When I watch a film, I usually get so engrossed in the story that afterwards I enjoy doing a bit of research to see how the film was even made; from the writing process, all the way to post production work.
I especially love when I discover that a film had its own story while being filmed. Some of them are absolutely terrifying.
Below is a list of 10 films that all have behind-the-scenes urban legends. If you have seen these films before, you'll want to watch them a second time. Only this round, you won't be able to get their set-life stories out of your brain!
1. The Exorcist
Although the director had a priest bless the set, it seems to not have helped in any way at all. A total of nine deaths of random people associated with the film occurred.
Some other strange occurrences include a fire that happened on set during production that burned everything except Regan's bedroom, Linda Blair (Regan) severely injuring her back when a harness malfunctioned, as well as Ellen Burstyn also experiencing a harness injury accident.
The actor who played the boozy character Burk Denning, died after the film wrapped at the age of 54, and actress Vasiliki Maliaros (Father Karris' mother) passed away before the film was even released.
So many strange occurrences happened during the making of this famous movie, that rumors of a haunted set soon begin to circulate.
Some eerie happenings include: Actress JoBeth Williams finding the pictures on her wall at home mysteriously askew upon returning home from set, actress Dominique Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend in her driveway on October 30, 1982, a mere five months after the movie was released, and actress Heather O’Rourke who played adorable Carol Ann in the film died suddenly at age 12.
It is also said that the bones used in the film were actual human remains, as they were cheaper to purchase than fake ones. The cast didn't find this out until after the film was shot.
Is it just me, or was this set incredibly cursed?
3. The Omen
On three separate flights, star Gregory Peck, executive producer Mace Neufeld and scriptwriter David Seltzer were all passengers on planes that were struck or almost struck by lightning.
Another tragedy occurred when Peck's son committed suicide several weeks before filming was finished. I think the absolute worst is the following: Special Effects Director John Richardson and Liz Moore, his assistant, were involved in a serious car accident. Richardson luckily survived, but Moore was decapitated. This is insanely creepy, as Richardson was the person responsible for one of most ghastly scenes in The Omen in which David Warner’s character is beheaded by a sheet of glass. Legend has it that the scene of the accident was near a sign on the road that read "Ommen: 66.6 km." The accident also creepily occurred on Friday the 13th, 1976.
Note to self: do NOT work on any horror films involving the devil. It never seems to end well.
4. Apocalypse Now
The director Francis Ford Coppola used a real live animal and apparently performed a true animal sacrifice in front of the camera. When asked about it, Coppola responded with, "It was going to die anyway."
As a vegan, this really irks me. I have only seen fake movie magic deaths involving humans and animals.
5. The Twilight Zone: The Movie
The famous actor Vic Morrow was sadly killed on set of The Twilight Zone film. The helicopter that was to be used in the scene malfunctioned and landed right on top of him and two Vietnamese children.
The two Vietnamese children were decapitated by the helicopter rotor while Morrow was crushed.
David Lynch purposely hid information on what effects he used on the other-worldly looking baby for decades afterwards, and even forbade his crew from discussing it.
The baby's skin texture and realistic eyes caused people to theorize that Lynch used a preserved calf fetus.
This theory doesn't seem so farfetched, as he had asked a vet to provide him with an unrecognizable dead cat for a scene, which he had kept in a pit of tar for a year so that the character Henry would stumble upon it.
Seems like Lynch goes to places we can't even imagine to get his desired effects, even if they're insanely odd and unconventional.
7. End of Evangelion
This anime contains a lot of violence as well as a lot of symbolism. In one scene specifically, the lead hallucinates, which appears as letters and drawings done by children.
Apparently director Hideki Anno used letters of death threats he had received over the previous occurrences in the show, as well as drawings from children who actually suffered abuse.
It might also be interesting to add that one of the leading voice actresses strangled another actress during a recording, actually acting out what was occurring in the scene. That doesn't seem like the type of environment I'd care to work in, personally.
This one is a bit more of a funny one. In the middle of filming, eighty Titanic crew members suddenly fell ill and experienced intense hallucinations.
After many were even hospitalized, it was discovered that somebody had spiked the lobster with PCP. No one was ever able to figure out who the culprit of the PCP was.
9. Now You See Me
During a scene, Isla Fisher was purposely put underwater. Unfortunately, she was stuck underwater for three minutes, as the safety release chain was stuck on her outfit.
Many thought she was just giving an incredibly realistic performance of drowning. Turns out she really was drowning and was thankfully saved by a stuntman!
10. Men Behind the Sun
Director T.F. Mous made this film to shed light on the systematic torture and experimentation on humans that occurred during World War II, which is already a setting for intensly disturbing happenings.
During a scene in which a bunch of rats were meant to be set on fire, Mouse actually set them on fire. In another scene, a body of a child that died from exposure is put on an autopsy table. He had apparently used the corpse of a real life human who had died just before the shoot took place.
Many have said the scenes are intensely realistic and gruesome; now we know precisely why.
I am suddenly feeling inspired. Would anyone care to watch a film about the horrors that happen behind-the-scenes of a movie as its being made? I could totally write a script along the lines of this concept.
A film within a film? Discussing some scary, creepy situations behind the camera? I'm down!