We like horror movies. We like it when we get really scared and our adrenaline pumps through our bodies, and our lady friends have to hold on tight and bury their faces in our manly chests and we get to say “it’s ok lady, baby, honey, that’ll never happen, it’s totally just a movie.” And even if the movie says “based on actual events”, we all know it’s always totally bullshit. We assume the movie with a dude ripping people’s faces off with a cheese grader that was “based on actual events” was really just ONE cheese grader incident where a dude scrapped his knuckle accidentally when grading cheese. (I hate it when that happens!).
But, the problem is, crazy shit does happen, people DO die or are abused in horrible ways...and then people make movies to make money off it and scare the crap out of us.
(warning, there are some pretty disturbing things that happened to real people, don't read this if you get disturbed by stuff like that. Also, when finished, look at pictures of puppies or flowers, or puppies in flowers)
1) The Strangers (2008)
The movie is about a young couple who are attacked in their summer home. They are terrorized, beaten, stabbed and killed by complete strangers with no motive aside from simply wanting to inflict harm on others. The attackers get away and are never caught.
This is all well and terrifying, but people don’t just break into peoples houses, chop them up and kill them...right?
The director’s childhood
Breakins happen all the time, and apparently, to directors when their kids as well. Bryan Bertino, the director of The Strangers, based his movie losely on breakins that happened when he was a kid.
“As a kid, I lived in a house on a street in the middle of nowhere. One night, while our parents were out, somebody knocked on the front door and my little sister answered it. At the door were some people asking for somebody who didn't live there. We later found out that these people were knocking on doors on the area and, if no one was home, breaking into the houses".
That’s pretty freaky, I’m glad Bryan and his sister were ok and not totally stabbed and left for dead like the couple in his movie.
But he also said that another basis for his movie was the Manson Family.
Roger Ebert’s review quotes an interview by Moviesonline.ca, and when the director was asked if his movie was inspired by other movies, he had this to say:
"I don't necessarily think that I looked at it, you know...I'm definitely influenced by like '70s genre stuff in general, structure-wise...I read Helter Skelter when I was like 11. That was where I first started getting interested in the idea of people just walking into a house that you didn't know. I lived in the middle of nowhere in Texas where you could call out in the middle of the night and nobody would hear you."
And so, like, I decided to make a movie where like, people came into your house and totally, like, killed people and stuff.
But neither of these are really at all like the movie. But, what happened at the Keddie Resort, in California, in April 12th, 1981 (five days before I was born, kinda creepy), was actually way worse than what happened in the moviei.
-Keddie Resort, California.
“On the morning of April 12, 1981, 14-year old Sheila Sharp left a next-door sleepover and returned to Cabin 28 at the popular Keddie Resort, where her family had been living for the past two months. What she found there would cast a permanent shadow over this bucolic vacation spot in the northern Sierra Nevadas of California. The walls and furniture had been destroyed and were covered with blood. Amid the chaos were the bound, mutilated and nearly unrecognizable bodies of her mother Glenna Susan "Sue" Sharp, 36, her brother John, 16, and his friend Dana Wingate, 17. Her sister Tina, 13 was missing; three younger children, her two other brothers and their friend, were unharmed in another room.”
“In a gruesome coda, Tina's head was found three years later near a waterfall fifty miles down the hill. The case has never been solved.”
As far as the Keddie Resort murders are concerned, I guess none of us know how to respond to that. We assume we’re all safe, and although bad things happen, that at least the police will catch the people who did it. In this case, it was never solved and it ruined the lives of the victims families and the resort since no one wants to stay there anymore. I am not a gun owner and I’m for gun control and restrictions. But this story definitely makes me want to cary a few, big fucking guns.
Now, on the subject of the Manson Family. They were responsible for multiple home invasions and murders, most notably the murder of Sharon Tate and unborn child in 1968. There’s a strange twist in this tale as well, as Tate’s husband was Roman Polanski, an accomplished horror director himself (he directed Rosemary’s Baby). Years later, 1977, possibly because of personality changes due to the murder of his wife, Polanski was convicted for the forcible rape of a minor. He decided to skip the country and flee to France and is now no longer welcome in the United States since he is still considered a fugitive, but still continues to direct movies, including The Pianist which he won an Oscar for. His victim who was 13 at the time, but now a grown woman at 45, forgave Polanski and pleaded with the U.S. justice system to withdraw the charges and allow him to attend the Oscars and accept his award. But they refused and the charges for rape remained and he was later arrested him in 2007 after trying to enter Switcherland, but later released.
