1. THE EXORCIST
The Exorcist is an Academy Award-winning 1973
American horror and thriller film, adapted from
the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter
Blatty, dealing with the demonic possession of
a young girl, and her mother’s desperate
attempts to win back her daughter through an exorcism
conducted by several priests. The film features
Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Kitty
Winn, Lee J. Cobb and Jason Miller. Both the film
and novel took inspirations from a documented
exorcism in 1949, performed on a 12 year old boy.
The film became one of the most profitable horror
films of all time and has had significant impact
on viewers, grossing $402,500,000 worldwide. The
film earned ten Academy Award nominations—winning
two, one for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Considered the scariest movie of all time, "The
Exorcist" won two Acadamy Awards after it's
release in 1973.
Based on the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty,
The Exorcist marries three different scenarios
into one plot.
The movie starts with Father Lankester Merrin
(Max von Sydow) on an archaeological dig near
Nineveh. He is then brought to a nearby hole where
a small stone head is found, resembling some sort
of creature. After talking to one of his supervisors,
he then travels to a spot where a strange statue
stands, specifically Pazuzu, with a head similar
to the one he found earlier. He sees an ominous
man up a bit away, and two dogs fight loudly nearby,
setting the tone for the rest of the film.
A visiting actress, Chris McNeill (Ellen Burstyn)
in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous
changes in the behavior and physical make-up of
her 12-year-old daughter Regan McNeill (Linda
Blair), first believing her rapid change physically
and mentally are due to trauma from her recent
break-up with Regan's biological father. During
this time, several supernatural occurrences plague
the household of the McNeill's along with the
sudden change in her daughter, including violently
shaking beds, strange noises and unexplained movement.
Meanwhile, Father Damian Karras, a young priest
at nearby Georgetown University, begins to doubt
his faith while dealing with his mother's terminal
sickness. Regan exhibits strange, unnatural powers,
including levitation and great strength. When
all medical possibilities are exhausted, her mother
is sent to a priest who is also a psychiatrist.
He becomes convinced that Regan is possessed.
Father Merrin, who in addition to being an archeologist
is also experienced in exorcism, is summoned to
Washington. He and Father Karras try to drive
the spirit from Regan before she dies. Regan,
or rather the spirit, claims she is not possessed
by a simple demon, but the Devil himself.
At the climax of the lengthy exorcism, Father
Merrin dies of heart failure and Father Karras
shouts at the demon to enter himself. After this,
the priest immediately throws himself outside
of Regan's bedroom window in order to stop the
spirit from continuing its cycle in possession.
Regan is restored to her normal self, and according
to Chris, claims she does not remember any of
the experience. The film ends as the McNeill mother
and daughter move to a different city to move
on from their ordeal.
Jason Miller as Father Damien Karras
Ellen Burstyn as Chris MacNeil
Max von Sydow as Father Lankester Merrin
Lee J. Cobb as Detective Lieutenant William F.
Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil
Kitty Winn as Sharon Spencer
Jack MacGowran as Burke Dennings
Mercedes McCambridge as Voice of 'the demon'
Rev. William O'Malley as Father Joe Dyer
Was it haunted? Urban Legends
and On-Set Incidents
An apocryphal story has Friedkin supposedly asking
technical adviser Rev. Thomas Bermingham to exorcise
the set. He refused, saying an exorcism might
increase anxiety. This probably did not happen.
According to Catholic doctrine, an exorcism has
to be applied for and approved by Church authorities
-- this is part of the story, so Friedkin would
have known it. A blessing with holy water is all
that is necessary. Rev. Bermingham reportedly
visited the set, gave a blessing, and spoke briefly
to reassure the cast and crew.
Other tales about ominous events surrounding
the year-long shoot, including the deaths of nine
people associated with the production and stories
about a mysterious fire that destroyed the set
one weekend, are probably fakelore and were either
deliberately released by the studio for publicity,
or concocted by tabloid writers as no evidence
exists for any freakish occurrences. These stories
are the source of the rumor that the film was
cursed. Blatty, Schrader and von Sydow have all
discounted such tales as nonsense. However, Ellen
Burstyn has indicated that some of these rumors
are true in her 2006 autobiography Lessons In
There were also strange happenins at screenings
for the film. They were filled with people vomiting,
fainting, and breaking into hysterics. "The
Exorcist" has proven to have some of the
strangest audience reactions of all time. For
some reason, the death tolls rose in the areas
surrounding Georgetown after the movie was released.
Heart attacks were recorded all over the world
during premiers. There was even a lightning strike
that destroyed a 400-year-old cross during the
Italian premiere at the Metropolitan Theatre in
Rome. Some of these rumours have been confirmed
false, but many still believe that something was
trying to stop the film. Although there were no
incidents on the film's sequels, the original
director for the prequel Exorcist: The Beginning,
John Frankenheimer, died before filming began
Sequels and related films
John Boorman's Exorcist II: The Heretic was released
in 1977, and re-visited Regan four years after
her initial ordeal.
Blatty directed The Ninth Configuration, a post-Vietnam
War drama set in a mental institution. Released
in 1980, it was based on Blatty's novel of the
same name. Though it contrasts sharply with the
tone of The Exorcist, Blatty regards Configuration
as its true sequel. The lead character is the
astronaut from Chris' party, Lt. Cutshaw.
The Exorcist III appeared in 1990, written and
directed by Blatty himself from his own 1983 novel
Legion. Jumping past the events of Exorcist II,
this book and film presented a contuation of the
story of Father Karras. Following the precedents
set in The Ninth Configuration, Blatty turned
a minor character from the first film -- in this
case, Det. Kinderman — into the chief protagonist.
A parody entitled Repossessed was released the
same year, with Blair lampooning the role she
played in the original.
A made-for-television film entitled Possessed
was broadcast on Showtime on October 22, 2000.
It claimed to follow the true accounts that inspired
Blatty to write The Exorcist. It was directed
by Steven E. de Souza and written by de Souza
and Michael Lazarou, from the book of the same
name by Thomas B. Allen. Main characters were
played by Timothy Dalton, Henry Czerny and Christopher
A prequel, Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) attracted
attention and controversy even before its release.
It went through a number of directorial and script
changes, such that two versions were actually
filmed. Paul Schrader was hired as director, but
the studio ultimately rejected his version. Renny
Harlin was then hired as director, and permitted
to reuse Schrader's footage, and shoot new footage
as he saw fit, to create a more conventional shocker
film. Harlin's film was released, but was not
well received, including by Blatty himself. Schrader's
version was renamed Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist
and subsequently released. It is considered by
some critics to be more thought-provoking and
perhaps more frightening because of its subtlety.
There's a 1974 Turkish movie named "Seytan"
(Turkish for Satan, the original movie was also
shown with the same name) which is almost a scene-by-scene
remake of the original. It's gained a reputation
among cult movie enthisuasts as "Turkish
The Poltergeist movies are a trilogy of horror
films produced in the 1980s. Steven Spielberg
co-wrote and co-produced the first Poltergeist,
with Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre)
as the director. Brian Gibson directed Poltergeist
II: The Other Side, while Poltergeist III was
directed, co-written, co-produced and storyboarded
by Gary Sherman.
