From the Archives – Mentor Log (September 11, 1975)

Check out this movie review from 1975 about the movie that began the era of the summer blockbuster

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Mr. Steve Couch, Advisor

Please enjoy this archived article from the old Mentor High School Log, one of the earlier incarnations of the Mentor High School student newspaper. Special thanks to Mr. Sanelli for finding these in an old bureau taken from the old Mentor High School Library during its renovation into the Hub. Also thanks to Mrs. Ford and the GenYes team for scanning and sharing the original article.

This movie review of “Jaws” and the movies of the previous summer ran on September 11, 1975, the month Mentor returned to school after that blockbuster changed summer movies forever. Think you can write a better review than this? Be a movie or TV critic and join the Cardinal Nation staff! – Mr. Couch, Cardinal Nation Advisor

Critic’s Corner: “Jaws” Parallels “Exorcist”

The usual collage of both well done and poorly made films made their debut this summer. In this critic’s opinion, two stand out as being the very best and the very worst in their fields.

Possibly the best and most suspenseful “monster movie” that I’ve seen recently is “Jaws.” But since most of my readers have already seen the film, I won’t prattle on about all of its good points.

But I must say that director Steven Spielberg ought to be congratulated for the restraint he used in not showing the shark until the final part of the film and in doing it in a humorous vein.

I wonder if anyone has noticed the many similarities between “Jaws” and last years big movie, “‘The Exorcist?” The basic plots of the two pictures are much the same.

The effect that both films had on audiences is also much the same. Remember last year when you couldn’t pick up a newspaper without reading something about exorcism or possession? And a whole rash of “Exorcist” t-shirts, books, and other sundry items popped up? That’s just about what’s happening now with “Jaws.”

“The Exorcist” thrilled audiences in 1974. The Mentor Log compared it to “Jaws” in 1975. (Flickr)

What this means is that, like “The Exorcist,” “Jaws” is a classic film of our times. Its jarring scenes and interesting characters make it a memorable and worthwhile film to see.

On the other hand, “Beyond the Door” is primarily nothing but a rusty hinge; it just grates on the ears.

It seems apparent that when director Oliver Hellman saw “The Exorcist,” he was most impressed with Linda Blair throwing up. Well, in this film vomit flows like wine, and spirits do indeed fly high. It also comes out in a variety of appealing colors – spinach green, saliva white, barf brown, and a yellow I can’t even describe.

The performances vary. Juliet Mills (of “Nanny and the Professor” and “QB VII” fame) handled her role as the devil-possessed Jessica pretty well, although one wonders why an actress of her stature is in a movie like this one. Richard Johnson as Dimitri, a devil worshiper, was just too hammy. But when the dialogue that he had to say is taken into consideration, one can see how he got that way.

But the picture has its good points. There was an amusing prologue done by the Devil. And the special effects weren’t bad, especially when Juliet Mills had her head turned around 270 degrees. Finally, there was one scary scene that had some strange acting dolls, and a child’s room and furniture that go bonkers.

But these few points when put into comparison with the rest of the film do not make for a worthwhile movie. In my opinion, if you want to see a movie on diabolical possession, go to see the Exorcist” a second time.