There's something poignant about a "making of" book about a movie that became a notorious flop. These things are usually written by a studio publicist, so they're always the rosiest pictures of the artistic process. In retrospect, though, you can read between the lines and see where everything went wrong, how bad decisions were made, etc. I also have a copy of "The Making of Dune," about David Lynch's great bomb. Both that book and the one shown above are kinda sad, because everyone is so excited about the movie! And in both books, they talk enthusiastically about planning sequels! Oh, gosh, it's sad, because unlike most books, you know the ending before the characters do.
Then again, I don't think Exorcist II, the Heretic is a bad movie. I think it's superb! And no, I really don't mean that in an ironic way. I don't think it's "so bad it's good" (we've talked about this before!); I think it's so good it's great! I will grudgingly admit that some of the actors in the film could be better, but otherwise will defend everything about it. It's a deeply weird, abstract story involving dreams and mental institutions and locusts and doves and priests and Africa and tapdancing and... gosh, just so bizarre! And it's bizarre on purpose! It is, after all, a John Boorman film, and he doesn't just accidentally make a strange movie. Have you seen Zardoz? The word "extraordinary" on the cover of the book is an understatement. All this and Ennio Morricone's most rocking score, too!
The book is interesting, a great way to learn about Boorman's off-kilter approach to filmmaking. It's true that the production was plagued by a lot of bad luck, but the director's way of dealing with adversity was impressive. And he really is weird: the book goes into great detail about his use of color, and how all blues and greens, even blue jeans on extras, were banished from the production and, indeed, The Heretic is entirely red, white, black and brown. Later I saw his also underrated The Tailor of Panama, and noticed an obsessive amount of the once-forbidden blue in the movie. To be honest, I haven't read the book in a long time, but I remember it being way more interesting than expected.
Some people might call Exorcist II nonsensical, but I prefer to think of it as difficult, in the same way Mulholland Drive is difficult, puzzling, non-linear. Watch it soon!