Michael Grais and Mark Victor co-wrote the first
film with Spielberg, wrote the second film on
their own and also co-produced it. Brian Taggert
and an uncredited Steve Feke co-wrote the third
Spielberg's long-time friends (and then-married
couple) Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy co-produced
the first film. Freddie Fields and Lynn Arost
co-produced the second film, and the third film
was co-produced by Barry Bernardi.
The scores of the first two films were composed
by Jerry Goldsmith. H.R. Giger did conceptual
designs for the second film.
In the first and most successful film (released
on June 4 1982), a group of seemingly benign ghosts
begin communicating with five-year-old Carol Anne
Freeling in her parents' suburban California home
via static on the television. Eventually they
use the TV as their path into the house itself.
They kidnap Carol Anne, and most of the film involves
the family's efforts to rescue her. Eventually
they do, but then the spirits, led by a demon
known only as The Beast, go on a rampage.
Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)
This sequel exists to explain in much greater
detail why Carol Anne was targeted in the first
film. As it turns out, the Freelings' house in
the first movie was built over a massive underground
cavern that was the final resting place of a utopian
cult that died there in the early 1800s. This
cavern was even below the graveyard that wasn't
relocated in the first film. The cult was led
by Rev. Henry Kane, and this man did not have
the best intentions. He was power hungry, anxious
to control the souls of his followers in both
life and death. This film also elaborates that
the females in the family have measures of psychic
powers, making them a target for the spirits.
Poltergeist III (1988)
Apparently, between the second and third films,
the Freeling family has had quite enough of all
supernatural activity, and have decided to cut
it off at the source: Carol Anne is now living
with her aunt Pat (whom Carol Anne insists on
calling Trish, a common nickname for Patricia;
this is important later in the film as a way of
identifying an impostor Carol Anne) and uncle
Bruce Gardner in the John Hancock Center where
Bruce also works in downtown Chicago.
Some of the stars in the movie, such as Dominique
Dunne and Heather O'Rourke, died young. As a result,
an urban legend has grown up asserting that the
cast was cursed. See the Poltergeist curse.
The line "They're here!" was voted
on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes at number
H.R. Giger was responsible for The Beast's creature
Of all the films in the series, the first is the
only one not currently owned by MGM — it
is currently owned by Warner Bros. via its acquisition
of Turner Entertainment, which is in possession
of the pre-1986 MGM library.
The Poltergeist curse is a rumour that a supposed
curse is/was attached to the Poltergeist motion
picture series and its stars.
The idea that the casts of the several movies
in the series were in some way cursed is a superstition
based on the fact that four of the cast members
from the movies died in a relatively short span
of the films' release, two of them dying at a
young age (12 and 22). It is not clear that these
particular films are atypical in the number or
nature of the deaths of their actors.
In Poltergeist's case, those associated with
the film who died prematurely include:
Dominique Dunne, 22-year-old actress who played
the oldest sister Dana in the first movie, died
after being choked by a jealous boyfriend in 1982.
The boyfriend was later convicted and sentenced
to six years in prison.
Heather O'Rourke, 12-year-old actress who played
Carol Anne in the three Poltergeist movies, died
in 1988 after what doctors initially described
as an acute form of influenza but later changed
to septic shock after bacterial toxins invaded
Julian Beck, 60-year-old who played Kane in Poltergeist
II: The Other Side, died of stomach cancer, with
which he was diagnosed before he had accepted
Will Sampson, 53 years old, who played Taylor
the Medicine Man in Poltergeist II, died of post-operative
kidney failure and pre-operative malnutrition
Other rumours surrounding the film have pointed
to a potential cause of the curse. The most widely
blamed alleges that real human skeletal remains
were used as props in the first film, causing
the angry spirits of the deceased to wreak havoc.
On this theory, also "survivor" actress
JoBeth Williams has pointed out in television
interviews (most notably the E! True Hollywood
Story episode "The Curse of Poltergeist")
that she was actually told that the skeletons
used in the well-known swimming pool scene in
the first Poltergeist film were real.
Other occurrences that have been attributed to
the curse include:
The "Freeling" home in Southern California
where the original film was partially shot was
damaged by the Northridge earthquake in 1994.
JoBeth Williams, who played mother Diane Freeling,
claims she returned home from the set each day
to find pictures on her wall askew. She would
straighten them, only to find them crooked again
the next day.
Actor Will Sampson, a Creek Indian and actual
shaman, performed an exorcism on the set of Poltergeist
II to rid it of "alien spirits." A year
after Poltergeist II was released, he died.
During a scene when Robbie Freeling (Oliver Robins)
was choked by a clown in his room, something went
wrong with the prop and Robins was actually being
During a photography session for Poltergeist III,
it was discovered that one shot of another "survivor"
co-star Zelda Rubenstein had shining light obstructing
the view of her face. Rubenstein claims the photo
was taken at the moment her real-life mother died.
During the fight Dominique Dunne had with her
boyfriend that ended up with her losing her life,
Dominique's friend who was at the house turned
up the Poltergeist soundtrack to drown out the
noise of the two yelling outside.
During the making of Poltergeist III, a movie
set of a parking garage was completely engulfed
by fire during shooting of a fire scene, from
which only one crew member escaped without a scratch.
3. The Amytiville Horror
The Amityville Horror is a 2005 horror film directed
by Andrew Douglas for United Artists and Dimension
Films. It is a remake of the original 1979 film
version of The Amityville Horror, which was based
on Jay Anson's 1977 novel of the same name. The
film is ostensibly inspired by a real life murder
case from November 1974 in Long Island, New York,
in which Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot dead six members
of his family.
George and Kathy Lutz (played by Ryan Reynolds
and Melissa George), along with their three children,
move into what they believe will be their dream
home on Long Island, New York. The house had previously
belonged to the DeFeo family, where Ronald DeFeo,
Jr. had murdered his parents and siblings with
a rifle a year earlier. DeFeo had claimed that
he heard voices urging him to commit the crime.
see: AMITYVILLE THE MOST
HAUNTED FAMOUS HOUSES IN AMERICA - Haunted
...Most haunted house in America, Amityville The
House Of Horrors: Facts and Fictions,
The Lutz family soon start hearing ghostly voices
and witnessing apparitions, including the ghost
of Jodie DeFeo. George is the most affected, and
he eventually becomes a danger to those around
him. The local priest is called in to bless the
house and he fails, warning Kathy to leave the
house before it is too late. At the climax of
the film, George Lutz tries to kill the other
members of his family but is unsuccessful, and
they all flee the house.
The best known of these films is the first version,
which was released in July 1979. The film was
made by the independent production company American
International Pictures headed by Samuel Z. Arkoff,
and directed by Stuart Rosenberg. It starred James
Brolin and Margot Kidder as George and Kathy Lutz.
The part of the priest who blesses the house was
played by Rod Steiger, whose name in the film
is Father Delaney. The 1979 version and its two
sequels were filmed at a house in Toms River,
New Jersey which had been converted to look like
112 Ocean Avenue after the authorities in Amityville
denied permission for location filming.
