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10 Cursed Movies That Killed Their Actors

By Edited Jun 6, 2016 6 7

There are a number of spooky accidents that happen on almost every movie, in particular horror movies. Due to drunken stage hands, shotty safety standards, or maybe even a roaming ghost with dreams of Hollywood lights. However, nobody cares until someone gets hurts. In fact, most movies that are considered cursed most likely would not be considered to be so except for the fact that someone (or some cases, heaps of some ones) got hurt or even killed.

Unsurprisingly, some of these deaths during cursed movies led to the sets being haunted.

the crow

The Crow

The Crow, released in 1994 based on the comic book of the same name. It followed the story of the dark and brooding guitarist Eric Draven as he is murdered, brought back from the dead, and wrecks havoc on the thugs and crime lord responsible for the murder of his girlfriend and himself.

There were a number of violent accidents on the set of The Crow. Everything from fires, malfunctioning equipment, and a few screwdrivers being embedded into hands. The Crow's big claim to fame in the cursed movies world was the Death of Brandon Lee, son of the famous martial artist Bruce Lee. So who cares about those technical peons that got hurt!

While filming a scene only eight days away from the end of filming, a dummy bullet lodged itself in the barrel of the gun that was supposed to shoot Brandon Lee's character Eric Draven. The gun was only supposed to fire a blank, but instead it fired the dummy bullet that was lodged in the barrel. The bullet entered Brandon Lee's abdomen and he died twelve hours later.

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The Superman Series

There have been a number of Superman movies and shows since the comic books release in 1939. However the curse did not technically start until 1951 when George Reeves starred in the 1951 film Superman and the Mole Men.

The Superman curse is not only a life taker, but it is a career killer first and foremost. George Reeves like Supermen before and after him had trouble finding work afterwards. Once you are seen as Superman, you are no one else in Hollywood. George Reeves was unfortunate enough to be the curses first death. In 1959 he was found in his home with a gunshot wound to the head. The death was ruled a suicide, but there were no prints found on the gun. Police obviously deduced that Reeves used his feet.

The other, and most famous, victim of this curse is Christopher Reeve. Reeve starred in four Superman movies over the late 70's and 80's. The actor was later thrown from a horse in 1994 and paralyzed from the neck down.

Like many of Hollywood's cursed movies, this curse seems flimsy at best.

rosemary's baby

Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby was a horror hit in 1968. It followed the ordinarily average lives of Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband John. Things start to get weird when her husband John starts mingling with what Rosemary suspects are high society cultists. Film goers loved it because it everything seemed so realistic, like it could happen in real life, and it scared the fear of God into many a weary Christian. Who hasn't had a neighbor try to get you to bear the Anti-Christ from your womb?

The curse of Rosemary's Baby seemed to only effect one man's life. That man was the director Roman Polanksi. He had originally wanted to put his wife Sharon Tate in the film as Rosemary, but she got a lesser uncredited part instead. Fourteen months after the release of the film, Sharon Tate (who was 8 months pregnant) and several friends were found dead in her home. She was murdered by members of the Manson family.

The movies curse became very popular because of how similar it was to Roman Polanksi's movie. In the movie Rosemary is plagued by cultists. In real life, Tate was murdered by them.

Eerily enough, John Lennon was also shot in front of the Dakota, where Rosemary's Baby was filmed.  The connection is strange because Charles Manson thought Beatle's songs contained hidden messages telling him to do things.

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twilight zone the movie

Twilight Zone: The Movie

Twilight Zone: The Movie is a very fitting movie to have a creepy paranormal curse. However, there is nothing creepy or paranormal about the curse on Twilight Zone: The Movie. The movie contains rewrites of three classic episodes of the show and one original story. Each segment was filmed by different directors, but the curse stems from the first segment which is directed by John Landis.

During the filming of the first segment, actor Vic Morrow and child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen died in a horrific helicopter crash. The helicopter crash resulted in two of the actors head being taken off by the helicopter blades and a curse being born. As tragic as the accident was, it was quite the poor excuse for a curse. Though the Twilight Zone: The Movie curse is widely known, where is the actual curse part? Is the curse that they will not make anymore of the awesome show the Twilight Zone? Probably.

