "The Exorcist 2: The Heretic" because Warner Bros. executives were literally chased out of the theater.
Footage of the filmmaker at the Chicago Critics Film Festival last spring is making the rounds in the horror blogosphere. In the video, Friedkin tells the audience he declined an invite to attend the "Exorcist 2" sneak preview in Pasadena, then later learned that fans thought the 1977 sequel was so bad that they turned on the people responsible for producing it.
"10 minutes into the picture, a guy stood up in the audience. He stood up and looked around and he said, 'The people who made this piece of shit are in this room,'" Friedkin said. "And somebody else said, 'Where? Where are they?' 10 or 12 people get up and he says, 'They're all back there!' The heads of the studio got up and ran out of the theater."
The execs, however, were not expecting to have to leave the theater before the film ended, so they told their limo drivers to grab some food for a few hours, and had to rely on their own two feet to escape the angry mob.
"They were chased down the street," Friedkin added. "And that was the first public reaction to 'The Exorcist 2.'"
Watch the filmmaker crack up his audience with some "Exorcist" sequel trash talk in video: