I never found The Exorcist to be particularly scary, but I do respect it as the iconic film that it is. One cannot underestimate its genre-defining influence in modern horror, and it still terrifies audiences to this day. Mental Floss offers twenty fun facts about the film, among them these nuggets:
4. MERCEDES MCCAMBRIDGE PROVIDED THE VOICE OF THE DEMON.
The woman Orson Welles once dubbed “the world’s greatest living radio actress” was hired to provide the voice for Linda Blair’s most demonic moments, a decision that became the source of much controversy when McCambridge was not credited for her performance. Some say that this decision was solely McCambridge’s, who claimed that she didn’t want to take away from Blair’s performance, then later changed her mind. Under the threat of legal action, her name was quickly added to the credits.
5. MCCAMBRIDGE ADOPTED A VERY SPECIFIC DIET TO ACHIEVE THAT RASPINESS.
Sounding like a demon has its downsides. In the case of McCambridge, she believed that chain smoking and a diet of raw eggs and whiskey were the key to a great vocal performance.
Incidentally, if you’re fascinated by the Catholic Church’s real exorcists, then you may enjoy The Exorcist in the 21st Century.
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