Twilight Zone - The Movie [Blu-ray]
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the exorcist

The Exorcist Series

Who would have thought that a movie about the devil possessing a small girl would be subject to a curse. The movie is supposedly based off a real possession of a boy in Georgetown USA. The story follows that of a little girl and the priests that are called in to help exorcise the demons within her. Things do not go well.

Things did not go well in the creation of the film either. For one, the entire set, save for one room, burned to the ground one weekend and delayed filming for about six weeks. Strange  fires seem to happen a lot in Hollywood. They need to put in ceiling sprinklers or something.

The little girl in the original movie suffered quite a few times during the filming. She suffered  a spine fracture when the shaking bed malfunctioned, her grandfather died, and there were reports from film staff that she had a wee bit of a mental breakdown during the filming.

Other than the trauma that movie caused a little girl, nine people were reported to have died during the filming of the movie. This rumor is a little shaky as no one seems to know all the names of the people who died. The movie was also said to cause so much trauma when it was released in theaters. There were reports of it causing everything from heart attacks to a miscarriage.

Since the movie is about an exorcism, it seems awful likely that they created some of these events just to hype up the movie and give all the mouth breathing movie goers a thrill.

rebel without a cause

Rebel Without a Cause

Rebel Without a Cause is a real iconic movie of the 1950's. It basically tells the average story of every greaser during that era. The story follows the rebellious tough guy Jim Stark as he moves to a new town, trolls around town beating up bullies and befriending younger weaker prey, defying his parents, and of course earning the love of a pretty young girl that thinks she can change him.

Unfortunately for the three young stars of the film, this film would come to immortalize them. The curse of Rebel Without a Cause is that all three of the main characters died young and under suspicious circumstances.

James Dean died shortly after the movies' completion in a car crash while driving his Porsche to a race. Natalie Wood was found face down in a pool, which was ruled an accidental drowning but suicide or murder was more likely. Sal Mineo went on to be stabbed in the heart by a robber. Though Wood and Mineo died much later into their lives, the stigma remains that this movie still carried a curse for all three actors.


The Poltergeist Series

Much like its predecessor The Exorcist, the Poltergeist series is considered cursed because of the heaps of deaths that happened to the people involved. Unlike The Exorcist, the deaths were some obscure unnamed technical folks that the tabloids do not care about, the deaths involved in the Poltergeist were stars in the film. throughout the three films, the curse claimed the lives of four of its' stars.

The first was Dominique Dunne who was strangled by her furious ex-boyfriend. Rumor has it the actor she was rehearsing lines with in her apartment turned on the Poltergeist soundtrack during the fight to drown out the noise. The next lives it claimed were after the second movie when Julian Beck and Will Sampson died. To be fair, both were sick during the filming of the second movie. Julian Beck died of stomach cancer and Will Sampson died of complications during a heart lung transplant.

The third movie claimed the real trooper of all three films. While actors can and went throughout the series, one remained in all three. It was the little girl from the first movie, Heather O'Rourke. She died of an undiagnosed bowel obstruction.

Poltergeist [Blu-ray]
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The Conqueror

The Conqueror

When you think of Ghengis Khan, the most famous leader of the mongol horde, skilled tactician and warlord, who do you think of? John Wayne of course. John Wayne is obviously a perfect choice to play a mongol chieftain. At least that is what director Dick Powell and John Wayne himself thought. The Conqueror follows John Wayne's character Temujin (before he became Ghengis Khan) as he fights for his tribe and the love of a women he wooed in the caveman way of basically kidnapping her and saying "Love me."

Little known fact, The Conqueror has two curses. The first curse is that it is perhaps the worst movie ever made and the second is man's age old curse of stupidity. This is not so much a curse as it was poor location scouting. The movie was shot in St. George, Utah which was 137 miles downwind of the United States Government's Nuclear Testing facility. Unluckily for the cast and crew, three years before filming the they did extensive nuclear tests at that test site. If we know anything about nukes, it's that it does not go away very fast and seems into everything it touches. Like the cast and crew for example.

