The Ninth Configuration review

Presumably rereleased to cash in on the recent resurgence of The Exorcist, there's no other conceivable reason why this torturous chin-stroke over the nature of evil should have resurfaced. Pointlessly reworking Catch 22 in a military asylum, William Peter Blatty's vanity project (he wrote, produced, acted and directed, all based on his own novel) is initially intriguing but lapses into a mess of muddled metaphysics and pretentious dialogue that stumbles its way to a mawkish climax.

Stacy Keach plays a disturbed military shrink sent to a Transylvanian-like asylum to check on some apparently mad ex-soldiers. And his stodgy visage displays all the signs of a man trying to make sense of his material - a frustrating bodge of a performance that fits perfectly in a frustrating bodge of a movie. Unreservedly unrecommended.

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