#15: REGAN from THE EXORCIST
When I was 10 I made the mistake of watching THE EXORCIST and was traumatized for the next two days. That movie scared the hell out of me. I mean it was one thing to convince yourself that there was no such thing as Dracula or Frankenstein's Monster, but it was no easy sell to think that The Devil didn't exist.
Linda Blair's performance in the film, (along with the whisky soaked glass cracking voice of Mercedes McCambridge), made me completely unable to sleep for the next two evenings. I was thoroughly convinced that slumber was the key to becoming possessed by Satan. I even had trouble using the vacuum cleaner during daylight, sure that the noise would hide the sneak attack from a demon. I had got my father so pissed off from keeping them up at night that he said, "You're never watching another scary movie again, not even ABBOTT and COSTELLO MEETS FRANKENSTEIN!"
The fear eventually wore off, and didn't give it much thought until I was walking to school one day and found an issue of OUI magazine in the gutter with none other than Linda Blair on the cover. I couldn't believe it. This girl that had just scared the shit out of me months ago was here, all grown up, on the cover of a porno mag. I looked through it and was amazed to see this freaky-ass demon thing. It was exciting enough to have a magazine like this (something I had never owned before) but to have Miss Blair inside was an unexpected surprise. As you can see from the pictures below (most of which are from this issue), she's hardly the poor little girl from THE EXORCIST anymore. I kept that magazine hidden for months before I finally threw it away (in someone else's trash can, of couse).
Linda Blair has always been one of my guilty pleasures. In fact, she's still in my Top 5 list after all of these years. There's just a goofy glamour about her that I can't explain. This woman who made me a frightful wreck and a horny little boy certainly shaped me in many ways during my formidable years.
Do yourself a favor and see THE EXORCIST if you haven't, and for a real treat, check out CHAINED HEAT (see 2nd row, 1st picture) for what is quite simply, the best women's prison film of all time.