Just goes to show, sometimes, or usually, the actual true story of is much more interesting than a horror movie loosely based on “true” events. However, because life goes on and people figure out how to live with the horrible events in their past, it becomes less scary and therefor less shocking.
2) Dead Ringers (1988)
Identical twin successful gynecologists. I don’t really think I have to keep going. That right there, is weird enough to want to see a movie based on them. But I guess I’ll give you the whole story, so here.
"Elliot, the more aggressive and confident of the twins, seduces women who come to their vagina clinic. When he tires of them, the women are passed on to the shy and passive Beverly (yep, that’s his name), while the women remain unaware of the substitution. (think Christian Bale in The Prestige...only way creepier).
When Beverly becomes attached to an actress, it upsets the equilibrium between the twins. But she leaves to work on another film. This sends Beverly into clinical depression, heavy drinking, prescription drug abuse and paranoid delusions about "mutant women" with abnormal genitalia. (uh...right).
Beverly seeks out metallurgist Anders Wolleck and commissions a set of bizarre gynecological instruments for operating on these mutant women. Beverly is then put on administrative leave by the hospital board after collapsing on a patient.
Elliot locks Beverly into the clinic and tries to clean him up, taking pills himself to "synchronize". When Claire returns, Beverly leaves the clinic to be with her. When he returns to sobriety, he is concerned about his brother, and goes back to the clinic. There he finds the clinic in ruins and
Elliot despondent and intoxicated. Their positions are reversed as Beverly cares for Elliot. Drugged and despairing, they celebrate their mock birthday and Elliot volunteers to be killed, "to separate the Siamese twins". Beverly disembowels Elliot on an examination couch.
Beverly pulls himself together, leaves the clinic and calls Claire. When she asks, "Who is this?", Beverly leaves the payphone, walks back into the clinic and dies in Elliot's dead arms."
Ok, now I know your making shit up. Identical twin gynecologists dying together? That’s like some kinda fucked up Shakespearian play...only with twin gynecologists. That’d make a weird movie, but yeah, that never happened.
But...of course...it did.
What?.... (cringing because of the weirdness...)
The True Story
“Sutton Terrace, the UES apartment complex near Grac"ie Mansion, was built to house the city’s finest medical minds. But on July 19, 1975, apartment 10H at 450 East 63rd Street made front-page news when the decomposing, emaciated bodies of identical-twin gynecologists Stewart and Cyril Marcus were discovered. The 45-year-olds shared nearly everything: a thriving practice, teaching appointments at New York Hospital, a house in the Hamptons and a debilitating barbiturate addiction. “We cannot tell if they had wanted to stop, or simply had no strength to go get some more drugs,” said the medical examiner’s office, in ruling that the twins died of extreme withdrawal. The Marcuses’ mysterious demise would go on to inspire David Cronenberg’s 1988 psychological chiller, Dead Ringers.”
“Dead Ringers is based on the true story of two twin gynecologists, Steven and Cyril Marcus, who frequently switched places with each other, both at work and in their private lives. With their lives spiraling out of control, the brothers committed suicide together in their Manhattan apartment. The 1977 novel Twins by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland, dramatized the case, and Cronenberg's film follows suit”
There a few reasons why this story is weird and disturbing. 1) They’re twins, 2) they’re BOTH gynecologists, 3) well, that’s it, but that’s creepy enough. If you boil down their story to just the facts, they both most likely just died of withdrawal, but a double suicide was suspected. The creep factor is that someone actually let identical twins become gynecologists. Think about it, if YOU were a lady, and were going to a guy to take care of, ya know, down there, wouldn’t you want to make damn sure it was YOUR doctor, and not someone else who looked EXACTLY like him? That’s just fucking disturbing on so many levels.
