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'Soul Men,' 'The Dark Knight' are latest cursed movies

Posted Monday, August 11, 2008 at 3:05 PM Central

by John Couture

This weekend was filled with unexpected tragedy in the entertainment industry with the untimely passing of comedian-actor Bernie Mac and musician-actor Isaac Hayes. Of course, the passing of two celebrities in proximity like this brings to mind an old superstition that celebrity deaths, or deaths in general, happen in threes.

Combine that with the photo to the right from November's upcoming Dimension film Soul Men and it's enough to get the conspiracy theorists to drag out their soap boxes and scream movie curse. Of course, to be on the safe side, Samuel L. Jackson might want to avoid any great white sharks for a few days.

We've all heard the stories of "cursed movies" and some turn out to be nothing more than urban legends and not suicidal, love-lorn munchkins, but some are just too eerie to ignore.

Take the Poltergeist movies for example. Within six years of the movie's release (and its requisite two sequels naturally), Heather O'Rourke, who played the towheaded Carol Anne, went "into the light" at the tender age of 12. Her onscreen sister Dominique Dunne was strangled to death by her boyfriend. And Julian Beck and Will Sampson, two spirits in the movie, died from cancer and complications from a transplant respectively.

And don't forget the death of Craig T. Nelson's career. He is still haunted by the perpetual re-runs of his TV show Coach. Ironically, despite being a horror/suspense movie, no one dies in Poltergeist.

Some claim that Rosemary's Baby was cursed when you connect the following Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. One year after the film was released, Roman Polanski's pregnant wife Sharon Tate was killed by Charles Manson and his followers as part of Manson's apocalyptic war he called "Helter Skelter," a term that Manson borrowed from The Beatles, whom he claimed had put subversive messages to this war in the lyrics of their songs from the White Album. A decade later, former Beatle John Lennon was gunned down outside of The Dakota where he lived with wife Yoko Ono.

The Dakota is the same building where they filmed Rosemary's Baby. Ok, that's a little creepy.

And of course, there is the Lee family. Martial arts master Bruce Lee dies under mysterious circumstances while filming his last movie Game of Death. Likewise, his son Brandon is accidentally killed while filming The Crow.

Most recently, the movie curse theorists have turned their sights on box office behemoth The Dark Knight. Everyone knew about the tragic death of star Heath Ledger before the movie opened and this fact may have contributed slightly to its success. Since the movie opened, Batman himself Christian Bale was arrested on suspicion of assault against two family members and Morgan Freeman spent four days in a Memphis hospital following a car accident just last weekend.

Isaac Hayes was found deceased in his Memphis home.

Uh oh.

Tell us what you think about movie curses and/or enlighten us about the ones we may have omitted.

Update: It seems that we're not the only ones pointing out the curse conspiracies. SlashFilm takes the story to a whole new high (low?) with a mention of Defamer's Billy Bob Thornton co-star curse. Wait, hasn't just about everyone co-starred with this guy? He's like the new Kevin Bacon of Generation Z.

Source: /Film