Pazuzu Statue from The Exorcist Movie | 6" Resin Replica Collectible Figure
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Premier Christianity details what happens during an exorcism, or "deliverance" in the Anglican Church, playing down the hokier elements that we are familiar with from movies like "The Exorcist" and its sequels. Apparently, the church takes great pains to discourage inexperienced exorcists from trying out the ritual, citing the unfortunate case of Annelise Michel as an example of what can go seriously awry in the wrong hands. In The Beginning and Dominion, the victims possessed by Pazuzu are played by Izabella Scorupco and Billy Crawford respectively, and the voices of Pazuzu are Rupert Degas in the former film and Mary Beth Hurt in the latter. Documents and objects that give protection from Lamashtu’s evil doings were widespread in the 1st millennium in Mesopotamia, a period in which this type of belief seems to have flourished.
Perhaps the most famous modern Pazuzu is the demon who possesses a twelve-year-old girl in the 1973 horror classic The Exorcist. Of the two priests charged with exorcising the demon, one has encountered the same malevolent spirit before, while participating in an archaeological dig. The Exorcist III takes place 15 years after the original film. The film was adapted by Blatty from his own novel. Lieutenant Kinderman, who was also in the original film, has been on a murder case about mysterious deaths committed by an anonymous person. It is later found out that Pazuzu convinced the Gemini Killer, who died at the same time as Father Karras, to inhabit his body as punishment for saving Regan. However, as result of his suicide, his brain was severely damaged, which demons/spirits need when they possess a body. The Gemini Killer spent years stimulating his brain so he would be of use, and then began committing murders by possessing the bodies of the other inhabitants of the hospital where Karras had been staying. In the end of the movie after a turbulent exorcism is done, Karras regains control of the body and asks Kinderman to kill him, which he does by shooting him in the head, keeping him from being possessed again.The term "demon" in the modern day always carries with it the connotation of evil but this was not so in the ancient world. The English word "demon" is a translation of the Greek word daimon which simply meant "spirit". A daimon could be good or evil, depending on its intentions and the results of a visitation. In ancient Mesopotamia, as in other cultures of the ancient world, demons were often sent by the gods as punishment for sin or to remind one of one's duty to the gods and others in one's community. Demons were not always evil and even those who were, like Pazuzu, were still capable of good deeds. Demons in Mesopotamia Amulets and other iconography of Pazuzu have been found in locations ranging from the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran to the Greek island of Sámos, while written sources describing Pazuzu began to appear around 670 B.C.E.
Before confronting the demon inside Regan, Father Karras had a brief glimpse of Pazuzu while dreaming about his mother. In the Canadian television series, SCTV, Catherine O'Hara features in a skit, as Pazuzu/Regan, titled "Exorcising with Reagan Blair".Left: Bronze statuette of the demon Pazuzu. Mesopotamia. 8th–7th century B.C. Musée du Louvre, Paris, Département des Antiquités Orientales (MNB 467); Right: Roberto Cuoghi. Šuillakku, 2008. Frontispiece from Gioni, Massimiliano and Margot Norton, eds. Roberto Cuoghi: Šuillakku Corral. New York: New Museum, 2014 Ken Nordine was considered for the demon's voice, but William Friedkin thought it would be best not to use a man's voice. In the Highlander television series, the statue of Pazuzu is used during a storyline in which Duncan MacLeod duels a Satan-like being.