3) The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
A guy who is both an ethnobotanist and an anthropologist is sent Haiti by a pharmaceutical company in the hopes of finding a new anesthesia from a drug used in Haitian Voodoo. (sounds like a good idea...not).
The anthropologist soon discovers that the voodoo culture is very live and well in Haiti, and is warned against looking into it too deeply. He, of course, presses on and is threatened, tortured, and nightmares planted in his mind...’cus and framed for murder and buried alive.
But the movie was based on a book by the same name. The book is about a man investigating Haitian Vodou who studied ethnobotanical poisons with an assortment of ingredients including puffer fish, matter from a corpse, including, but not limited to, the crushed skull of a dead baby, freshly killed blue lizards, dried toad and dried sea worm. He investigated a specific case where a group of people used these potions to create the appearance of death so convincing that even American trained doctors couldn’t tell they were still really alive. After burial of the supposed dead guy, the evil voovou people dug up their victim, and after beating him and drugging him, he was eventually brainwashed into their very own zombie slave, completely unable to think for himself in his drugged state.
Um, bullshit. There’s no freekin’ way anyone can just make their own damn zombies. First of all, American doctors are way too smart to declare anyone dead when they’re totally NOT. Second of all, although we all know slavery can happen and that’s awful, there’s no drug that can prevent people from thinking for themselves and fight back...right?
The True story:
“The facts of the case of Clairvius Narcisse are as follows: on the 30th of April, 1962, at 9:45 PM, he checked himself into the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in the town of Deschapelle in the Artibonite Valley of Haiti....His condition deteriorated rapidly. On the morning of May 2 his two attending physicians, one of whom was American and the other American -trained, pronounced Clairvius Narcisse dead. His body was identified by his oldest sister, Marie Claire, who affixed her thumbprint to the death certificate, and he was buried the next day.
“Eighteen years later, Angelina Narcisse was walking through the village marketplace when she was approached by someone claiming to be Clairvius Narcisse....
He said that shortly before he was pronounced dead, he felt as if his skin was on fire, with insects crawling beneath it. He heard his sister Angelina weeping as he was pronounced dead, felt the sheet being pulled up over his face. Horrifyingly, although he was unable to move or speak, he remained lucid and aware the entire time, even as his coffin was nailed shut and buried. He even had a scar which he claimed was sustained as one of the coffin nails was driven through his face. He felt the sensation of floating above the grave. There he remained, for how long he did not know, until the coffin as opened by the bokor and his henchmen. He was beaten into submission, bound, gagged, and spirited away to a sugar plantation that was to be his home for the next two years.
On the plantation, Narcisse and some other zombies labored from sunup to sunset, pausing for only one spare meal a day. He would later report that he passed his time there in a dream-like state, devoid of will or volition, with events unfolding before him as if in slow motion.
Freedom came two years later. One of the zombies was being beaten by the bokor for insubordination, and in desperation the would-be victim managed to grab a hoe and kill his tormentor. The zombies all then escaped. Narcisse spent the next sixteen years wandering the Haitian countryside. He wrote to his family repeatedly, but his letters went unanswered. Only after the death of the brother he believed had arranged to have him done in did he dare to return to his village.
[Doctor researching what happened]
“Davis obtained specimens of the zombie powder, from several different bokors, in several different locations. The composition of the powders varied widely: each one was a witch’s brew of strange ingredients, including toads, tree frogs, snakes, lizards, centipedes, and sea worms. However, three classes of ingredients were common to all the preparations: 1) charred and ground bones and other human remains, 2) plants with urticating hairs, spines, toxic resins, or calcium oxalate crystals, and 3) puffer fish. “
Read up on this and you’ll see that it is concluded that although getting someone declared dead, then using them as a zombie slave isn’t a common occurrence, that with the combination of the tetrodotoxin from puffer fish and controlling the environment of the victim through torture and isolation, it is possible. And too many of the fact of Narcisse’s story line up to doubt him.
And let’s take this a bit further, shale we? This isn’t the only occurrence where someone has been declared dead by American trained doctors when someone has eaten improperly prepared puffer fish. And, as far as slavery goes, it’s actually quite common for modern day human traffickers to use drugs to control them, though they normally use addictive narcotics, the result is the same.
