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. . . The Devil Made Me Lose It

April 05, 1987|Pat H. Broeske

Ewwwwww gross! That split-pea soup vomit sequence from "The Exorcist" was kid's stuff compared to the throw-up scene in "Witches of Eastwick," in which one of the stars spews cherry-colored vomit more than 20 feet!

That's the report from an Outtakes friend who chanced into a rough-cut viewing at the Preview House, which measures audience reaction for editing and marketing purposes. Based on the John Updike novel, the big, BIG budgeted film ($35 million-plus, acknowledged a rep for the office of director George Miller) is due out in June.

Equally scary, according to our source: Jack Nicholson's devilish ways, as he goes about seducing the imposing modern-day coven of Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer. They, um, sort of conjure him up over cocktails. See, none of them has a man. Which gets them to musing about Prince Charming. He doesn't have to be gorgeous. . . .

Voila! A mysterious (and paunchy) Nicholson moves into an old mansion nearby--and their lives. Nicholson reportedly pulls out all stops, a la his broad turn in "The Shining."

For the record, there were hoots and laughter from the audience--"not always in the right places," said our source--as the film veered from "soft" to "hideous."

But, of course, "Witches" awaits two major special-effects sequences, some continuity material and John Williams' music.

Warners publicity chief Rob Friedman was nonplussed about our sneaky preview: "The truth is, the picture was in very rough form and we were very thrilled that (a) there were no walk-outs and (b) the response cards were all extremely positive.

"The overall reaction, for a film in that form, was every exciting for us. And we couldn't be more positive after the experience."

He also disputed the budget: "It was originally budgeted in the mid-20s. And it has come in on that figure."

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