The Amityville Horror has been the subject of
nine films, which are as follows:
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Amityville II: The Possession (1982)
Amityville 3D (1983) (this film was made in 3-D,
and has also been released as Amityville III:
Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989) (This was
made for television)
The Amityville Curse (1990)
Amityville 1992: It's About Time (1992)
Amityville: A New Generation (1993)
Amityville Dollhouse: Evil Never Dies (1996)
The Amityville Horror (2005) (remake).
The real life George Lutz denounced the 2005
version of the film as "drivel" and
was suing the makers of the film at the time of
his death in May 2006.
William Weber, the defense lawyer for Ronald
DeFeo at his trial in 1975, has since claimed
that the story that inspired the original book
was a hoax concocted between himself and the Lutz
This was the last film marketed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
before its 2005 merger.
The house used as the Lutz home in the film was
in Silver Lake, Wisconsin while other location
work was shot in Antioch, Illinois.
Jay Anson's 1977 book The Amityville Horror -
A True Story.
In December 1975, George and Kathleen Lutz and
their children moved into 112 Ocean Avenue, a
large Dutch Colonial house in Amityville, a suburban
neighborhood located on the south shore of Long
Island, New York. Thirteen months before the Lutzes
moved in, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. had shot dead six
members of his family at the house. After 28 days
the Lutzes left the house, claiming to have been
terrorized by paranormal phenomena while living
Much of the controversy surrounding The Amityville
Horror can be traced back to the way that it has
been marketed over the years. The cover of the
book shown on the right implies that it is based
on verifiable events. A quote from a review in
the Los Angeles Times displayed on the front cover
states: "A FASCINATING, FRIGHTENING BOOK...
THE SCARIEST TRUE STORY I HAVE READ IN YEARS",
while the tagline at the bottom states: "MORE
HIDEOUSLY FRIGHTENING THAN THE EXORCIST BECAUSE
IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!" The reference to The
Exorcist is revealing, since the 1973 film had
been a huge box office success and was one of
the major cultural events of the 1970s. Many of
the incidents in the book recall the style of
The Exorcist, and this is one of the reasons why
it has aroused suspicion.
In the afterword of The Amityville Horror Jay
Anson states: "There is simply too much independent
corroboration of their narrative to support the
speculation that [the Lutzes] either imagined
or fabricated these events", but some people
remained unconvinced. Almost as soon as the book
was published in September 1977, other writers
and researchers began looking into the events
at 112 Ocean Avenue, and the conclusions that
they reached were often at odds with those that
had appeared in Anson's book.
4. The Omen
The Omen is a 1976 suspense/horror film directed
by Richard Donner and starring Gregory Peck, Lee
Remick, David Warner, Harvey Stephens, Billie
Whitelaw, Patrick Troughton, Martin Benson, and
Leo McKern. It is the first film in The Omen series
and it is based on a horror novel by David Seltzer.
Though part of a cycle of similarly-themed movies,
The Omen has gained prestige over time for a number
of reasons: its respectability (as a profitable
major-studio film with renowned actors), its seriousness
(it plays as a contemporary thriller, rather than
with the knowing excesses of certain aspects of
the horror genre), and the originality of the
movie's Jerry Goldsmith score.
The movie followed a cycle of 'demonic child'
movies, such as Rosemary's Baby, and most notably
The Exorcist, and was itself followed by sequels
(see below) and a number of copycat films such
as the Italian-made Kirk Douglas movie Holocaust
A new version, The Omen, was released on June
Set in Fulham, England; the premise of The Omen
comes from the end times prophecies of Christianity.
The story tells of the childhood of Damien Thorn,
who was switched at birth with the murdered child
of a wealthy American diplomat. Damien's family
is unaware that he is actually the offspring of
Satan and destined to become the Antichrist. His
father, Robert Thorn, eventually begins to realize
this with the help of a photographer named Keith
Jennings, after numerous people connected to Damien
begin dying in tragic accidents. After Damien's
first nanny hangs herself at Damien's fifth birthday
party, a new nanny, named Mrs. Baylock, arrives
to tend to him. A priest who knows about Damien
begins stalking Robert, and is eventually the
one to first point out that Damien is the Antichrist,
and that he intends to kill everyone in his way.
The priest later dies in a bizarre accident, and
Katherine Thorn, Damien's mother, suffers a fall
after being knocked over a railing by Damien.
With Katherine in the hospital, Robert and Keith
journey to Israel to find a man named Bugenhagen,
an archaeologist who knows how to stop the Antichrist.
While there, however, Katherine is killed by Mrs
Baylock, who pushes her from the window in her
hospital room. Robert learns that he has to stab
his son with seven special daggers to prevent
the end of the world. Horrified by this, he tosses
the daggers aside, only for Keith to run and pick
them back up, leading to his own untimely death.
Robert returns to London with the daggers, intending
to kill his son.
Returning to his mansion, Robert is attacked
first by Mrs Baylocks guard dog. He manages to
lock it in a room and then goes upstairs to check
whether Damien has the "666" birthmark
(as explained by Bugenhagen). Seeing it on Damien's
scalp after cutting away some hair, Robert has
no doubt about Damien's true identity.
It is at this moment that Damien's Satanic nanny
attacks him from behind. After violently wrestling
with her, Robert puts her out of play temporarily
with a flying kick in the face. As he drags Damien
downstairs, Damien kicks and screams at Robert.
Bumping into a light fixture while descending
the staircase, Robert and Damien tumble down the
stairs, knocking Damien temporarily unconscious.
As Robert prepares to exit the home, Mrs. Baylock
re-appears and the two struggle in the kitchen
before Robert finally kills her with a knife to
the neck. Robert then exits, tosses a limp Damien
into the front passenger seat of the car and proceeds
to go to the church where he plans to kill Damien.
As he bursts through the gates of his mansion,
his security is alerted and chases his car, followed
by the police. Robert drags Damien to the church
and, as he is about to stab him on an altar with
one of the knives as directed by Bugenhagen, the
police arrive and shoot Robert.
The movie ends with Robert's funeral where Damien
is seen holding the president's hand. The camera
lowers to Damien, who looks at the camera and
gives an evil smile in one of the movie's most
famous moments before the credits roll.
The Omen was characterized by the chillingly
effective use of symbolism, such as the birthmark
of the number 666 on Damien's scalp, the effective
use of crosses and statuary for foreshadowing,
and the wallpapering of a room with pages from
a Bible to ward off evil spirits.
Gregory Peck Robert Thorn
Lee Remick Katherine Thorn
David Warner Keith Jennings
Billie Whitelaw Mrs. Baylock
Harvey Stephens Damien Thorn
Patrick Troughton Father Brennan
Martin Benson Father Spiletto
Leo McKern Bugenhagen
Holly Palance Holly (the nanny)
The movie boasted a particularly disturbing scene,
in which a character willingly and joyfully hangs
herself at a birthday party attended by young
children. It also features a violent decapitation
scene (caused by a horizontal sheet of plate glass),
one of mainstream Hollywood's first: "If
there were a special Madame Defarge Humanitarian
Award for best decapitation," wrote Kim Newman
in Nightmare Movies (1988), "this lingering,
slow-motion sequence would get my vote."
In 2005 a documentary entitled "The Curse
of 'The Omen'" was shown on British television.
