Coroner’s Corner – The Linda Blair Bitch Project – Column

Coroner’s Corner

The Linda Blair Bitch Project

by John Bikowski
illustration by Eric Johnson

Hey there… Just got back from the Fangoria convention in Manhattan at which the guest of honor was none other than Linda Blair, the possessed brat from The Exorcist who grew into a much-abused, fine-looking female. Seems she was there to promote her starring role in the short film, The Blair Bitch Project. I’m now going to ruin all the good parts from this 20-minute feature because I don’t know if most people will get the chance to experience it. I actually found it pretty darn funny. It opens with the ominous white on black statement “in 1999, 400 young filmmakers set out to parody the Blair Witch, but only one film starred Linda Blair.” She takes on the role of Heather, and really hams up the sarcastic, domineering bitch angle. There’s also Josh, the camera guy, who’s perpetually stoned out of his gourd. His constant water-bong habit creates many of the film’s sight gags. At one point, he’s seen getting high on hits from the camera as a bong, his sneaker as a bong, and some of the ghostly sounds heard at night turn out to be him… sucking on a bong. Also along for the spooks is Mike, the “on the friggin edge” sound guy.

Once the trio hits the deep woods, the laughs come fast and furious. The “map” is a 3-D globe that Linda mashes against her cleavage as the camera zooms in. They find a “sign of death” – a full-sized electric chair amidst the twigs and branches. They find the witch stick figures (some with erect penis-like protrusions). At one point, Mike is startled awake by the sounds of moaning, only to find Linda and the stoner humping away. Mr. Bong soon disappears and a frenzied Linda and Mike come upon the old house. Once inside, they find the bloody kiddie prints and Linda throws her customary fit on the way to the basement. She bursts into the room to find the unresponding Mike standing facing the corner, but the film doesn’t end here, like in the original. Mike turns and we see that Josh is back – down on his knees giving Mike a blowjob. Linda passes out, and the stoner goes back to work on Mike, accompanied by water bong gargling sounds. Funny stuff, hopefully you can see it some time.

Speaking of Linda Blair, you may want to check out the recently remastered release of her early ’80s hit, Hell Night. The DVD release has the running audio commentary from Blair and the director during which they can talk about the cheesiness of each scene. I find this film very enjoyable in a nostalgic sense because it freaked the hell out of me as a young ‘un. The basic premise is simple but classic: Two hot guys and two hot girls (one played by Linda) are being hazed by their fraternity and sorority. To become members, they must spend the night in the old Garth Manor, a creepy mansion fenced in by razor-sharp locked fences. The head frat boy relates the following story to the unsure pledges: twelve years earlier, Raymond Garth and his wife lived in the manor, secluded from the society they shunned. They had no electricity or conveniences, but they did have four children. The problem was that the firstborn was a mongoloid named Morris, the second was a hideously deformed girl named Susan, the third was Margaret (mute and blind), and the fourth was “gorked-out” Andrew who didn’t speak for 14 years. Then, one night, after living years of misery with that crew, Raymond gathered his family together, strangled his wife, bashed out Morris’ brains, impaled Susan, slit Margaret’s throat, and then hung himself, leaving Andrew to watch it all. This was all explained in a letter Garth left police. However, when the authorities arrived, all they found was four bodies. Raymond and Andrew were missing. This true, but supposedly now harmless, tale does its job and scares the pledges as well as the viewers.

The four pledges start to settle in for some foolin’ around and drinking, but they are soon interrupted by scare tactics. Scream boxes are set off, ghostly apparitions appear, and doors and windows slam on cue. Unfortunately for the college tricksters outside the mansion, Raymond and Andrew are no longer disappeared. They are very strong, very demented, and they want to kill. I won’t give away the rest, but look for a great decapitation scene and some great “jump” scares. Blair is charming as the “virginal” car mechanic pledge, and the soundtrack is suitably eerie. Great stuff.

If you still need a Linda Blair fix, you may want to seek out Born Innocent. Here Blair plays a troubled teen who gets sent to an all-girl lock-up where she’s constantly abused by the inmates as well as the guards. Her torture culminates in a pretty graphic scene in which she’s held down naked in the shower and raped with a broom handle. Ouch!

Fans of The Exorcist may also want to check out the 1990 spoof, Repossessed, starring Linda and Leslie Nielsen. Nielsen plays the exorcist who comes out of retirement when Linda gets another visit from her childhood demon. Just like the Airplane! and Naked Gun films, there are plenty of jokes, both good and lame. But Nielsen is hilarious, as usual, and Linda shows she can measure up in the comedy field as well. Look for Leslie impersonating Billy Idol, Elton John and Robert Palmer for some funny times.