12th Aug2021

Top 5: Cursed Films

by Phil Wheat

The recent Top 5 on our picks of  the Most Extreme Films went down rather well with you, our Nerdly audience, so we thought we’d bring you another Top 5 – this time looking at the Top 5 Cursed Films… in no particular order may I add! Check out the list below and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Opera Mortem

Written and directed by English painter David Fleas, Opera Mortem was apparently filmed over almost 10 years, in super-8 mm and VHS no less, and screened only one time in the 1973 at the Nottingham’s Odeon Film Theatre. Described as weird, trippy, filled with graphic blood, sex, and black magical ritualistic symbols, Opera Mortem – and its 1973 screening – are “believed” to be cursed; with reports of fires in projection booths, people dying after seeing it, riots… you name it, Opera Mortem reportedly caused it. Undoubtedly due to all the satanic symoblism within it!


Another so-called “cursed” film, Antrum is a mockumentary in which the titular film – Antrum – is a ‘cursed’ movie that was shown once in a movie theatre that quickly burned to the ground, killing everyone that saw the movie. It is also suggested that any screeners of the movie that were sent for consideration at festivals, have ‘killed’ anyone that has watched it. Wen the film was sent to press for its release last year they even included a disclaimer: “By watching ANTRUM you agree that Jinga Films and SC Movies is hereby released of all liability for any event that might occur to you during or after your viewing”… Yeah… OK then!

The Exorcist

Probably the most famous “cursed” movie, The Exorcist‘s production was beset by a fire – which apparently, somehow, left the main set, Regan’s bedroom, unharmed; Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair both seriously hurt their backs during filming… AND there are numerous real-life deaths attached to the film too: actors Jack MacGowran and Vasiliki Maliaros died while the film was in post-production (both played characters who died in the movie). Then in 1987, the son of actress Mercedes McCambridge, who was the voice of the demon Pazuzu, murdered his wife and children before taking his own life.

The Superman franchise

OK let’s venture off the horror path, and individual movies, to talk about Superman. Yes, Superman. An iconic hero, the character – at least in cinema and on TV – seems to be cursed. Not only did Christopher Reeve suffer a horse fall that saw him paralysed from the neck down but his predecessor, George Reeves, who played Superman on the iconic 50s TV series The Adventures of Superman committed suicide (some say it was murder) in 1959. Then there’s the rest of the actors who’ve played superhero… whilst they may not be cursed, it seems playing Superman is a [minor] curse for an actor, with many who played him not really having much luck in the post-Superman careers. Of course then there’s Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane alongside Reeves’ Superman, who sustained serious injuries in a car accident that left her temporarily paralyzed, and she later had a highly publicized manic episode and nervous breakdown stemming from bipolar disorder. Coincidence? Maybe. Or is it the curse..? Just ask the crew who were involved in the creation of the Superman Returns DVD. One of them fell down a flight of stairs, another was mugged and physically assaulted, and a third smashed into a glass window!

The Omen

Actually forget The Exorcist, The Omen is officially the most-cursed Hollywood production ever! Three planes carrying cast or crew during the production suffered extreme weather: Gregory Peck and screenwriter David Seltzer took two separate planes to the UK, and both were struck by lightning. Executive producer Mace Neufeld’s plane from Rome was also forced to fly through a lightning storm… Bad enough right? Well then Gregory Peck’s plane to Israel crashed, killing everyone on board. Thankfully Peck had cancelled his ticket moments before. On top of the airline disasters, director Richard Donner’s hotel was bombed by the IRA; and special effects artist John Richardson was involved in a car crash that killed his girlfriend. Maybe let’s not make movies about the antichrist anymore eh?


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