The production of The Omen was plagued with a
series of incidents which some members of the
crew attributed to the operation of a curse. They
wondered if these events were due to supernatural
forces trying to prevent the filming of the movie.
Instances include the following:
Scriptwriter David Seltzer's plane was struck
Star Gregory Peck, in a separate incident, had
his plane struck by lightning.
Richard Donner's hotel was bombed by the Provisional
Gregory Peck canceled his reservation on a flight.
The plane he had originally chartered crashed,
killing all on board (a group of Japanese businessmen).
A warden at the safari park used in the "crazy
baboon" scene was attacked and killed by
a lion the day after the crew left.
Rottweilers hired for the film attacked their
On the first day of shooting, the principal members
of the crew got in a head-on car crash
The Omen (also known as The Omen: 666) is a 2006
remake of the 1976 horror film The Omen. The film
is directed by John Moore and is written by David
Seltzer. Principal photography began on October
3, 2005 at Barrandov Studios in Prague, Czech
Republic. The film is part of the Omen series.
The Omen was released on June 6, 2006 (6/6/06),
at 06:06:06 in the morning. This symbolically
represents the number 666, which, traditionally
is regarded as the "Number of the Beast,"
according to the New Testament (this is disputed
by several theologians, however).
The MPAA rated this film as R for disturbing
violent content, graphic images, and disturbing
The Omen opened on a Tuesday in order to be released
on June 6, and recorded the highest opening Tuesday
box office gross in domestic box office history
in the United States, by earning more than $12
million. The film earned $12,633,666 on its first
day, with the last three digits ending in the
number 666. However, Bruce Snyder, Fox's president
of distribution, said, "We were having a
little fun" when referring to his studio's
manipulation of the box office number's last three
Liev Schreiber Ambassador Robert Thorn
Julia Stiles Katherine Thorn
Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick Damien Thorn
David Thewlis Keith Jennings
Pete Postlethwaite Father Brennan
Mia Farrow Mrs. Baylock
The Curse of The Omen
In a strange event, Pete Postlethwaite (Father
Brennan) not only lost his brother while he was
filming the movie, but before he passed, his brother
was in a card game in which he drew three sixes.
Postlethwaite is reluctant to put together a connection,
but adds "I think things like that do happen
and it's just sometimes we're not sensitised enough
to see the problem."
5. The Crow
The Crow is a 1994 American film adaptation of
the comic book of the same name by James O'Barr
(who himself makes a cameo in the film). During
the actual filming rumors that "The Crow"
set was cursed, many accidents happened. A carpenter
was severely burned after the crane in which he
was riding struck high-power lines; then a disgruntled
sculptor who had worked on the set drove his car
through the studio's plaster shop, doing extensive
damage. Later, another crew member slipped and
drove a screwdriver through his hand and a lorry
full of equipment mysteriously went on fire.
It was directed by Alex Proyas and starred Brandon
Lee, and gained instant notoriety even before
its release, when Lee was accidentally killed
during filming. Despite this (or perhaps because
of it), the film has gained a cult following over
The streets of Detroit are rain-slickened and
littered with filth, smoky fires burn in the distance,
and daylight never seems to shine.
Detroit is where tough street waif Sarah (Rochelle
Davis) lives, and where her two best friends,
rock guitarist Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his
angelic fiancee Shelley Webster (Sofia Shinas)
are brutally murdered.
It is said that when a man dies wrongfully, a
crow may bring him back to life to seek vengeance
upon his killer.
A year after Draven and Shelley have been laid
to rest, Draven returns from the grave, clawing
his way up from the ground. He's met by a crow
perched upon his headstone, his guide between
the worlds of the living and the dead.
Draven, with his face painted, searches for the
killers -- T-Bird (David Patrick Kelly), Skank
(Angel David), Tin Tin (Laurence Mason), and Funboy
Draven kills them one by one. And it all leads
Draven to Top Dollar (Michael Wincott), the crime
boss who masterminded Draven and Shelley's murders.
Top Dollar and his lover Myca (Bai Ling) seem
to have some kind of stranglehold over the city.
Draven crosses paths with Sarah and good cop
Albrecht (Ernie Hudson). Top Dollar kidnaps Sarah,
and then Myca captures the crow and begins to
sap Draven's supernatural powers.
They hole up in a gothic church, and Draven uses
the last of his strength to rescue Sarah. When
his mission is complete, and all those responsible
for his and Shelley's murders are dead, Draven
returns to the grave, his soul able to rest peacefully.
On March 31, 1993, there were eight days left
before shooting of the film was to be completed.
The scene being filmed involved Lee's character
Eric Draven walking into his apartment and witnessing
the brutal rape of his fiancée by thugs.
Lee's character would then have been shot and
killed along with his fiancée by the thugs.
As the scene was being filmed, Brandon Lee was
killed after Michael Massee (who played the villain
Funboy) fired the gun at Lee as intended. The
bullet unseated from a dummy round was lodged
in the barrel of the handgun. The bullet was not
noticed and the gun was loaded with a blank cartridge.
When the blank was fired, the bullet shot out
and hit Lee in the abdomen. After Lee's death,
a stunt double, Chad Stahelski replaced Lee in
some scenes to complete the film. Special effects
were used for digitally compositing Lee's face
onto the double. Michael Masse, the actor who
plays funboy, was not to blame. An unknown person
in the production film, wanted the film to look
real, but little did this person know that it
would personally injure him.
Brandon Lee as Eric Draven
Rochelle Davis as Sarah
Ernie Hudson as Sergeant Albrecht
Michael Wincott as Top Dollar
Bai Ling as Myca
Sofia Shinas as Shelly Webster
Anna Levine as Darla
David Patrick Kelly as T-Bird
Angel David as Skank
Laurence Mason as Tin Tin
Michael Massee as Funboy
Tony Todd as Grange
Jon Polito as Gideon, Pawn Shop Owner
James O'Barr as Robber
The original footage featuring Lee's actual death
was destroyed immediately, without even being
It is as yet unknown who was responsible for
the presence of live rounds in Massee's gun.
The Superman curse refers to a series of misfortunes
that have plagued creative people involved in
adaptations of Superman in various mediums, particularly
actors who have played the role of Superman on
film and television. The curse basically states,
If you intend to play the strongest man on Earth,
you will either die or end up in the weakest position
The curse is somewhat well-known in popular culture,
largely due to the high-profile hardships of Superman
actors George Reeves and Christopher Reeve. Other
sources deny the curse, stating that several Superman-related
actors, such as Bud Collyer and Teri Hatcher,
went on to success after their association with
the franchise and that many hardships of "cursed"
individuals are common in their respective fields.
Nevertheless, the uncertainty proved to be taken
seriously among many movie stars when several
of them turned down multi-million dollar deals
to play a role in the most recent film adaptation.
