Thursday, 1 November 2007

Cursed Films

Films with a 'supposed' curse - whether you believe them or not, you cannot deny some spooky goings on...

The Omen

John Richardson was the special effects consultant on The Omen. Driving in Holland on Friday 13th he was in a car accident that killed his passenger. The manner of death, decapitation, was eerily similar to the one he had masterminded on The Omen. And the road sign pointing the way to the nearest Dutch town read: Ommen, 66.6 km.


Each of the three Poltergeist films were marked by a death. A year after the release of the first film, lead actress Dominique Dunn was murdered. Actor Julian Beck died in 1985, as production on Poltergeist II began; and 12-year-old actress Heather O’Rourke died from septic shock less than a year after the release of Poltergeist III.

Rosemary’s Baby

The 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby is about a young Manhattan wife whose husband trades their unborn child with a group of devil worshippers. A year after its release, Roman Polanski’s wife, actress Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Californian religious sect the Manson family. She was pregnant at the time.

The Crow

Like father, like son? Bruce Lee died in 1973 of ‘death by misadventure’, although plenty think differently. A film made the year he died has a scene where he is shot with a gun he thinks is unloaded. Fast forward 20 years and Bruce’s son, Brandon Lee, was killed on the set of The Crow, when a gun supposed to be loaded with blanks actually contained live bullets. Coincidence?

Rebel Without A Cause

James Dean filmed an advert asking car-owners to drive safely, “because the next life you save may be mine.” A few weeks later he died in a car crash, the same weekend as the film opened. Troy McHenry, a Beverly Hills doctor, bought the engine from Dean’s Porsche and had it installed in his own car, and was killed the first time he drove it. Years later co-star Natalie Wood drowned in unusual circumstances in November 1981.

Actor George Reeves played the superhero on television in the Fifties but died in the same decade of a single gunshot wound in mysterious circumstances. Christopher Reeve next played the superhero but was later paralysed after a riding accident and died in 2004. And the director of the first film? Richard Donner, fresh from filming The Omen.

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