If Burke Dennings Death had been seen

Home forums The Exorcist If Burke Dennings Death had been seen

This topic contains 24 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  fatherbowdern 5 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #22123

    Jagged
    Participant

    Couldn’t disagree more. Much as it would have been a thrill, it would have been too much too early in the film and the rest of the upcoming shocks would loose their impact.
    What you don’t see and are left to imagine is always scarier that what you do see. Contrary to what many believe I don’t think there is actually that much depicted horror on screen in the Exorcist. Three or four strong scenes at best. The rest, like all really effective horror films is implied.

    #22126

    Witch of Endor
    Participant

    I agree that leaving Bruke’s death out of the film was the right call. Was his death described in more detail in the book?

    I have always been curious as to how Burke’s head ended up backwards. The movie says it connected to witchcraft. Does anyone know anything about a connection to witchcraft outside of the Exorcist?

    …and did Regan’s body kill Burke or did the demon use its telekinetic power to break his neck. Or perhaps the demon entered Burke’s body, twisted his head around and then left causing him to die? Interesting thoughts. Anyone know how it was suppose to happen in canon?

    #22127

    Sofia
    Participant

    In the novel…

    Burke goes into Regan’s room as he hears noises and moans coming from it. When he gets there Regan takes him by the throat, screaming that he caused her parents’ divorce… This is stated by Regan/demon on the last chapter of the novel. Oh, she also says that his neck turning around backwards was an accident and it happened in the fall.

    #22132

    Witch of Endor
    Participant

    …so it was all about the divorce after-all!

    #22138

    fatherbowdern
    Participant

    Sof,

    I don’t remember this and why is it in the novel’s “last chapter?” I must go back and read this again! I’m confused by the twists and turns you mention about the who says what and when.

    FB

    #22140

    Sofia
    Participant

    “I have always been curious as to how Burke’s head ended up backwards. The movie says it connected to witchcraft. Does anyone know anything about a connection to witchcraft outside of the Exorcist?”

    In the novel, there’s a subplot on a witchcraft book that Regan read prior to her acting out occult rituals. She may have read about ritual murder in that book, too. You are always in doubt and suspense as to whether or not she’s possessed or mentally ill.

    #22141

    Sofia
    Participant

    Fatherb, in the last chapter during the exorcism, the “Demon as Dennings” speaks through Regan and says that. Here’s the excerpt:

    “Karras opened up his eyes and saw the Dennings personality.
    ‘…Look, she killed me. Not our innkeeper, Karras – she! Oh, yes, indeed!’ It was nodding affirmation. ‘She! I was minding my business at the bar, you see, when I thought I heard her moaning. Upstairs. Well, now, I had to see what ailed her, after all, so up I went and don’t you know she bloody took me by the throat, the little c*unt!’ The voice was whiny now; pathetic. ‘Christ, I’ve never in my life seen such strength! Began to scream that I was diddling her mother or something, or that I caused the divorce. Some such thing. It wasn’t clear. But I tell you, love, she pushed me out the bloody window!‘ Voice cracking. High-pitched now. ‘She killed me! Now you think it’s bloody fair to throw me out? Come along, now, Karras, answer me! You think it really fair? I mean, do you?’
    Karras swallowed.
    ‘How was … the head turned around?’ asked Karras hoarsely.
    Dennings shifted his gaze around evasively. ‘Oh, well, that was an accident… a freak… I hit the steps, you know…It was freaky.’ “

    But, you know, I don’t get this. Dennings was discovered with his neck turned around in the style of ritual murder by so-called demons. Kinderman says this to Chris while she’s reading the witchcraft book. So how come that according to Regan, Dennings’s neck wrenched around was caused by he hitting the steps?

    #13484

    FrankR1
    Participant

    I realize that a depiction of Burke Dennings being attacked and killed by Reagan/Demon was ommitted from the film to add to the mystery of his death. Could you imagine how much scarier the original movie would have been had we seen Reagan/demon lunge at a drunken unsuspecting Burke Dennings and physically twist his head around, while he screamed in horror? Then Reagan/ demon would be seen throwing him out her open window. Such a scene would have left audiences even more horror stricken than they already were. The fact that the scene was ommitted did much to add to Burke’s mysterious death, but to actually see his gruesome death would leave the audiences afraid even longer.

    #22143

    fatherbowdern
    Participant

    Thanks, Sof. I see Blatty’s point of tidying things up a bit in this chapter. I like that Blatty let us in on something through Kinderman that was not true. This, naturally, occured at the dining room table scene with Chris. A sort of twisted ending. No pun intended! ;)

    FB

    #22149

    Regan
    Participant

    I think today’s younger audience needs to have every detail spelled out for them on-screen. They just don’t pick up on subtlety, and implied inference.

    #22150

    Jagged
    Participant

    “But, you know, I don’t get this. Dennings was discovered with his neck turned around in the style of ritual murder by so-called demons. Kinderman says this to Chris while she’s reading the witchcraft book. So how come that according to Regan, Dennings’s neck wrenched around was caused by he hitting the steps?”

    Remember “The demon is a liar”.

    The whole point of this conversation with the Demon/Dennings entity is an attempt to confound Karras and make him think Regan is Insane and not possessed.
    We cannot accept what it says as fact, more likely it is the opposite of truth. As is the statement that Regan did the killing rather than the Demon.

    The Demon killed Dennings. It twisted his head around, as described in the book Mrs Perrin (cut out of the film) lent Chris and which Regan subsequently read. Specifically in order to introduce doubt into Karras at a later time.

    #22156

    fatherbowdern
    Participant

    Which is exactly why both the novel and film, The Exorcist, are unique as Hell.

    FB

    #22186

    Sofia
    Participant

    Amen, fatherb

    Jagged, thanks for the explanation, it made sense…but what if there isn't a demon and Regan really suffers from mental illness, hmm? The onset of possession could be a product of suggestion…. (I'm sounding like Father Karras now) .

    #22189

    Jagged
    Participant

    Sofia said:

    Amen, fatherb

    Jagged, thanks for the explanation, it made sense…but what if there isn't a demon and Regan really suffers from mental illness, hmm? The onset of possession could be a product of suggestion…. (I'm sounding like Father Karras now) .


    Ah, but for the purposes of the novel and film, she was possessed and the possibility of it being mental illness was just a red herring.

    No need to over analyse that particular dark path ;)

    #22220

    etrigan69
    Participant

    Dennings in the morgue is descrined in the book also.

    I always assumed the demon was lying to confuse Karras.

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