Supposed victims of the curse
Writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster created
Superman in the 1930s but their employer DC Comics
held the copyright to the character. In 1946,
the two sued DC, arguing that they were inadequately
compensated for the character. The New York Supreme
Court limited their settlement to $60,000 each,
a small sum compared to the millions of dollars
Superman comic books, films, television series,
and merchandise grossed. In 1975, in response
to a campaign launched by Siegel and Shuster and
joined by many prominent comic book creators,
DC agreed to pay the two lifetime pensions of
$35,000 a year and give them credit in every adaptation
of the character. While Siegel and Shuster were
respected in comic book fandom for Superman, neither
went on to work on any other high-profile comic
books after Superman. Some tellings of the curse
state that Siegel and Shuster themselves cursed
the character out of anger for the injustice.
Brothers Max and Dave Fleischer founded Fleischer
Studios, which produced the original Popeye, Betty
Boop and Superman cartoons. Shortly after bringing
Superman into animation, the Fleischers began
feuding with one another and their studio slumped
financially until they were forced to sell to
Paramount Pictures. Paramount ousted the Fleischers
and rearranged their company as Famous Studios.
Although Dave Fleischer went on to a career as
a special effects advisor at Universal Studios,
Max died poor at the Motion Picture & Television
Country House and Hospital.
Kirk Alyn played Superman in two low-budget 1940s
serials but failed to find work afterwards, saying
that casting directors thought he was too recognized
as Superman. He eventually retired to Arizona.
George Reeves played Superman in the 1951 film
Superman and the Mole Men and the ensuing television
series Adventures of Superman. Like Alyn, he was
recognized only for the role. On June 16, 1959,
days before he was to be married, Reeves was found
dead of a gunshot wound at his home, his Luger
was found by him. The death was ruled a suicide
but other theories persist.
In 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy's staff
approved of a Superman story in which the hero
touts the president's physical fitness initiatives,
scheduled to be published with an April 1964 cover
date. On November 22, Kennedy was shot and killed
but, at the request of successor Lyndon Johnson,
DC published a reworked version of the story
Director Richard Donner was fired after the release
of Superman and subsequently replaced with Richard
Lester on Superman II. His later films have never
managed to achieve the success of his pre-Superman
Comedian Richard Pryor, who had previously suffered
from a drug addiction that lead to an almost fatal
accident, starred as an anti-hero in 1983’s
Superman III, but later took Superman's side near
the end of the movie and became a hero. Three
years later, he announced that he was diagnosed
with multiple sclerosis. He died of cardiac arrest
on December 10, 2005.
Richard Lester, who was the credited director
for Superman II (1980) (though Richard Donner
directed many sequences which were ultimately
used in the film) and entirely directed Superman
III (1983) was so distraught by the death of Roy
Kinnear during the shooting of The Return of the
Musketeers (1989) that he quit directing. Kinnear
bled to death following a broken pelvis which
he sustained by falling from a horse.
Marlon Brando, who played Superman's biological
father Jor-El in Superman: The Movie (1978) underwent
various personal tragedies later in his life:
In May 1990, Brando's first son, Christian, shot
and killed Dag Drollet, 26, the lover of Christian's
half-sister Cheyenne Brando, at the family's home
above Beverly Hills. Christian, 31, claimed the
shooting was accidental. After a heavily publicized
trial, Christian was found guilty of voluntary
manslaughter and was sentenced to ten years in
The tragedy was compounded in 1995, when Cheyenne,
said to still be depressed over Drollet's death,
committed suicide by hanging herself. She was
only 25 years old.
Marlon Brando's notoriety, his family's troubled
lives, his self-exile from Hollywood, and his
obesity attracted considerable attention in his
later career. On July 1, 2004, Brando died at
the age of 80. The cause of his death was intentionally
withheld, with his lawyer citing privacy concerns.
It was later revealed that he died of lung failure
brought on by pulmonary fibrosis. He had also
been suffering from liver cancer, congestive heart
failure and diabetes, which was causing his eyesight
Both John Haymes Newton and Gerard Christopher,
who starred as the title character in the Superboy
television series (1988–1992), fell into
obscurity after their respective tenures as the
character. The same case can be made for Stacy
Haiduk, who played love interest Lana Lang on
Lee Quigley (who played the baby Kal-El in the
1978 Superman movie) died in March 1991, at the
age of fourteen, after inhaling solvents.
Christopher Reeve played Superman in the Superman
saga (Superman: The Movie and three sequels) throughout
the 1980s. On May 27, 1995, Reeve was paralyzed
from the neck down after being thrown from his
horse in a cross country riding event. He died
on October 10, 2004 due to heart failure stemming
from his medical condition.
Margot Kidder, who played Superman’s love
interest Lois Lane opposite Reeve suffered from
intense bipolar disorder. In April 1996, she went
missing for several days and was found by police
in a paranoid, delusional state.
On July 2, 1996, on the anniversary of their grandfather's
suicide, Superman IV (1987) co-star Mariel Hemingway's
older sister Margaux was found dead at age 41.
She had taken an overdose of sedatives. Though
Margaux's death was ruled a suicide, Mariel disputed
Lane Smith, who played Clark Kent and Lois Lane's
boss Perry White on the Lois & Clark television
series, was diagnosed with the rare Lou Gehrig's
Disease in April 2005 and died of the disease
on June 13, 2005.
Dana Reeve, the widow of Christopher Reeve and
co-founder of the Christopher Reeve Foundation
with her late husband, publicly revealed that
she was diagnosed with lung cancer on August 9,
2005, despite the fact that she was not a cigarette-smoker.
She died of the cancer on March 6, 2006 at the
age of 45.
Jeph Loeb, writer of Superman comics and the Smallville
TV series lost his son, Sam Loeb, due to cancer.
It can be noted that actors who played villains
in the movies have not suffered from the curse.
Some of the villain actors experienced just the
opposite. Gene Hackman (who played Lex Luthor)
for example had a hugely successful acting career
even long after the Superman movies despite his
recent retirement. The same can be said for Terence
Stamp (who played General Zod in Superman: The
Movie and Superman II), and Kevin Spacey in Superman
7. Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary's Baby is a 1967 best-selling horror
novel by Ira Levin, his second published book.
Just outside of the Dakota, a landmark apartment
building on Manhattan's Upper West Side, John
Lennon was shot, this is the building Rosmary
was living at in the film. The Dakota Building
on Manhattan's Upper West Side was renamed The
Bramford for the film.
It centers on Rosemary Woodhouse, a young mother-to-be,
who begins to suspect her elderly neighbors are
not the kindly souls they appear to be. She soon
discovers they are the leaders of a coven of witches
and her husband, a struggling actor, allowed the
devil to impregnate her in exchange for a successful
career, but she is unable to convince anyone to
Interestingly, themes explored in "Rosemary's
Baby" also appear in Levin's The Stepford
Wives; both books involve women who sense something
wrong is happening, but no one believes them.
And in both books, the plot is set in motion by
their husbands' goals (for a successful acting
career in "Rosemary's Baby" or a perfect
wife in "Stepford Wives.")
SEE: DEVIL BABIES
In 1968, the novel was turned into an acclaimed
film adaptation starring Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes
as her husband. Ruth Gordon won an Oscar for Best
Actress in a Supporting Role. Roman Polanski,
who wrote and directed the film, was nominated
for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material
from Another Medium. Other actors in the movie
include: Ralph Bellamy, Elisha Cook Jr. and Charles
The movie was filmed partially on location at
the the Dakota, off Central Park West in New York
City. The Dakota apartment building has had a
series of ghost sightings and strange happenings.
