Cursed & Haunted Real Movies Or Urban Myths?

Cursed & Haunted Real Movies Or Urban Myths?

There have actually been many films that have a supposed “curse” or Haunted stigma associated to them. Many have stated that these hauntings and curses affected the production, and even the cast and crew. The most famous are probably the Poltergeist series,

“The Exorcist”, “The Crow”, and “The Omen.” It is rumored that cast member have died because of the curses. Is there such a thing as a Cursed Film? An urban legend or urban myth is similar to a modern folklore consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them. The term is often used to mean something akin to “apocryphal story”. Urban legends are not necessarily untrue, but they are often distorted, exaggerated, or sensationalized. Despite the name, a typical urban legend does not necessarily originate in an urban setting. The term is designed to differentiate them from traditional folklore in preindustrial times.

The Top Ten List of Haunted or Cursed Movies and their Urban Movie Myths

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. Kinderman
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 Becoming Myself.

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 Plummer.

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 Exorcist”

2. Poltergeist

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 film.

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.

Poltergeist (1982)
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 69.

H.R. Giger was responsible for The Beast’s creature design.
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 her bloodstream.
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 the role.
Will Sampson, 53 years old, who played Taylor the Medicine Man in Poltergeist II, died of post-operative kidney failure and pre-operative malnutrition problems.
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 choked. 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.

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: The Demon)
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 family.

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 there.

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 2000.

A new version, The Omen, was released on June 6, 2006. 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 by lightning.
Star Gregory Peck, in a separate incident, had his plane struck by lightning.
Richard Donner’s hotel was bombed by the Provisional IRA .
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 trainers.
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 sequences.

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 digits.

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 years. 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 (Michael Masse).

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 developed.
It is as yet unknown who was responsible for the presence of live rounds in Massee’s gun.

6. Superman

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 possible. 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 career.
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 prison.
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 to fail.
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 the show.
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 this finding.
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 Returns (2006).

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 believe her.

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.”)

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 Grodin.

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 Sinatra. 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 lullaby.

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 detail.

The last movie of special effects creator Farciot Edouart.

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 real name.

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
John Cassavetes
Ruth Gordon
Sidney Blackmer
Maurice Evans
Ralph Bellamy
Angela Dorian
Patsy Kelly
Elisha Cook Jr.
Emmaline Henry
Marianne Gordon

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 him.

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 due date.
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 building
Outside 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 Zone! 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 segment.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.

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 either department. 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.[citation needed] 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 film.
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 anrebirth) 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
Award Wins:

1990 National Film Registry
Award nominations:

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor – Sal Mineo
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress – Natalie Wood
Best Writing, Motion Picture Story – Nicholas Ray
BAFTA Award for Best Film
BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor – James Dean

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”? 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.


About Andrew

Co-founder & lead investigator of Paranormal Encounters. I've experienced the paranormal all my life, having encountered ghosts, angels and demons. I live in a haunted house and when not exploring and researching the unknown, I enjoy single malt Scotch whisky & potato chips (though not necessarily at the same time).