Seriously? OMG! WTF? » Shudder asks was The Wizard of Oz cursed?
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[ # ] Shudder asks was The Wizard of Oz cursed?
April 8th, 2022 under Shudder

Two years ago, Shudder looked into five films, like Poltergeist and The Crow, that many people question if they were cursed. Cursed Films is back for a second season to look at five more movies, and they are starting it off with The Wizard of Oz, which is streaming now.

Believe it or not, when I was in elementary school, we studied how Buddy Ebsen had to drop out of the film. That is because the makeup team used real aluminum in his silver makeup to make him look like the Tin Man. The actor, who went on to star in Beverly Hillbillies and Barnaby, suffered scarred lungs for the rest of his life. Mythbusters’ Adam Savage tries to figure out if that could happen.

Ebsen was not the only one who was left with scars, so was Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch. During one scene, the actress disappeared in a puff of smoke on camera. But, on the set, she was dropped down a tiny elevator as fire rose from it. The broom caught on fire, and she suffered burns on her hands and face. Her son described what she went through that night and how she hid her injuries from him because he was a toddler at the time.

Six weeks later, Hamilton returned to production, and they asked her to attempt another dangerous stunt. She was wise to refuse because her stunt double was injured, and she spent weeks in the hospital.

These were physical scars, but the Munchkins were also scarred when someone in the cast spread a rumor that they were partying in the hotel that they were staying out. That rumor haunted them for so long that it was the subject of a comedic movie that came out 40 years after The Wizard of Oz. The series talks to the director who made Under the Rainbow.

And then there was Judy Garland; need I say more. We learn how this movie could be what caused her life to end prematurely. Her daughter, Lorna Luft, explains how and if she blames the producers.

Finally, did one of the Munchkins really hang himself on the set? And was his lifeless body seen in the movie?

There is so much more, but these are just a few of the highlights from this episode. In the coming weeks, Cursed Films II will investigate if Rosemary’s Baby, Stalker, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and Cannibal Holocaust were cursed or plagued by coincidences?

I cannot praise this series enough. The first season still haunts me, especially the episode that they did on The Crow. That is because when the shooting happened on the set of Rust, I was like history is repeating itself, and it shouldn’t. You can watch that episode and the other four on Shudder now, along with Oz.


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