A little girl, appearing in 19th century clothes,
said "today is my birthday," to a workman
and the next day a co-worker was killed, Patterson
recounted. He also noted bad luck that befell
some of the people involved in the film Rosemary's
Baby which was partially filmed at the Dakota,
such as producer William Castle who received death
threats. Interestingly, a scene in the movie that
depicts where a woman jumped from a balcony, is
the same part of the sidewalk where John Lennon
was shot, notes Author R. Gary Patter.
Levin published a sequel to the novel, titled
Son of Rosemary in 1997. Levin dedicated it to
Mia Farrow. The TV movie, "Look What's Happened
to Rosemary's Baby" was made in 1976, but
was not connected to the novel.
Roman Polanski's 1968 film told the story of
a young Manhattan woman whose husband trades their
unborn child in a Faustian pact with a group of
devil worshippers. A year after its release, Polanski's
own wife, the actress Sharon Tate, was murdered
by the Manson Family. Tate was pregnant with the
couple's first child when she died.
It was on the set of this film that Mia Farrow
received divorce papers from then-husband Frank
There was a popular belief that Alfred Hitchcock
was originally offered the chance to direct this
movie. This has been deemed false. The director
was never approached.
There is a popular rumor that Church of Satan
founder Anton LaVey gave technical advice and
portrayed Satan in the impregnation scene. This
is false - LaVey had no involvement with the film.
Directed by Roman Polanski, whose pregnant wife
actress Sharon Tate was murdered in 1969 by Charles
Manson and his followers, who titled their death
spree "Helter Skelter" after the 1968
song by The Beatles, one of whose members, 'John
Lennon,' would one day live (and in 1980 be murdered)
in the Manhattan apartment building called The
Dakota - where Rosemary's Baby had been filmed.
There is a heatedly disputed rumor that Sharon
Tate appears unbilled at the party Rosemary gives
for her "young" friends.
Mia Farrow does the vocals on the title-sequence
This was Roman Polanski's very first adaptation,
and it is very faithful to the novel. Pieces of
dialog, color schemes and clothes are taken verbatim.
William Castle acquired the movie rights to the
novel. Robert Evans of Paramount agreed to green-light
the project if Castle did not direct. This was
due to Castle's fame and reputation as a director
of low budget horror films. Castle was allowed
to make a prominent cameo appearance.
According to Mia Farrow, the scenes where Rosemary
walks in front of traffic were spontaneous and
genuine. Roman Polanski is reported to have told
her that "nobody will hit a pregnant woman."
This film, along with Repulsion (1965) and Locataire,
Le (1976), forms a loose trilogy by Roman Polanski
about the horrors of apartment/city dwelling.
This was Roman Polanski's first American film.
His first American film was going to be Downhill
Racer (1969), but Robert Evans of Paramount decided
that "Rosemary's Baby" would be more
suited to Polanski.
Casting for Rosemary's Baby presented its own
problems: Polanski at first saw Rosemary as an
"All-American Girl" and sought Tuesday
Weld for the lead, but she passed on the role.
Jane Fonda was then approached, but turned down
the offer so she could make _Barbarella (1968)_
in Europe with then- husband Roger Vadim. According
to his memoirs, Polanski for a while had the idea
of having his future wife Sharon Tate on the part
of Rosemary, yet he desisted, thinking it would
have been unethical. Other actresses considered
for the part were Julie Christie, Elizabeth Hartman
and Joanna Pettet. Robert Evans suggested Mia
Farrow based on her TV work and her media appeal
(at the time she was Mrs. Frank Sinatra). Both
men wanted Robert Redford for the role of Guy
Woodhouse, but negotiations broke down when Paramount's
lawyers blundered by serving the actor with a
subpoena over a contractual dispute regarding
his pulling out of Silvio Narizzano's film Blue
(1968). Other actors considered were Richard Chamberlain,
Jack Nicholson and James Fox. Laurence Harvey
begged to do it, Warren Beatty turned it down
claiming "Hey! Can't I play Rosemary?",
before the part was offered to John Cassavetes.
For Minnie and Roman Castevet, William Castle
suggested Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the famous
Broadway acting duo. He even tried to convince
Polanski to let him play the part of Dr. Sapirstein,
a role eventually filled by Ralph Bellamy.
According to John Parker's recent biography of
Jack Nicholson, Robert Evans suggested Nicholson
to Polanski but, after their meeting, the director
stated that "for all his talent, his slightly
sinister appearance ruled him out".
Mia Farrow actually ate raw liver for a scene
in the movie.
Roman Polanski was so faithful to the novel that
he asked Ira Levin the date of the issue of the
New Yorker in which Guy Woodhouse sees a shirt
he wants. Levin confessed that he had made up
The last movie of special effects creator Farciot
The devil costume that Anton LaVey was falsely
rumored to have worn in the impregnation scene
was later re-used in the film Asylum of Satan
(1975). A small woman had difficulty fitting into
the tiny suit.
Cameo: [William Castle] man near phone booth.
Cameo: ['Tony Curtis' ] voice on phone of the
actor who is struck blind by a witch's curse so
that Rosemary's husband can get an acting job.
Rosemary (Mia Farrow) says to Terry Ginoffrio
(Angela Dorian), "I thought you were Victoria
Vetri, the actress," to which Terry responds,
"Everyone says that, but I don't see the
resemblance." Victoria Vetri is Angela Dorian's
A scene was shot on Broadway, where Mia Farrow's
and Emmaline Henry's characters attend a show
of The Fantasticks and meet Joan Crawford and
Van Johnson playing themselves.
The script called for Rosemary (Mia Farrow) to
explain to Guy (John Cassavetes), that she'd "been
to Vidal Sassoon" for her dramatic new haircut.
Thus, Vidal Sassoon was in fact flown to the set
to arrange Mia Farrow's hair into the now iconic
pixie cut she sports during the second half of
the film. For the first part, she wears a blonde
wig designed by famed stylist Sydney Guilaroff.
Entertainment Weekly voted this the tenth scariest
film of all time.
The book that Rosemary reads in the cab is the
Book of Ceremonial Magic, by A.E. Waite, Chapter
IV: The Rituals Of Black Magic: Section 4: The
Grimoire of Honorius. The italic section has been
entered into the natural flow of the text; the
previous paragraph has been shortened to make
space for it.
The movie's poster was as #21 of "The 25
Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere.
Starring Mia Farrow
Elisha Cook Jr.
But even before Sharon Tate's death, producer
William Castle has begun using the c-word. In
April 1969, days after receiving death threats
and hate mail relating to the film, Castle is
rushed into hospital with kidney failure. At one
point he cries out "Rosemary, for God's sake
drop that knife." As he convalesces, he discovers
that in the same hospital is Krzysztof Komeda,
the Polish composer who wrote the score for the
film and an old friend of Polanski's and Tate's.
Komeda will die of a brain clot before the month
is out, a death which echoes that of Rosemary's
friend Hutch in the film.
