The Exorcist at the Drive-In

 “The Power of Christ compels you!” ~ Father Merrin & Father Damien Karras, THE EXORCIST

I was lucky enough to experience many family drive-in nights as a kid back in the 70s.  Tracy and I would throw on our comfiest PJs, hop in the car with my parents and head off to the local drive-in (usually Ledgewood) to catch the latest flick on the big (really big) outdoor screen.

My two favorite things about drive-in night were:  #1.  the play area, where we’d play on swings, slides and the see-saw before the movie started (Dad had this thing about arriving really early to grab the perfect space, and to make sure the speaker wasn’t a dud), and #2.  intermission, a chance to spend dad’s hard earned cash on overpriced soda, popcorn, pepperoni pizza and ice cream. The movie was more of an afterthought for Tracy and me — drive-in night was about being our silly selves, making fun of the actors, and stuffing our faces with candy and greasy junk food.


I fondly recall the intermission ads, touting sparkling cold beverages, piping hot coffee, Slim Jims and what the announcer called “delicious chocolate-coated candy bars”, cigarettes and a variety of tasty treats (nutritious hot dogs, they bragged).  Goodies sure to clog up the arteries of every family member.

(ITALIAN LESSON:  she devil = diavolessa)

Seeing The Exorcist drive-in style remains a vivid memory for me.  I was flying solo in the back seat that night, mom and dad figured I’d fall asleep soon after the late show started.  Not me! I popped my curious eleven year old head up in between theirs and watched the entire gory enchilada!  I think it took a few nights (weeks!) to get that freaky image of Linda Blair’s famous head spin out of my head.  To me, The Exorcist is one of the best horror flicks ever, which I religiously (pun intended) watch at least once a year.  It continues to deliver the creeps for a day or two after, and I think that’s part of its charm.

The Infamous Head Spin

Regan and Captain Howdy say get yer arse back to the home of MADNESS before their head’s spin!

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