This past weekend, I watched no fewer than four movies. Which is probably more than I've watched in the past year combined. Two I'd seen. To Kill A Mockingbird and The Exorcist. The other two I had not. One, another Ben Stiller classic not worth mentioning. The other, Wait Until Dark, which was splendid.
I've always thought that scene in The Exorcist, when Jason Miller is running around the track, could've just as easily appeared in Rocky. Except with Paulie or Mickey sitting in the bleachers instead of the detective.
After watching it again this weekend, the old cogwheel started turning. I began to ponder the similarities between the two movies. What I have uncovered borders on eerie. I hope the following will serve to inform and to illuminate the mind.
Let's begin with the two actors. Stallone and Miller. Born roughly seven years apart, both in New York. Both Catholic. Dark hair. Deep set eyes. Take a look.
Then the characters they play. Miller's Damien Karras is told he looks like a boxer in The Exorcist. And Stallone's Balboa, well, obviously.
Karras was a Catholic priest. And I'm almost certain Stallone crossed his heart or did the sign thing in at least one of the Rocky movies.
In The Exorcist, the priest Miller is assisting dies, inspiring him to cast out the demon himself. In Rocky III, Balboa's trainer, Mickey, dies. Inspiring him to defeat Clubber Lang, and perhaps cast out some of his personal demons.
I've always thought how easily the two actors could have been reversed. Perhaps it might even have been advantageous.
Surely, Miller is taller than Stallone, thus eliminating the need for all those weird camera angles of Stallone to make it appear he is somewhat close to the height of his opponents.
Let's face it, Stallone isn't the most versatile of actors. But even he could surely muster a loud, hoarse "Regan!!!" or two during the exorcism. It wouldn't be much of a change from his famous "Adrian!!!" in the Rocky movies. And, he'd probably be better than Miller at making the scenes look real where he is punching Linda Blair.
Can you imagine Sylvester Stallone shaking Linda Blair and yelling "Raaayguuuhn!! Get in meeee!!" Now that's entertainment.
And who knows, had he played the role of Rocky Balboa, Miller's film career might have taken off and gained him the recognition he deserved. And had Stallone starred in The Exorcist, maybe he would have been taken more seriously as an actor. Or, maybe not.
But it doesn't end there. What about the actresses? Surely one can see the similarities between Rocky's Talia Shire and The Exorcist's Ellen Burstyn.
Can't you see Burstyn sitting in the stands at a fight, gradually joining the rest of the crowd in chanting "Rocky... Rocky... Rocky..."
What we have here is an eerie connection. The running. The sweatshirts. It always seems to be gray and rainy a lot in both movies. The boxing and Catholic overtones. Similarities in actors and actresses. But here's the capper. You'll need to sit down for this, if you're not already.
Jason Miller's son is Jeremy Miller.
Jeremy Miller played Ben Seaver on Growing Pains.
Ben Seaver had a brother named Mike on the show.
Mike had a friend named Boner.
Boner's father's name on the show was... get this...
I. Kid. You. Not.
I just blew my mind.
Coincidence? I think not! And while we're on the subject, do you think me watching The Exorcist this weekend had anything to do with me stumbling down the stairs Sunday night? Jeepers creepers!
Friends, I might possibly be on the verge of a discovery so ginormous, a possibility so daunting, it would be like the Kennedy assassination, the UFO mystery, and who framed Roger Rabbit rolled into one.
Although I'm not quite sure where Carl Weathers and Dolph Lundgren fit in just yet.
"So many times, it happens too fast. You trade your passion for glory..."