Let’s just all agree that we shouldn’t go to Haiti, eat puffer fish, and then get declared dead.
4) Primeval (2007)
A group of investigators head to Africa to look into the story of a 20 foot long crocodile, weighing 2,000 pounds named Gustave who has been blamed for killing and eating hundreds of people, the plan is to capture Gustave alive. But when they get there, they must contend with a warlord who had named himself “Little Gustave.” The friendly villagers assemble a steel cage in order to catch Gustave and the first attempt to capture Gustave fails, but Matt manages to shoot him with a tracking dart.
A villager who helped set up the cage, tries to capture Gustave using himself as bait. A from Little Gustave’s group is caught stealing money from a tent, and is about to rape a woman, but the man eating crocodile saved the day and kills him. Aviva runs to the group, and they return to the devastated camp.
Later, Gustave attacks again, and in an attempt to kill the croc, they use a grenade in an attempt to kill him, but that didn’t work either. By the end, the investigators have had enough of the warlord and douse him with crocodile pheromones comes and devours the warlord. Tim, Jojo,
Maria and Aviva climb into the Range Rover followed by Gustave, but they manage to escape home. The ending states that with the death of Little Gustave, the civil war ended for good, but Gustave is seen still very much alive and killing people.
What a croc a shit. (get it?) Yeah, I get that there are warlords in Africa, and crocodiles. But no one ever defeated one by getting a crocodile to eat him! And...hundreds of people? Really? Sure, crocodiles eat people every once and a while, but 20 feet long, 2,000 pounds, really? This is just another one of those big animal people eating monster movies like Lake Placid, right?
Nope. Gustove really exists, he’s really 20 feet long, really 2,000 pounds, really kills a lot of people, and is impossible to kill.
A cold-blooded serial killer is on the loose. His name is Gustave. He's 20 feet long, weighs 2,000 pounds, and stands accused of devouring hundreds of people.
“Gustave is a large male Nile crocodile living in Burundi. In 2004 he was estimated to be 60 years old, 20 feet (6.1 m) in length and to weigh around 1 ton, making him the largest confirmed crocodile ever seen in Africa. He is a notorious man-eater, who is rumoured to have claimed as many as 300 humans from the banks of the Ruzizi River and the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika. Though that number is difficult to prove, Gustave has attained a near-mythical status and is greatly feared by people in the region. Scientists and Herpetologists who have studied Gustave claim that his uncommon size and weight impedes the crocodile's ability to hunt the species' usual, agile prey such as fish, antelope and zebra, forcing him to attack larger animals such as Hippopotamus, large wildebeest and, to some extent, humans. According to a popular local warning, he is said to hunt and leave his victims' corpses uneaten.” (Wikepedia)
“He is known for the few distinct bullet scars that cover his body: one on his head and three on his right side.”
Holy shit, people have shot him at least four times and he just won’t die! Someone fucking kill him! There have been a few attempts to catch him, but to no avail. He’s a totally real crocodile, and if you know anything about crocidiles, you know that they DON’T STOP GROWING if they have an unlimited food source. This thing is too big to feed on fish, so it has to go for the bigger things, like US!
5) Fire in the Sky (1993)
After a group of loggers were finished doing loggery things under a business contract to clear a wilderness area, they headed back to town. But on their way, they came across what looked like an unidentified flying object. Curious to learn more about it, and like any good horror movie, they went closer to the weird thing and one of the men step out of their vehicle. He was then struck by a beam of light from the object, and, fearing he was was killed the others leave the scene in horror. One of the men decides to go back and see if he can find the dude who got hit with the magical ufo beam, but he is nowhere to be found.
After heading back to town to report the incident, the loggers are greeted with skepticism, as they relate what sounds like an outrageous story to the local sheriff. They are suspected of foul play, and with the discovery of a previous fight between the men and newspapers about UFO sightings in the truck a murder investigation seems likely.
The sheriff encourages the men to take a polygraph examination to which they agree and appear to pass; however, one of the men's test is inconclusive. The men are still accused of murder and are being threatened by the missing man’s brother.
