Free Counter Do You Know?: 13 Films &TV Series That (Assumed) Have Been Cursed

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

13 Films &TV Series That (Assumed) Have Been Cursed

Some unexplained accidents and misfortune events happened to several films before and after it premiered to the audiences. Some say it is just a coincidence. But some others say the films have been cursed. They believed there are some supernatural forces trying to prevent the filming or showing it to public. When the producer insisted to do the film, something terrible happened to everyone that has taken part of their own in the film. Is it true? Are those movies been cursed? By whom? Who? Why? How? Nobody can explain it until today. Maybe you can. Can you?


One of the most talk about movies is The Omen. The production of this movie was plagued with a series of incidents which some members of the crew attributed to the operation of a curse. A documentary entitled “The Curse of The Omen” was shown on British television in 2005 (it also appeared in the 2nd disc of 30th Anniversary DVD release of The Omen), and mentioned the list of incidents that happened to the crews. Some of them are :
• Scriptwriter David Seltzer’s plane was struck by lightning.
• In a separate incident, Gregory Peck (the star of the film)’s plane also struck by lightning. In other chance, Gregory Peck canceled his reservation on a flight, and the plane crashed, killing all passengers on board.
• Richard Donner (the director)’s hotel was bombed by the Provisional IRA.
• On the first day of shooting, the principal members of the crew were involved in a head-on car crash.

Poltergeist has also become one of the most talk about movies concerning the rumor of a supposed curse attached to the movie series and its stars. The rumor has been known as “The Poltergeist Curse”.
The rumor derived from the fact that four cast members died in a relatively short span of time during the release of the first and third film, with one dying during production of the second film. Some of unexplained dead are :

• Dominique Dunne (actress who played the oldest sibling Dana, one of the characters in the first movie) died after being strangled by a jealous boyfriend in 1982.
• Julian Beck (played as Kane in Poltergeist II : The Other Side) died in 1985 of stomach cancer, with which he was diagnoses before he had accepted the role.
• Will Sampson (played as Taylor the Medicine Man in Poltergeist II) died in 1987 of post-operative kidney failure and pre-operative malnutrition problems.
• Beatrice Straight (played as Dr Lesh in the first series of Poltergeist) died in 2001 of pneumonia.
• Heather O’Rourke (played as Carol Anne in all three Poltergeist movies) died in 1988 at the age of 12 caused by septic shock after bacterial toxins invaded her bloodstream. At the time, she had suffered acute bowel obstruction, initially diagnosed as Crohn’s Disease, which may have been the cause of the death.
• Author James Kahn reported that when he wrote the line “Lightning ripped open the sky”, the building was struck by lighting and all the arcade games in the lounge began playing themselves.

Also known as “Superman Curse”, it s the rumor about the series of misfortunes that have plagued creative people involved in adaptations of Superman in various media has been spread and somewhat well-known in popular culture. Some well-known misfortunes are :

• Kirk Alyn, played as Superman in two series of low-budget serials of Superman (1940) failed to find work afterward.
• George Reeve, played as Superman in Superman and The Mole Men (1951) was found died of a gunshot wound at his home with his Luger P08 pistol near him (June 16, 1959). His dead is still questionable, while some said it is a suicide.
• Christopher Reeve – the son of George Reeve - played as Superman in four of Superman Film Series (1978 – 1987) was paralyzed from the neck flown after being thrown from his horse in a cross country riding (May 27, 1995). Reeve died on October 10, 2004 due to heart failure stemming from his medical condition.
• Dana Reeve, the widow of Christopher Reeve, died of the lung cancer on March 6, 2006 at the age of 45.
• Margot Kidder, played as Lois Lane in 4 series of Superman (together with Christopher Reeve) suffered from intense bipolar disorder.
• Marlon Brando, played as Superman’s biological father Jor-El in Superman (1978) underwent various personal tragedies: In May 1990, his first son, Christian shot and killed Dag Drollet, the lover of Christian’s half-sister Cheyenne Brando. Even claimed it was accidental, Christian was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to ten years in prison. Christian died at the age of 49. Later on, in 1995, Cheyenne committed suicide by hanging herself. She was still 25 years old at that time. Brando himself died of lung failure brought on by pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 80 in July 1, 2004. He had also been suffering from liver cancer, congestive heart failure and diabetes, which was causing his eyesight to fail.
• Lee Quigley played the baby Kar-El in Superman (1978) died after inhaling solvents in age of fourteen (March 1991).
• Richard Pryor, played as Gus Gorman in Superman III (1983) had previously suffered from a drug addiction that leads to an almost fatal accident. He died of cardiac arrest on December 10, 2005.

The discussion about the film was been cursed has become urban legend and still been discussed until today. The interior sets of the MacNeil (the character in the film)’s residence, except for Regan’s bedroom, were destroyed by a studio fire and had to be rebuilt. Other issues include:

• Linda Blair fractured her spine during the filming of one of the bedroom scene.
• During his first day of filming, Max Von Sydow was informed his brother in Sweden had died. Coincidence?
• John Frankenhiemer (the original director of Exorcist: The Beginning) suffered a stroke after spinal cord surgery and died while the movie was in pre-production.
• Renny Harlin (the director of Exorcist: The Beginning) also got several unexplained accidents. His dog started to hemorrhage for no apparent reason. The dog soon recovered, but no cause for the hemorrhaging was found. While did some scene shot in Rome, Harlin almost hit and killed by a car. He had 13 pins put in his leg and finished filming the movie on crutches.

