Friday, April 10, 2009

The Curse of Bad Karma

"I know the world isn't fair, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?” Bill Watterson

Have you ever felt like you were jinxed? That just when you thing nothing else can possibly go wrong, it does? Welcome to my world – Linda 2009. After four appliances, a car, cell phone and computer all broke in the span of two weeks, I started looking into Karma and how I can possibly change mine for the better. Soon, like I always seem to do in this blog – I got sidetracked. I ended up researching so-called movie jinxes, and realized, hey maybe my luck isn’t so bad after all. So in the “You think you’re having a bad day” category, here are a few famous movie curses.
Did you know that the entire starring cast of Rebel Without a Cause (1955) died young?

James Dean was only 24 when he died in a car crash (soon after receiving a speeding ticket). Sal Mineo was knifed to death in the driveway behind his Los Angeles apartment at the age of 37. Nick Adams (36) died of a drug overdose. And Natalie Wood, who was known to be terrified of drowning, mysteriously drowned at 43 years of age.
Next, the curse of The Conqueror. Okay, the premise of this 1956 Howard Hughes movie was bad enough - a film about Genghis Khan starring John Wayne. But who had the bright idea to film it shoot downwind from a nuclear testing site in New Mexico? For 13 weeks the actors are crew were exposed to nuclear fallout while filming in Snow Canyon, downwind from the Yucca Flats were the US Army tested 11 atomic bombs. The rest of the movie was filmed in Hollywood, but Howard Hughes (in an attempt to duplicate the movie’s Mongolian setting) shipped 60 tons of nuclear contaminated dirt back to Hollywood.
Over the next few years, 91 of the 220 crew members developed cancer, 46 died including John Wayne, Susan Hayward and the director. Pedro Armendariz, another star, committed suicide when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
The infamous Poltergeist curse stems from the fact that four cast members died in a span of six years, between the release of the first film and the third. (1982-1988)
In 1982 Dominique Dunne, who played the oldest sister Dana, in the first movie was choked to death by her boyfriend. She was only 22. Julian Beck, who played Kane in Poltergeist II, died of stomach cancer 3 years later. The Medicine Man in Poltergeist II, Will Sampson, died in 1987. Then a year later, Heather O’Rourke, the little girl who played Carol Anne in all three Poltergeist movies, died of acute bowel obstruction at the age of 12.
Now to give this curse even more substance consider the fact that the house in California that was used for exterior shots was destroyed in the 1994 Earthquake. And finally, JoBeth Williams, who played the mother, 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.
During the production of The Omen (1976), the crew members and set were plagued with a series of creepy incidents. Thanks to Wikipedia for this list below of things that happened during the filming of this movie.
• Scriptwriter David Seltzer's plane was struck by lightning.
• 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 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.
No wonder that movie scared the crap out of me.
And finally, this “curse” has always fascinated me. If you have never seen the movie, Rosemary’s Baby (1968) you should, just the premise alone makes you wonder about the reality of mysterious forces.
But it’s the eerie parallels that make this Roman Polanski movie worthy of this post. The movie is about a pregnant wife whose baby is sacrificed to the Devil. Less than a year after the movie wrapped, Charles Manson murdered Polanski's pregnant wife Sharon Tate. The Manson family called the death spree “Helter Skelter” after a Beatles song.
And then, in December of 1980 John Lennon was killed outside his New York apartment building, The Dakota ….where Rosemary's Baby was filmed. I don’t know about you, but I’m hearing the theme from Twilight Zone right now.

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