The Ninth Configuration

The Ninth Configuration (also known as Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane) is a 1980 American psychological drama film written, produced, and directed by William Peter Blatty, in his directorial debut. The second installment in Blatty's "Faith Trilogy" after The Exorcist, it is based on Blatty's 1978 novel The Ninth Configuration, which was itself a reworking of an earlier version of his 1966 novel Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane!. The initial 1966 publication of the novel featured an exclamation mark at the end of the title, while all subsequent publications saw it removed.


Sometime in the early 1970s, "toward the end of the War in Vietnam" as stated in the opening narration, a large castle in the Pacific Northwest is used by the US government as an insane asylum for military personnel. Among the many patients there is a former astronaut, Billy Cutshaw (Scott Wilson), who aborted a moon launch and was dragged screaming from the capsule, suffering from an apparent mental breakdown.