Two years later, Polanski would undergo his own
form of exorcism by tackling a film version of
Shakespeare's Macbeth, most memorable for a scene
in which Lady Macduff and her children are murdered
on Macbeth's orders. It was a brave attempt at
catharsis, but the stain of the Manson tragedy
and the Rosemary's Baby curse has remained with
This film was #23 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie
Moments for its scene where Rosemary is raped
by Satan.Some make comparisons of the film's Satanic
cult elements to the true-life torture and murder
of Sharon Tate (Polanski's wife) by the Charles
Manson cult followers, just one year after the
movie's release. Tate, who was pregnant at the
time of her murder, was two weeks away from her
Maurice Evans played Rosemary's concerned friend
"Hutch" who is hexed and murdered by
the cult. Evans played Samantha's warlock father
on the TV sitcom Bewitched. The sitcom would make
several coy references in 1968-1969 to Rosemary's
Baby as a new movie about witches "which
show us as quite evil".
The Dakota buildingOutside shots of the movie's
Bramford apartment building were in fact The Dakota,
the future home of Mia Farrow's friend John Lennon,
and his wife and son, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon.
Coincidentally, the Manson Family named their
murder spree "Helter Skelter," after
the song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
The Beatles song "Dear Prudence," which,
like "Helter Skelter," was also a track
on the Beatles' White Album, was written about
actress Mia Farrow's sister, Prudence. Twelve
years after the release of Rosemary's Baby, John
Lennon was murdered outside The Dakota. The spot
where Lennon was killed--the front entrance tunnel
of the building--is shown in several shots.
8. Twilight Zone: The Movie
You're traveling through another dimension. A
dimension, not only of sight and sound, but of
mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries
are that of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight
Twilight Zone: The Movie is a 1983 film produced
by Steven Spielberg as a theatrical version of
The Twilight Zone, a 1950s and 60s TV series created
by Rod Serling. It starred Dan Aykroyd, Albert
Brooks, Vic Morrow and John Lithgow.
The film remade three classic episodes of the
original series and included one original story.
John Landis directed the prologue and the first
segment, Spielberg directed the second, Joe Dante
the third, and George Miller directed the final
Spielberg wanted an anthology of four stories,
each of them approximately the same length as
an episode of a TV Twilight Zone
Three stories were based on episodes of the original
series, and one was written by John Landis. “[Serling]
used the fantasy element of his program to deal
with social issues. . . . the story I made up,
trying to use the magic, the idea of The Twilight
Zone was about racism,” Landis said.
THE FULL STORY SEE: ALL
ABOUT THE TWILIGHT ZONE TRAGEDY BY DENISE NOE,
Landis wrote a screenplay about an embittered
white man named Bill Connor. Connor is first seen
railing vulgarly in a bar against Jews, blacks
and Asians. The bigot leaves the bar and steps
into a series of scenes: Nazi-occupied France
where SS troops chase him, mistaking him for a
Jew. He flees from the Nazis only to find himself
in the Jim Crow American South where Ku Klux Klansmen
see him as black and try to lynch him. He escapes
from them and is in Vietnam, attacked by American
GIs who think he is the enemy.
Although Landis wanted to make a moral point
with this film, the story had an ethical problem
at its heart. The ordeal endured by Connor seems
to equate courageous American GIs in Vietnam trying
to protect the South Vietnamese from Communist
invaders from the North, with such groups as the
Nazis and the Klan.
To star as the repulsive Connor, Landis hired
Vic Morrow, a middle-aged actor best known for
playing tough guys, usually villains.
When Landis submitted this script to Warner Brothers
executives for their approval, two raised objections.
Lucy Fisher, vice-president in charge of production,
and Terry Semel, president of the studio, thought
that the central character was so negative that
audiences would not be able to care about him.
After a meeting with Fisher and Semel, Landis
hit upon the idea of having Bill redeemed from
his bigotry. Running away from the American soldiers
firing at him and an attack from a U.S. helicopter
in Vietnam, he would come upon two Vietnamese
orphans. Moved by their plight, the man would
rescue them from an air attack, bravely carrying
them across a river to save their lives. At the
end, as an entire village is dramatically blown
up in the background, the former racist would
reassure the youngsters, “I’ll keep
you safe, kids! I swear to God!”
These script changes were approved.
However, Landis ran into an obstacle in the form
of California’s child labor laws. Twilight
Zone casting agents Michael Fenton and Marci Liroff
of Fenton-Feinberg Casting told Landis and associate
producer George Folsey Jr. that those regulations
forbade children to work an hour past curfew and
that a teacher-welfare worker had to be present
when kids worked. Liroff remembered herself telling
the director that the scene struck her as “kind
of dangerous.” Fenton told Landis that,
since the children were not going to have speaking
parts, they were extras and could not be hired
through Fenton-Feinberg Casting. Ron LaBrecque
wrote in Special Effects that Liroff claimed,
“Fenton’s response was a diplomatic
way to avoid involvement in a questionable venture.”
Employers could get waivers to work kids later
than that but Landis did not seek one. The exact
reason for this failure later became a matter
of intense dispute. Either he thought he would
not get the waiver because the hour was too late
or he knew he could not get approval to have kids
around a helicopter and explosives.
The director decided to break the law. He would
employ the kids illegally and pay them out of
petty cash to avoid putting their names on payroll.
The making of the movie had consequences which
overshadowed the film itself. During the filming
of a segment directed by John Landis on July 23,
1982, actor Vic Morrow and child actors Myca Dinh
Le (age 7) and Renee Shin-Yi Chen (age 6) died
in an accident involving a helicopter being used
on the set. The helicopter was flying at an altitude
of only 25 feet (8 meters), too low to avoid the
explosions of the pyrotechnics used on set. When
the blasts severed the tail rotor, it spun out
of control and crashed, decapitating Morrow and
Le with its blades. Chen was crushed to death
as the helicopter crashed. Everyone inside the
helicopter was unharmed.
The accident led to legal action against the
filmmakers which lasted nearly a decade, and changed
the regulations involving children working on
movie sets at night and during special effects-heavy
scenes. Hollywood also avoided helicopter-related
stunts for many years, until the CGI revolution
of the 1990s made it possible to use digital versions.
As a result of the accident, one second assistant
director had his name removed from the credits
and replaced with the pseudonymous Alan Smithee.
The incident also ended the friendship between
director Landis and producer Spielberg, who was
already angered before the accident that Landis
had violated many codes, including using live
ammunition on the set.
9. Star Trek
The Star Trek movie curse is an apparent curse
on odd-numbered Star Trek films that dooms them
to poor reception in terms of drawing power and/or
critical opinion. In contrast, even-numbered Trek
films seemingly "can do no wrong" in
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was critically
lauded over Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which
had been considered somewhat disappointing. Thus,
Star Trek II was credited with "launching"
the Star Trek franchise as a reliable film platform
at the box office. After the
success of STII, subsequent odd-numbered installments
either fared poorly financially, critically, or
both. A conservative definition of "the curse"
states that it only refers to the Trek films that
included a number in the title, one through six,
after which Trek films were no longer numbered.
