Sunday, October 30, 2011

Great Performances: Jason Miller in The Exorcist

From time to time, I want to highlight a performance that I find truly remarkable.  This may be from film or TV and could be a leading role, a supporting role, or even a guest appearance.

I am not sure what is more amazing: Jason Miller's performance in The Exorcist or the fact that it was the first movie that he had ever acted in.  The studio wanted a marquee name for the role of haunted Jesuit priest Damian Karras.  Jack Nicholson was reportedly screen-tested and Stacey Keach was actually hired for the part before director William Friedkin spotted Jason Miller (father of actor Jason Patric) in an off-Broadway play and asked that the studio buy out Keach's contract.  The play in question was That Championship Season, which had also been written by Miller and it made him an overnight success as a playwright, going on to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1973.  Friedkin won the battle with the studio, who banked on the fact that an adaptation of a bestselling novel had a built-in audience.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10 Horror Movies That Should Have Been Better

It has been an unacceptable four months since my last post, but what better time to get things rolling again than October with a post on my favorite subject--horror flicks.  This list is not about scary films that I dislike - on the contrary, I actually admire these movies, but I have always felt that the premises promised more than the films delivered.  They could have been truly great if the creators had made a few different choices.  I am curious to know if you agree... [Spoilers ahead]