|REEL FACE:||REAL FACE:|
Born: August 9, 1968
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Born: June 14, 1962
Birthplace: Ridgewood, New York, USA
Born: March 25, 1977
Bishop Robert Fidelis McKenna
Born: July 8, 1927
Birthplace: Danville, Illinois, USA
The movie's Mendoza character was also inspired by Father Malachi Martin.
Born: July 3, 1980
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Born: August 24, 1968
Birthplace: Ridgewood, New York, USA
Christina Marie Burgreen
Birthplace: New York, USA
(Pictured in 2013)
Not exactly. In examining the Deliver Us From Evil true story, we learned that the movie does not follow Ralph Sarchie's cases exactly, but is rather a fictional retelling of some of the cases he worked on. "Scott took a lot of elements of my cases and put them in a different context than what I originally wrote about," says Sarchie. "He took liberties with certain aspects."
It was these liberties that led to the movie posters being adorned with the phrase, "Inspired by the actual accounts of an NYPD sergeant," instead of, "Based on the actual accounts of an NYPD sergeant." This differs from director Scott Derrickson's previous exorcism movie, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which follows the real account much more closely and was promoted with the "based on a true story" tagline.
The real Ralph Sarchie was a member of the New York City Police Department for approximately twenty years from the early 1980s through the 1990s. He retired in 2004 as a decorated sergeant, having spent a portion of his time serving in the 46th Precinct in The Bronx, which has a reputation for being one of the most violent neighborhoods in all of New York City. Following his retirement, he began devoting himself to demonology cases full time. In 2001, St. Martin's Press published his book, Beware the Night, co-written by Lisa Collier Cool, which chronicles his experiences as a demonologist and NYPD cop.
"No," says the real Ralph Sarchie, referring to the existence of the plush owl that becomes possessed in the movie and tumbles across the daughter's bedroom floor, making the sound, "Ha, ha, hoo. Ha, ha, hoo." The idea for the owl came from the mind of director Scott Derrickson. He has kids who have a lot of stuffed animals, and he imagined that "one of them moving on its own would be very upsetting." -ScreenSlam
"When he was ten months old, Ralph got very, very sick," says his mother, Lillian Rizo. "They said it's up to God now. There isn't anything more he could do for him. I had to wait 24 hours for this child to pull through, and he did of course, there he is to tell the story. God left him here for some reason, to do something. Very protective boy he was." -Ralph Sarchie Documentary
The Father Mendoza character in the Deliver Us From Evil movie was based on two real-life individuals, Bishop Robert McKenna and Father Malachi Martin, who were both mentors to Ralph Sarchie. Bishop Robert Fidelis McKenna is a well-known Monroe, Connecticut bishop and exorcist who was previously featured in the 20th Century Fox made-for-TV movie The Haunted, which dealt with the Smurl haunting.
Father Malachi Martin, a former Irish Catholic Priest and author, was best known for writing the terrifying 1976 book Hostage to the Devil, which chronicles five American possessions and exorcisms.
Yes. Like in the movie, Ralph Sarchie became involved in Church-approved exorcisms. You can watch footage of Ralph Sarchie at a 1992 exorcism. "We just put the chair down in the living room and had her sit in it," says Sarchie of the 1992 case. "We had all of the restraints. This particular person was about 90 pounds. The battle went on for quite some time. This was a tough one. This is what we considered a genuine case of possession." Dominican bishop Robert McKenna was present to perform the exorcism while Sarchie helped to restrain the possessed female subject (pictured below). -Ralph Sarchie Documentary
No. "He never did that," says director Scott Derrickson of the fictional scene where Eric Bana's character punches a child murderer to death. "Has he ever killed anybody? Not that I know of. ...when we had to change the title from Beware the Night, which was the name of his book, to Deliver Us From Evil, he calls me up. He's like, 'Scott, you made me a murderer. Can't you at least keep my f***in' book title?'" -MoviePilot.com
Ralph Sarchie did take a bullet in the line of duty. He was shot by a thief who had grabbed his gun from him. Sarchie wrestled the gun back from the man, but not before the man got off a shot and hit Sarchie in the arm, which turned out to be not as serious as it initially appeared. -Beware the Night
No. The movie's main antagonist, a possessed Iraq War veteran named Mick Santino (Sean Harris), is for the most part fictional. This character is not in Ralph Sarchie's book Beware the Night, which was published prior to the Iraq War. Certain elements of the Santino character were drawn from some of the cases that Ralph Sarchie had worked on, but even most of these elements were exaggerated for the movie. For example, the real Ralph Sarchie once worked a case where a man's forehead split open during an exorcism, similar to but not as extreme as what happens to Santino during his exorcism near the end of the movie (pictured).
Yes. Despite being an altar boy growing up, Ralph says that he was never a particularly devout kid. However, in 1990 he found himself gravitating more toward religion after his marriage to his wife Jennifer (now divorced) and the birth of his first daughter, Christina. 1990 was also the year that he picked up a copy of Satan's Harvest, a book about a case of demonic possession that was investigated by paranormal researchers Ed and Lorraine Warren. After reading the book, he felt that he was ready to do "God's work", and it was around this time that he began to moonlight as a demonologist. -Beware the Night
"When I found out that my dad was in the mix of doing like exorcisms and everything, things would happen, like in the house with me and my family," says Ralph's daughter Daniella (shown as a baby at the end of the movie), "and I wasn't really sure, you know I was scared, but I didn't know really what I was scared about. As he got more into the Work, you know, more things started happening to me and my family and my house. It was scary."
