Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cursed Movies

There are some very infamous movies that are supposedly cursed. There have been deaths and injuries on set, deaths and injuries in subsequent years after the filming or movie premiere; all of which affected cast and crew as well as their families. Some movies you would expect to be cursed, like the Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, The Omen, and the Exorcist. But movies like Superman as well as The Wizard of Oz have been branded as cursed, as well.

The recent Amityville Horror remake had a lot of supernatural hype surrounding it, from the body of a dead fisherman washing ashore or the real-life father’s death before filming began, to the fact that Ryan Reynolds kept waking up at the exact same time that his character used to.

The Poltergeist has had some very well-known instances which label the trilogy as haunted. In each of the three movies, a lead has died after post-production. First to die was the actress who played the teenage daughter, and then there was the death of a male character in the second, and lastly the tragic death of the 12-year-old after the third film. The supposed reasoning for this curse was because Steven Spielberg's is said to have used real human skeletons as props in the first film's swimming pool sequence, although it’s never actually been proven that this is true.

The Exorcist has also had its fair share of tragedies on set—Linda Blair was thrown a little too far during one scene and injured her back pretty badly. As many as nine other deaths plagued the filming processes too; various unexplained accidents also occurred on the set, including fires. A real priest was brought in to figure out what was going on at the set, and apparently the verdict was that someone whose name started with “S” didn’t want the movie being made. That’s pretty creepy if you believe it.

The Omen was possibly the most cursed, out of this list of films. There were a lot of accidents that happened during the filming of this movie. Three very important cast/crew members were all aboard planes that were struck or almost struck by lightning; another plane that the crew planned to use for aerial filming but was reserved elsewhere at the last minute crashed during that flight and killed everyone onboard; a hotel used for filming was bombed by the IRA while filming was occurring; the day after the film's safari park scene was filmed, an animal handler was mauled by a lion while other animal handlers were attacked by dogs; the star of the movie, Gregory Peck's, son committed suicide several weeks before filming commenced; and several crew members were involved in a head-on car accident during the very first day of filming. Also (on a Friday the 13th, nonetheless!) the special-effects designer John Richardson— who had been in charge of a very bloody decapitation scene from the movie— got into a car accident that left his assistant, who was in the passenger seat, decapitated. There was a remake of Omen recently, and the director was quoted as attributing ruined footage due to supernatural forces. Apparently the camera kept reading Error 666—which, of course according to the repairman of the camera, was an error message that didn’t actually exist.

Now, like I said, some cursed films don’t have to be horror films. The Wizard of Oz is one of those “normal” films that are considered cursed. Of course there is the infamous hanging munchkin scene, which actually has been debunked! What people thought was a human figure hung from a tree in the background was actually a very large bird. But Judy Garland’s spiral into drug abuse afterwards is attested to the curse, as well as Uncle Henry’s death before the premiere and Auntie Em’s suicide. Also, Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West) was severely burned during the scene when she bursts into flames—a stunt person was also burned during the same stunt.

The Superman series of films has also had its fair share of accidents that can be called supernatural. George Reeves was found in his bedroom as an apparent victim of suicide; Christopher Reeve was paralyzed during an equestrian accident; Richard Pryor’s death, and Margot Kidder’s bipolar meltdown. Dean Cain and Brandon Routh have not had anything serious happen to them as of yet, but each actor’s career has almost come to a standstill afterwards. So far Henry Cavill seems to have escaped the curse—but like I said, that’s only as of right now.

There are plenty other movies that are supposedly cursed; if you Google it you can come up with a plethora of interesting and creepy anecdotes from them. This is a subject that’s always fascinated and yet terrified me, because it’s obviously a trend in Hollywood films. Obviously, most of these events are just coincidence and pseudoscience, because being around that much equipment on a film set and also being so busy on a film set can account for accidents more than the supernatural can. Film crews and casts are enormous, so statistically the odds of someone dying in that amount of people are pretty decent—and that’s normal, not supernatural.

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