“The Exorcist” special effects artist passes away

April 22, 2013

Marcel Vercoutere, who built the life-sized animatronic robot for Linda Blair’s possessed Regan in THE EXORCIST has died at the age of 87. The man was responsible for creating one of my most chilling moments in cinematic history.  When Regan’s head spun around in that movie 40 years ago, people lost their minds.

After 40 years, there has not been a exorcism movie (or any movie in general) that has come close to the psychological impact that THE EXORCIST has.  There’s a reason it’s considered the scariest movie of all time.

Cinematographer Owen Roizman told the LA Times, “ He had made this unbelievable robot and everything about it worked — it almost had facial expressions. I was standing there looking at it and I said, ‘You know what, we forgot something. We don’t have any breath coming out.’ Marcel just said, ‘I’ll deal with that.’ He was so calm. And before you know it … the dummy had breath.

The picture below is what the animatronic robot looks like today.

Marcel Vercoutere Exorcist Robot 4 21 13 [R.I.P.] The Exorcist Special Effects Master Marcel Vercoutere

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