"We had a picture frame on my parents' bedroom wall, and out of nowhere it just flew across the room." -Ralph Sarchie Documentary
Ralph Sarchie and his wife Jen divorced in the years that followed the events depicted in the movie. Ralph says that his work as a demonologist did contribute to the separation, though he admits in his book that their "marriage has a been a real rollercoaster from the start." "The time period we're dealing with, [the separation] wasn't hugely relevant," says actor Eric Bana, "but I think it's really important. You know, any time you're playing married couples, there's always naturally some tension, and Ralph's job at the period we cover in the film, he doesn't really have a lot of time for his family and so forth. So, the natural kind of friction that occurs in that dynamic, that was important to Olivia and I, but at the same time you see that they really love each other." -HitFix
"It had nothing to do with being skeptical," says actor Eric Bana, who portrays Sarchie in the film. "It was just more unaware. I just didn't know a lot about it, as most people probably don't. I mean when you really boil down to, okay, what actually really occurs in this area, in this field? So, it was a huge eye opener and really beneficial, for sure." -HitFix
Ralph Sarchie's personal videotapes were also the reason that director Scott Derrickson decided to finish the screenplay, a project that he had set aside in 2003. Derrickson has called the elusive videos "mind-blowing." -USA Today
For the most part, no. However, brief footage from a 1992 exorcism that Sarchie was involved in is included in the Ralph Sarchie Documentary. Sarchie says that he has never made the VHS tapes public because he wants to protect the privacy of the people involved. "Every person who comes to me for help is offered strict confidentiality," says Sarchie. -USA Today
Deliver Us From Evil actors Eric Bana and Olivia Munn, who portray Ralph Sarchie and his wife Jennifer Sarchie, were permitted to watch an old police taping of a real exorcism from Sarchie's NYPD files. "I got to see them," says Olivia Munn. "What's on the tape? Okay, I only watched one part before I turned it off because it freaked me out. So, I'm looking at a guy and he's sitting there, and it's a grainy black and white but it's the real tape, and you're seeing this guy and he's sitting there in a straitjacket, and he's shaking, and he's got this other-worldly look in his eyes, that's what Eric said, 'other-worldly,' and I said, 'You mean like crazy?' And he goes, 'No, no, like he's from another world.' And it's true, his eyes look like he's from another world, and he's shaking and out of nowhere his forehead splits open, out of nowhere, and he's in the straitjacket, and then he starts drooling and as soon as the drool hits his shirt, his white straitjacket, it turns into blood, and I'm watching this, and as soon as it happens I turn off the tape and I can't do any more." -Olivia Munn Deliver Us From Evil Interview
According to Sarchie, he has assisted on 25 exorcisms and has performed "hundreds" of house exorcisms. -USA Today
Yes. Back in 2003, producer Jerry Bruckheimer bought the rights to Ralph Sarchie's book Beware the Night. Interested in directing a movie adaptation of the book, Derrickson went to New York and met with the real Ralph Sarchie. He was fascinated by Sarchie's powerful history as an NYPD officer, in addition to his work as a demonologist. During the four days that Derrickson spent with Sarchie, the retired police sergeant gave him a copy of the non-fiction book The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel. Derrickson optioned the book for a hundred dollars and adapted it into The Exorcism of Emily Rose. -Collider
Eric Bana answered this question during an interview with HitFix. "I really shut down a bit when we were shooting to that stuff 'cause I really just wanted to concentrate on what I was doing, but I was aware that there were things that were definitely occurring away from the set, in the offices and warehouses of various departments that were working on the film, some quite really weird things that were happening. ... I heard a few stories, but I really was workin' pretty hard on this one, so I tried to stay focused." Bana offered no further details.
Watch the SARCHIE documentary that offers a firsthand account of the Deliver Us From Evil true story. Then view an interview with actress Olivia Munn, during which she describes watching one of Ralph Sarchie's exorcism videotapes.
WATCHRalph Sarchie Documentary
Former NYPD Sergeant and practicing
demonologist Ralph Sarchie, whose own
accounts inspired the movie Deliver Us
From Evil, looks back on his time
working as a cop in New York City, while
at the same time moonlighting as a
demonologist. This Ralph Sarchie
documentary was released just prior to the
Deliver Us From Evil movie.
WATCHOlivia Munn Watches Ralph Sarchie's Exorcism Videotapes
Actress Olivia Munn is interviewed for the
Deliver Us From Evil movie, in
which she plays Jennifer Sarchie, wife of
Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana). Munn talks
about watching one of Ralph Sarchie's
exorcism videotapes and goes into detail
describing what she saw that made her shut
off the tape.
WATCHDeliver Us From Evil Movie Trailer
Based on the paranormal experiences of
former New York City police Sergeant Ralph
Sarchie, watch the Deliver Us From
Evil movie trailer for the 2014 Eric
Bana film. In the movie, Bana's character
joins forces with a priest as he
investigates a series of bizarre crimes.
The film also stars Olivia Munn and Joel