However, "the curse" is still somewhat
apparent: Star Trek: Generations (film #7) and
Star Trek: Insurrection (film #9) were considered
to be poor outings critically, while Star Trek:
First Contact (film #8) was well-received critically
and earned the largest gross of any Star Trek
Star Trek: Nemesis, the even-numbered tenth installment,
seemingly "broke" the curse, as it was
widely panned and performed poorly in revenue.
As a result, some have proposed a tongue-in-cheek
corollary to the curse: odd-numbered Star Trek
films, or Trek films which are a multiple of 5
will be bad.
Star Trek III: The Search For Spock is also considered
something of an outlier and not as "bad"
a film as its odd-numbered cousins. Its adherence
to the continuity from previous storylines and
darker content (including the themes of death
and rebirth) are given respect. Also, its place
in Trek history is also considered more relevant
than Star Trek V: The Final Frontier or Star Trek:
Insurrection, as it sees the destruction of the
original USS Enterprise, and introduces the USS
Excelsior, events that would become milestones
in the franchise mythology. Also, while receiving
poor critical reviews, Star Trek: The Motion Picture
was a financial success at the box office, and
has enjoyed a new appreciation due to the Director's
Cut DVD release of 1999. Similarly, Star Trek:
Generations was a financial success (achieving
the fourth highest gross in the series) and is
considered to be a fan favourite and the best
odd numbered film of the series.
10. Rebel Without A Cause
Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 film directed
by Nicholas Ray that tells the story of a rebellious
teenager who comes to a new town, meets a girl,
defies his parents, and faces the local gang.
It sought to portray the existing decay of youth
in middle America, critique parental style, and
expose the rift between two generations. The title
is taken from psychiatrist Robert Lindner's 1944
book, Rebel Without A Cause: The Hypnoanalysis
of a Criminal Psychopath but has no other relationship
to the book.
In 1990, this film was added to the preserved
films of the United States Library of Congress's
National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally,
historically, or aesthetically significant."
The main plot centers on Jim Stark, a 17-year-old.
Stark and his two parents move to Los Angeles,
where he enrolls at Dawson High School. The film
begins with Stark brought into the police station
for underage drinking. We then are introduced
to his mother, father and grandmother who come
to get him, and become aware of the film's central
dilemma. Jim's parents are frequently quarrelling,
both in front of him and behind his back. Often
the father is the one who tries to stand up for
Jim, however, Jim's mother, a naturally pushy
woman, easily overpowers him and always wins out;
Jim feels betrayed both by this fighting and by
his father's lack of backbone, leading to feelings
of unrest and displacement.
While trying to fit in at the school, he gets
himself involved in silly games with a local bully
and tough guy named Buzz Gunderson. While he tries
to deal with Buzz, he becomes friends with a 15-year-old
boy named Plato. Plato is very misguided in life,
constantly getting into trouble and dealing with
the police. He looks up to Jim as a role model,
because his real father abandoned his family.
Plato experiences many of the same problems as
Jim, such as searching for a place in life and
dealing with parents who "don't understand."
James Dean – Jim Stark
Natalie Wood – Judy
Sal Mineo – John "Plato" Crawford
Jim Backus – Frank Stark
Ann Doran – Mrs. Stark
Corey Allen – Buzz Gunderson
William Hopper – Judy's father
Rochelle Hudson – Judy's mother
Edward Platt – Ray Fremick
Nick Adams – Chick
Dennis Hopper – Goon
Jack Grinnage – Moose
Beverly Long – Helen
1990 National Film Registry
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor –
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress –
Best Writing, Motion Picture Story – Nicholas
BAFTA Award for Best Film
BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor – James
James Dean died in a car crash, of course, but
how many people know the accident happened the
same weekend the film opened? Or that just weeks
earlier Dean had filmed an advert for the National
Highways Committee in which he can be seen asking
America's young to drive safely, "because
the next life you save may be mine"?
see: CURSED BY THE DEVILS'
CURSE Cursed by the devil. Many Americans
believe that serious forces are working against
them? Do You?
All three of the main stars (James Dean, Natalie
Wood and Sal Mineo) died under tragic circumstances.
Dean was killed in a traffic accident on September
30, 1955 aged 24, Wood drowned on November 29,
1981 aged 43, and Mineo was murdered on February
12, 1976 aged 37. In addition, Nick Adams is often
linked to the urban legend surrounding this film.
Adams, often considered "The Poor Man's James
Dean", attemped to let the spirit of Dean
live vicariously through Adams in his work, which
was notably most successful with The Rebel (TV
series). But following an Oscar nomination for
Twilight of Honor, his career began to decline
and he allegedly died of a drug overdose on February
7, 1968 aged 36 (although several people, including
his own daughter, believe he may have been killed).
His friend Nick Adams, who had re-dubbed some
of Dean's speeches in Giant after the accident,
died in 1968 from a mysterious drug overdose.
Co-star Natalie Wood drowned in equally unusual
circumstances in November 1981, and another RWAC
star, Sal Mineo, died five years earlier in a
knife fight. Troy McHenry, a Beverly Hills doctor,
bought the engine from Dean's Porsche and had
it installed in his own car, but was killed the
first time he drove it.
The Ring is a 2002 American remake of the 1998
Japanese horror film, Ring (which was also known
as Ringu). Both movies are based on the novel,
Ring by Koji Suzuki. It was directed by Gore Verbinski
and starred Naomi Watts and Martin Henderson.
This movie was number 20 on the cable channel
Bravo's list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments.
The story begins with two teenage girls discussing
the events of the previous weekend, during which
one of them, Katie Embry (played by Amber Tamblyn),
went to a cabin in the mountains to spend time
with some friends. While talking, the subject
of a supposedly cursed videotape is brought up.
The other girl, Rebecca 'Becca' Kotler (played
by Rachael Bella), states that anyone who watches
this video receives a phone call, in which a voice
says, "you will die in seven days."
Then, exactly seven days (to the minute) after
viewing the tape, the viewer dies.
The Cursed Videotape is a fictional item in the
Ring cycle series of books and films. Seemingly
a normal home-recorded videotape, the tape carries
a curse that will kill anyone who watches it,
within seven days. In the earlier Japanese films,
it is explained as a traditional curse, though
given a far greater explanation in later films
and in the novels. The American and Korean versions
largely follow that of the earlier Japanese explanations.
Check Out: Ghost
TV Dead On Productions is a partnership
between historian Mark Nesbitt, author
of the highly acclaimed Ghosts of Gettysburg
series, and Investigative Medium Laine
Crosby, marketing strategist and former
director of marketing for high-tech
ventures, including the launch of The
Weather Channel New Media and weather.com.
duo also co-host the talk show Ghost
Talkers. The show includes interviews
with psychics, authors, historians,
and paranormal investigators. The first
season’s topics include: unpublished
Gettysburg ghost stories, capturing
electronic voice phenomenon, psychic
encounters, demonology, possessed possessions,
and all things paranormal. “We
noticed a void in the market- audiences’
desires were not being met,” said
executive producer Laine Crosby, an
ex-marketing executive who now works
as an Investigative Medium. “Although
national cable networks have begun to
offer quality programming about the
paranormal, with the exception of the
random podcast, the Internet seems to
be dead silent. We are the first non-television
network to launch this unique programming
in the high-tech world.”