5. THE CROW (1994)
The most famous incident that happened in this movie is about the dead of Brandon Lee – son of the legendary Bruce Lee – who died on the set while shooting his last film, The Crow. A scene was being filmed that required dummy rounds to be shown being loaded into the handgun. When shot the scene, the gun that should be loaded with blank cartridges, dislodged the bullet and sent into Lee’s abdomen. Brandon Lee died about 12 hours later.
Meanwhile, during the actual filming, many accidents happened. A carpenter was severely burned after a crane in which he was riding struck high-power lines. Another crew member slipped and drove a screwdriver through his hand. And a lorry full of equipment mysteriously went on fire.

6. BLADE RUNNER (1982)
Among the folklore that has grown up around the film over the years has been believe that the film was a curse to the companies whose logos were displayed prominently as a product placements in some scenes :
• RCA, which is one of the U.S. leading consumer electronics and communications conglomerate, was bought out by one time parent GE in 1985 and dismantled.
• Atari, which dominated the home video game market at that time, had ceased to exist in 1990.
• Cuisinart went bankrupt in 1989.
• Bell System monopoly was broken up that same year, and all of the resulting Regional Bell Operating Companies have since changed their name and merged back with each other and other companies to form the new AT&T.
• Pan Am suffered terrorists’ destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 (December 21, 1988) and went bankrupt in 1991 with the falloff in overseas travel caused by the Gulf War.

Before the released of the film, Heath Ledger died on an accidental overdose and Conway Wickliffe –a stunt supervisor of the film – died in accident in London while setting up a car crash scene. And after the film gain financial successful (released on July 18, 2008), Christian Bale was arrested in connection with an alleged assault on his mother and her sister (July 22, 2008). Then Morgan Freeman has been in a tragic car crash near Ruleville, Mississippi (August 3, 2008) and broke his shoulder, arm, and elbow.

The film was made partially on location at the Dakota, off Central Park West in New York City. There is one scene that depicts where a woman jumped from a balcony is the same part of the sidewalk where John Lennon was shot. Coincidence? Let’s try these facts :
• Just before the first take was filmed, a private messenger served Mia Farrow with formal divorce papers from her husband, Frank Sinatra. Farrow openly wept in front of the cast and crew, and Roman Polanski – the director of the film – insisted that the day be canceled and filming be postponed until the next day.
• Roman Polanski and his pregnant wife actress Sharon Tate was murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson and his followers, who titled their death spree as “Helter Skelter”.
• Producer William Castle got kidney failure after receiving death threats relating to the film in April 1969.

8. SEINFIELD (1989 – 1998)
Recently, the term of “The Seinfield Curse” has been applied to typecast actors / actresses who, after appearing in an enormously popular television series or movie, have trouble finding popularity in other roles. And this term at the beginning was refering to the three stars of the show: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards. After the end of Seinfield show, they have trouble finding popularity in other roles. Each attempted to launch new sitcoms as title-role characters. However, almost every show was canceled quickly, usually within the first season. But it seems like the curse is about to break after the latest sitcom from Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine, received high ratings and entering the 4th season already. She also won the Lead Actress Emmy Award for her work on the show’s first season, which is exactly ten years after she won it in Seinfield.

Just two weeks in shooting set, Daniel Craig got injured two times already. In the first accident, he has eight stitches on his face after cut during filming. The second happened when he sliced the tip off one of his fingers. A fire broke out at Pinewood – the film set – and causing severe damage to an outdoor Bond set. Two stuntmen were injured in separate car accidents while filming car chase scene in northern Italy.

There was an accident in this film that has been known as “The Twilight Zone Tragedy”. On July 23, 1982, during the filming of a segment directed by John Landis, actor Vic Morrow and child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen died in an accident involving a helicopter being used on the set. Pyrotechnic explosions caused the low-flying helicopter to spin out of control and crash. 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.

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. Wood drowned on November 29, 1981. Mineo murdered on February 12, 1976.

12. DIFF’RENT STROKES (1978 – 1986)
Although become one of the most successful sitcom – and was in the top 30 of the TV ratings for its three seasons from 1978 until 1981 - three of the child stars from Diff’rent Strokes ended up having problem after the show ended.
Dana Plato went on to pose for Playboy, arrested twice (for armed robbery and for forging a prescription for Valium). She died of a drug overdose in 1999 at the age of 34.
Todd Bridges was arrested in 1994 after allegedly ramming someone’s car after an argument. He also had issues with illegal drugs for several years.
Gary Coleman filed bankruptcy in 1999. He was working as a security guard at a shopping mall from 1998 – 2001, where he’s been charged with assault after punched a woman in the shopping mall in 1998.

A couple of weeks after the film’s release, all of the publicity traded companies that made products featured in the film had been their share prices fall in the time.

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