Cursed Movie Episodes, Sorted
Whether or not you’re a big believer in Hollywood curses, you’ve had a blast hearing stories about strange things that happen on movie sets. This is the reason why some of these movies are actually legendary.
Part of what makes them popular comes from gossip and media fabrications. It’s that simple. In fact, urban legends are so ingrained in our culture that the Mandela Effect can actually hijack your memories and remind you of movies not because you remember them, but because of the scary things that happen around them. Some are classics no matter how they got there.
Horror streaming service Shudder released Cursed Movies in 2020. The series immediately attracted attention as it promised to delve deep into these legends and will undoubtedly try to “solve” any of their mysteries. The first five episodes were good, but felt incomplete. They explored the classics, but also classics from the “cursed movie” discourse. However, writer/director Jay Cheel (Film Junk Podcast) has had the chance to go deeper with darker films in the second season, which comes out in 2022.
We went on a rampage with Cursed Films to analyze if the series is really based on the legends surrounding these films, or if it’s better made with content about the facts we already know. See how they packed up for a few surprises.
10/10 The Exorcist and a vulgar display of power we don’t need
The first episode is easily his weakest. It’s a document about already known facts, very brief interviews, and a futile jumble with reality to discover the influence of The Exorcist on us. It was a bit clumsy, just like William Friedkin’s own horror documentary Satan and Father Amorth. The stories on the set of The Exorcist are well known by now, and Cursed Movies unfortunately offers nothing new.
9/10 Rosemary’s Baby and a Terrible Connection
What happened around the production of Rosemary’s Baby is not as chilling as people associate with the infamous Manson murders. In this episode of Cursed Movies, such an association is forced, and it works to a point, but in the end, the film about the birth of Satan is strong enough to be legendary in its own right. There was no need to use a crime we’ve heard enough about. The bit about the importance of William Castle is a nice addition to this episode, but it feels incomplete.
8/10 The Wizard of Oz and the Horrors of Cinema
Talking about the actual production of The Wizard of Oz is when Cursed Films began to be a series about difficult productions rather than actually cursed films. From toxic makeup to true legends of stage deaths, add Victor Fleming’s classic to the series. It is also the saddest episode exploring Judy Garland’s drug addiction problem. The part about collectible VHS tapes is just hilarious and incredibly interesting for movie fans.
7/10 The Twilight Zone: Deadly Negligence on Film and Set
A return to the John Landis production, which would end in a jury trial, was inevitable. The episode is an emotional trip down memory lane when sets weren’t as safe as they are now. Watching the footage of the cast actually dying is excruciating. However, calling The Twilight Zone: The Movie cursed is too much for what happens. It’s time to call a spade a spade.
6/10 The Crow and the crash that never should have happened
Brandon Lee, accidentally killed on the set of The Crow, is hard to rewatch in this well-made episode of Cursed Movies. As impressive as it may seem, it’s a very important cautionary tale about an issue that Hollywood needs to understand and adapt to. Otherwise, these crashes will still happen, as recently happened with Rust. The episode wisely doesn’t go into the ludicrous connection between “The Curse of Bruce Lee” and his son’s death.
5/10 Omen and crew who must see the signs
Things are getting scary. Really, really scary. Omen director Richard Donner takes part in interviews and sheds light on some dark events surrounding the film. This is one of the episodes that we’re sure led to the idea for the concept of the show. Deaths, deaths and more deaths are now part of the aura that makes The Omen even scarier and more legendary than before.
4/10 Poltergeist, Mala Praxis, and Hollywood Mystery Revealed
The “Poltergeist Curse” is actually a thing, and in this short episode it turns into facts that we can recite from memory. However, things get interesting as production greed shines a light on the Poltergeist III disaster. Its director, Gary Sherman, gets the opportunity to talk about Heather O’Rourke (Carol Anne in the film franchise) and the medical error that led to her death. In addition, the episode answers the question: were real skeletons used in the production of the film? Yes. But was Poltergeist the first?
3/10 Snake and Rainbow and the crew who have to run for their lives
The Serpent and the Rainbow was a film production “ruined” by a film crew traveling to a place they simply didn’t understand. The Wes Craven-directed film wasn’t as good as it could have been, and perhaps the reason is revealed in this detailed making-of documentary. If ever there was a movie that could be cursed by anyone, this is it. Plain and simple.
It was great to have Wade Davis (the film’s main character, the real Dennis Alan) share his thoughts on The Serpent and the Rainbow. It makes us believe something that cannot be true.
2/10 Cannibal holocaust and unnecessary realism
Yes, Ruggero Deodato is a difficult director who made the controversial film Cannibal Holocaust unnecessarily realistic. It’s pretty clear in the movie itself. However, this episode’s deep dive into found footage and marketing concepts is fascinating enough to keep you hooked. Clearly, Cannibal Holocaust is not cursed, and perhaps its legacy is more about extreme cinema than a good film.
1/10 Stalker and painstaking production of a masterpiece
This episode is a great lesson in cinema and the passion it engenders. Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker is confusing enough to puzzle you, but how the film was made is a problem you can begin to solve with the best episode of Cursed Films. He may be the only one in the series that will make you immediately want to watch the movie starring him.
Both seasons of Cursed Films are streaming on Shudder.