Five days later after the man went missing he is found alive at a gas station, naked, dehydrated and incoherent. Later, he remembers what happened to him by the hands of the extraterrestrials in the UFO. After being abducted, he woke in a cocoon-like setting attempting to escape his captivity in a suspended weightless environment. After discovering that he is not sedated or unconscious, the aliens drag him through a series of corridors to be subsequently experimented on against his will. Stripping him to his underwear and then covering him with a rubber-like sheet, which eventually pins him to an examination table, the aliens subject him to an extremely painful examination in which he is forced to endure an optical probe.
While briefly interviewing Walton, Lieutenant Watters continues to express his doubts on his abduction as merely an elaborate hoax. He notes Walton's new found celebrity status after his popularity increased by tabloids attempting to profit from his tale.
Right...UFOs. Uh-huh. People have been saying that UFO’s, aliens, extra-terrestrials, the government, or both, have been abducting people for freekin’ ever. But none of these wack jobs have been at all credible, believable, and no proof of these things have ever been substantiated. This is just some movie trying to capitalize our fear of the unknown universe, because we can all agree that the universe is too big to not have aliens, but they aren’t HERE yet. This movie is just all made up, right?
Nope. There really was an investigation, they really took polygraphs, all passed.
“His Companions fled in fear. When they reported an encounter with a UFO — something they would have considered impossible if they had not witnessed it themselves — the men were suspected of murder. For five days authorities mounted a massive manhunt in search of Walton — or his body. Then Walton reappeared, disorented and initially unable to tell the whole story of his terrifying encounter.
In Fire in the Sky Travis Walton relates in his own words the best documented account of alien abduction yet recorded, the story of his harrowing ordeal at the hands of silent captors and his return to a disbelieving world of hostile interrogators, exploitative press and self-styled "debunkers." Travis recounts the struggle to get a fair hearing, and confronts his detractors with a stinging rebuttal.”
The film culminates with a denouement between Walton and Rogers, with the UFO mystery essentially unresolved. The closing titles of the film inform the viewer that in February 1993, the loggers agreed to resubmit to an additional polygraph examination which they passed, corroborating their innocence.
If you’ve seen this movie than you know what it’s about. Some guys go loggering, then a UFO abducts a dude. He wakes up in a spaceship and after attempting to escape, he is dragged against his will to a different room where he is experimented on (no anal probes though, so that’s good). His story is his explanation to his disappearance after an investigation where his friends were being looked at by the police, suspecting foul play. “Five days later, Walton is found alive at a gas station, naked, dehydrated and incoherent” (wikepedia) Of course no one believed his story, though his friends saw the lights in the sky before he disappeared. They all took lie detector tests, most of them past, one was inconclusive. Later, they all retook them and all passed.
Now, I’m not saying that this story if for sure absolutely true beyond a reasonable doubt and aliens are totally abducting people left and right. But, as I said before, the universe is pretty damn big. And we’re discovering new planets every freekin’ day it seems like, and few are in what is called the “green zone”, where the planet is far enough away from its sun to not cook, but close enough to have the warmth life needs to grow and survive. Even in our own Galaxy, we could have thousands of planets in the green zone. The chances of one of those planets growing life is actually pretty good. The chances of that life evolving into sentient life is a different story...but we did it, why can’t another planet do it? And if another planet has sentient life, who’s to say they aren’t more advanced than we are? Who’s to say they haven’t already been visiting us and being jerks about it? Think about it, in our Earth history, when have we been perfect gentle men when visiting new cultures and “worlds”? Like, pretty much never. Almost every time in our history when an advanced culture “discovers” one with less...uh...desire for killing or weapons for killing less effective, the more advanced culture did whatever the hell it wanted to. Including taking over, killing, enslaving, rape, etc...
If a race of intelligent extra terrestrials found earth, how would we know they wouldn’t be like the one’s from The Explorers (you know, River Phoenix, Ethan Hawk), but more like the aliens from Signs and total dicks? We wouldn’t, because if history teaches us anything, it’s that the dude with the bigger stick gets to do whatever the hell they want to, be nice, or total dick.
