Cursed Films II on Shudder explores the misfortune and rumors behind popular films | Post office Busselton Donsborough

What makes a movie “damned”? Tragic death on and off site, mysterious production problems, disturbing subsequent events – these are the kinds of things that attract such a reputation.

Canadian filmmaker Jay Chill says he is interested in “offer stories, perhaps offbeat characters – stories that are definitely character-driven”.

Certainly, looking at often difficult film productions provides its share of these.

A scene from The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy. Photo: Getty Images

At the time of the interview, he was finishing post-production on the second series of damn moviessorting on Shudder.

Cheel had made documentaries like Good day (2011) – About one Canadian man’s ancestor to Donkey – And How to build a time machine (2016) says Shudder pitching damn movies His idea of ​​the strength of his previous work.

This idea piqued his interest as a storyteller, though he’s skeptical enough not to buy into too much of the idea of ​​”damned” movies or some of the wildest allegations and anecdotes.

However, he admits that the stories, rumors, and urban legends associated with it can take their own lives and sometimes overshadow the films themselves.

Judy Garland's daughter Lorna Luft.  Photo: goosebumps

Judy Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft. Photo: goosebumps

While “Cursed” is an exaggeration, the films he screened in season one – including Exorcist (1973)omen (1976) and the crow (1994) – all had their share of turbulent productions and sometimes tragedies, rumors, and stories surrounding them.

“In season one, the focus was on the rational versus the irrational, looking at the stories and why we care about them,” he says. Are we dealing with coincidences, guesswork, or magical thinking?

Schell says season two is a little different. Having created such buildings in Season 1, he looks more at the stories behind the film’s productions, and the people who were involved in them.

Sometimes, he says, talking to lesser-known actors and crew members — or even knowledgeable strangers — leads to better content, as it can lead to more candid interviews and lesser-known stories.

Rosemary's Children star Mia Farrow with producer William Castle.  Photo: supplied

Rosemary’s Children star Mia Farrow with producer William Castle. Photo: supplied

first episode topic, wizard of oz (1939), is not a horror film, although as Chill points out, it contains elements that frighten children, such as winged monkeys and the wicked witch of the west. The long and expensive production had a lot of problems.

While the film’s co-stars died, Shil interviewed others including Geese The experts and descendants of the people involved in the film used the old and entertainment footage to tell the stories.

He examined two old urban legends, including that the Munchkin actors threw wild parties and orgies (not true, it seems, or at least massively exaggerated), which formed the basis for the 1981 film Chevy Chase. under the rainbow, whose director, Steve Rush, was interviewed. Another perennial myth is that someone – a crew member? Munchkin representative? – He hanged himself in the background of one of the scenes that appeared in the movie.

“You can’t at least discuss it despite exposing it,” says Chill.

One who interviewed them, Greg Turkington, still says that it happened, and he has a detailed explanation.

“It’s self-proclaimed Geese The expert who, unlike a lot of Geese Fans, they have different opinions and beliefs,” Schell accurately says.

Or perhaps Turkington – an Australian-born film-lover – was merely providing a voice for such beliefs and/or raising the voice of the public.

Other less controversial stories. “The highlight moment for me was the Margaret Hamilton story,” says Chill.

Hamilton, who played the wicked witch, was badly burned when she missed her fiery departure from Munchkinland.

Her son Hamilton Meserve talks about this and says that before his mother was taken home, at her request, she was covered with head-to-toe bandages to look like a mummy so as not to frighten him with her appearance.

“She told her son that he was wearing a costume and that it minimized his trauma,” Chill says.

Judy Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft talks about how she fed her mother amphetamines to give her energy to work and then take sleeping pills, and says at that era, people didn’t understand the potentially harmful effects of such drugs.

mythbusters Adam Savage—co-host—who talks about how Buddy Ebsen’s Tin Man makeup nearly killed him and forced him to leave the movie—balances with thoughts on why rumors about “curses” and the like (among other things, he says it’s a way for fans to deal with The bad things that happen in their favorite movies).

The second movie explores, rosemary baby (1968), adapted by writer and director Roman Polanski from Ira Levine’s novel about a young woman who believes she has been carried away by the Devil.

rosemary baby Schell says it was something of a zeitgeist, made at a time of social and political upheaval. It was based on a novel that was popular at the time, with a hot director and star, and tackled topical issues of the period such as religion, sex, and urban paranoia.

Star Mia Farrow declined an interview request and Shell did not approach Polanski, feeling unwilling to ask the filmmaker about the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate – along with several others – by Charles Manson’s followers the following year. rosemary baby issued.

“I felt it would be strange to talk to him about the film and not go directly to it.”

Shell interviews, among others, a former member of the Manson “family”, takes a look at rumors that Church of Satan leader Anton LaVey was a consultant to the film and talks to actress Victoria Vitry, who had a small but significant role in the film (“her story is fantastic”). “).

Other episodes take a look at Andrei Tarkovsky stalking (1979), Wes Craven snake and rainbow (1988) and Ruggero Deodato’s groundbreaking “Found Shots” cannibal holocaust (1980).

Chel is not sure if there will be a third series of damn movies – “We’ll see how the second season goes” – but we were thinking about possible topics.

One of the movies he’s thinking of is Conqueror (1956), starring John Wayne as Genghis Khan.

Filmed near nuclear test sites, it is often cited as the cause of cancer in 91 of the more than 200 cast and crew members, including co-stars Wayne and Susan Hayward.

The film was met with critical scorn, particularly regarding Wayne’s cast.

In the meantime, he is developing other projects – projects without curses.

Cursed Movies II Flows on Shudder.

This Story Cursed by Tragedy and Tales films first appeared in The Canberra Times.

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