The real curse of the movie is that later in the 1960's 91 of the 220 cast and crew died of various forms of cancer. This included John Wayne himself.

The Conqueror
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"Let's buy The Conqueror on DVD", said no one ever.
the omen

The Omen

Of all the cursed movies, The Omen curse is probably the most believable. No, there was no spooky props moving around or strange fires. This one involves lightning and heaps of it! On two separate occasions the flights for actor Gregory Peck and producer Mace Neufield were struck by lightning while travelling between England and the USA.  Another producer, Harvey Bernhard was barely missed by a lightning bolt in Rome. It seems like before the invention of Facebook and Twitter, God had to use more unclear means to send messages.

The craziness with the lightning was not the end of The Omen's curse either. A plane that was originally going to be used to take aerial shots was switched, the plane they decided not to use crashed shortly after takeoff and killed all of its passengers. A zookeeper who helped handle the animals for the studio was eaten by lions and after working on The Omen a stuntman was pushed off a building.

The special effects artist even became a victim when he crashed his car. His companion was decapitated in a similar way that David Warner was in the film. This is especially strange because the special effect artist John Richardson designed all the deaths for The omen. Stranger still, when Richardson exited his car after the accident he found himself to be near the town of Ommen. Is that not an omen or what?

the dark knight

The Dark Knight

It seems like whenever you dress a man in crazy make up something bad happens and a curse is born (see The Crow Curse). The Dark Knight became infamous before its release when Heath Ledger, who played The Joker in the film, died of an overdose from sleeping pills. Rumors spread around the internet, as they often do, that Ledger overdosed because the role of The Joker disturbed him so much.

For some reason, a curse was born from that shameless advertisement ploy. Though it is difficult to deny that Ledger's suicide did not form a curse when The Dark Knight Rises was released. Yes, because of that crazy shooting in the theater on its release, but the curse also wrapped its dark tendrils around some of the other stars.

After the filming in 2008, Morgan Freeman flipped his car and badly injured his shoulder, arm and elbows. Shortly after the accident he announced that he and his wife of 24 years were getting divorced. Christian Bale was also touched by the curse when he was accused of assaulting his wife and sister. Leave it to the Batman to rip families apart.



Feb 6, 2013 6:00am
Let's not forget Neighbors, the 1981 near-flop that offed John Belushi. As the film came together in editing, Belushi saw immediately that the film was going to be horrible. So, he had the editor fired, and he took over the job himself. Working against a very tight deadline, Belushi worked 20-hour days on the film (and consequently ran quickly out of steam), and so fell back on his old habit which had always given him all the energy and motivation he needed: cocaine.

Belushi reportedly stayed awake for the entire final 22 days of editing, and managed to produce a watchable film. (But just barely so.) He completed editing on the film four months after the film has wrapped, and celebrated by renting a bungalow in order to sleep for a week or so. His final mistake: he invited his dealer, Judy Davis, to come over that evening and shoot him up with heroin in order to give him one last big high before he went into hibernation. Davis was a bit high herself at the time, and sadly gave Belushi a rather generous dose. Hours later, he was dead.

Even more amazing, when his body was removed from the bungalow, a script was found, written by his best friend, Aykroyd, with the main character written for Belushi -- Dr. Peter Venkman. That part, of course, ultimately went to Bill Murray in his epic performance in Ghostbusters.

R.I.P., Bluto.
Feb 6, 2013 7:23am
Great article and pretty creepy at the same time.
It really makes you wonder .....

Thumbs Up!
Feb 6, 2013 11:16am
Very interesting points. I almost lost it when I heard Heath Ledger had died. He was a great actor.
Feb 6, 2013 11:29am
this was a fascinating read and made me late for work! thumbs up!
Feb 6, 2013 4:23pm
What an interesting article. I've seen some of these movies, but I didn't know about these deaths. Thanks for sharing. Thumbs Up!!!
Feb 7, 2013 2:44am
Hi, congratulations on the feature! I like your humorous writing style when it comes to death and actors. Good descriptions of the various disturbing ways people have died during and after the movies they've been in, or worked on! :) Really, great article with excellent large pics!
Feb 7, 2013 8:40pm
Yeah that is kinda creepy.
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