6) Wolf Creek (2005)
Three people go backpacking in Australia, go to pool parties, have rough sex on the beach, and generally have a good time in the outback. Then they go to “Wolf Creek”, a crater from a meteorite. After exploring the crater, they find their car doesn’t work anymore but a random guy shows up and offers to tow their car back to his place and fix it up.
It is there, of course, that he terrorises them, cuts them, shoots them, and is generally a homicidal maniac. Only the guy survives the ordeal, after a botched manhunt, the killer is never caught and the bodies of his lady friends are never found.
Whatever, this just another one of those movies “based on actual” events that like Fargo or Blair Witch, that nothing like it ever even came close to happening. I call bullshit.
Only...there was a guy, who did convince someone of vehicle malfunction, who did just strait up kill them.
“On July 14, 2001, British tourists Peter Falconio (then 28) and Joanne Lees travelled on the Stuart Highway from Alice Springs in the direction of Darwin. It was night time.
Roughly half way between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, just outside Barrow Creek, a mechanic called Bradley John Murdoch managed to make them pull over, and told them that sparks were coming out of the exhaust of their van.
Peter went to the back of the van with Murdoch to have a look, and Joanne was asked to rev the engine. She later said she thought she heard a shot. Then Murdoch, holding a gun, came to her window. He bound her hands and dragged her into his four wheel drive.
Then he disappeared for a while. It is assumed that he dealt with Peter's body during that time. That's when Joanne managed to escape. She hid in the bush as Murdoch was searching for her with his dog. Eventually he gave up.
Joanne waited for hours, making sure that he was really gone and not coming back. When she finally staggered back onto the highway two truck drivers stopped and helped her.”
Ok, that is pretty creepy. The movie had the guy totally get away with it, how about the real guy?
“Murdoch was caught in the largest Northern Territory police investigation ever. He had been in Alice Springs the same day as Joanne and Peter, he had also visited the same fast food outlet.”
“His lawyers couldn't explain how his DNA had ended up on the makeshift handcuffs that Joanne was tied up with, if he'd been nowhere near her. After a two month trial he was found guilty in December 2005. The verdict by the jury was unanimous. Murdoch will serve at least 28 years of a life sentence, unless his appeal (due for hearing in December 2006) is successful. (Update: Murdoch's appeal was rejected in January 2007.)”
Murders are usually committed by someone known to the victim. That’s why, in Law and Order, they ALWAYS talk to the wife or husband, even though they always have an issue with them talking to them while their grieving over their lost loved one. This is awful, but we, as humans, get it. We can make sense of someone going off the handle and up and killing their boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband...because we all get made at the people we love, and some of us are not that great at holding back that anger. We even have something in the law called “crime of passion” that allows for a lesser sentence when it can be proven that we just fucking flipped out when we found out we were being cheated on. This is why around 80% of all murders are solved, because the motive is usually easy to figure out, and the person who did it is usually still around.
This is why cases like this are so terrifying. Some completely random guy just up and kills someone, this is not normal human behavior. This would be called sociopathic, or psychopathic behavior, and is very rare. But unlike the Keddie Resort murders, this guy was caught in a huge manhunt and is also why I will be able to sleep tonight.
Most of the time we should assume "based on actual events" is completely bunk and an outright lie, like Fargo, Blair Witch, or any of the Excorcism movies ever in the history of ever. But every once and a while a movie is based on something that actually happened, and it was actually truelly horrorfying. What bothers me is that someone is actually making money off these movies when someone went through something truelly disturbing. Sometimes, however, the poeple making money off it and the people who went thorugh it are one in the same, as in Fire in the Sky and Wolf Creek.
I tend to stay away from horror movies that say they were based on actual events or true stories because I view movies as a way to escape from the realities of my own life and culture. Don't like how the system works? Pop in the Matix and unplug your mind, man. Got no girlfriend? Pop in One Fine Day and get that hopeful feeling that you just might meet someone someday. And when I'm feeling bored and want a good scare, I'll watch an Alien movie, or House, or something fun with monsters where the good guys kill the evil thing.
But, to be honest, and maybe this is just me, I don't really want to watch a movie that scares the crap out of me, people die, the bad guy gets away, and it's all true. Not really something I want to subject myself to while entertaining myself. That's notblog comments powered by Disqus