Movies are often full of changes and trivia, but these horror films truly have some remarkable tidbits attached to them!
Everybody loves trivia. Whether you’re using it to be a hero and win some contest at a pub or just annoying your friends with it mercilessly, trivia is great because it’s short, digestible bursts of “Did You Know?” What’s more fun than that? The horror community is also such a fervent, passionate group of people that their enthusiasm towards trivia perhaps goes unrivaled. They can tell you exactly who’s under Jason’s mask in Friday the 13th Part IV or how many deaths take place across the Halloween franchise. However, as fun as trivia is, it’s also everywhere. So you know Reagan’s vomit in The Exorcist is pea soup, so does everyone, buddy! Accordingly, we’ve gone the extra mile to find some especially poignant gems from your favorite horror films that you hopefully have never heard before. And if you have, well then your trivia team, “The Dream Warriors” is going to have a lot more competition next time.
1. Stephen’s King is Spelled Wrong in Carrie’s Trailer
At this point Stephen King might have over a hundred adaptations of his stories filling both your television screens and movie theaters, but there was also a more humble time when he wasn’t the mega-author that he is today. Brian DePalma’s excellent adaptation of Carrie is actually the first Stephen King story to undergo adaptation. While the process would open the floodgates for the author, it didn’t change the fact that he wasn’t a household name yet. As a result, the “burgeoning writer” sees his name misspelled in Carrie’s trailer, going the Steven route. With King arguably being the biggest horror writer that there is, it’s crazy to think of a time when he was putting up with people screwing up the spelling of his name.
2. Psycho Is the First US Film to Show a Flushing Toilet On Screen
A lot of people think of the shower when they think of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, and rightfully so. One of the most iconic murders in all of horror happens to take place in one. But while everyone is busy focusing on the shower’s importance in the movie, there’s an unsung hero in the bathroom that’s widely overlooked. That’s right, the toilet. Up until this point, a toilet flushing had never been shown in an American film (a terribly lewd, inappropriate act to depict, obviously). Psycho broke barriers by making toilet flushing possible, and cinema has never looked back since!
3. A Man Sued Warner Bros. For Fainting During The Exorcist …and Won!
We all want horror movies to be frightening. That’s their point. But it’s kind of bizarrely twisted that because a horror film does its job too well, it can actually be penalized for it, which is exactly what happened with William Friedkin’s The Exorcist. After an audience member fainted and broke their jaw from hitting it on the seat in front of them, they brought forth a lawsuit towards Warner Brothers. The victim claimed that due to the use of subliminal images (which the film does employ) he fainted. Warner Brothers settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, but awarded him something! A lot of theaters after the fact even had paramedics on hand to deal with the mass hysterics and fainting that was prone to happen, to avoid this from happening again! It all just sounds like a Nathan For You prank gone wrong to me.
4. The Gauntlet That Shelley Duvall Endured During The Shining
Shelley Duvall’s shriek heavy performance in Kubrick’s masterpiece, The Shining, is pretty apparent even if you’ve only seen a few minutes of the film’s second half. Duvall’s performance as Wendy Torrance is so shrill and fear-filled, it’s too much for a lot of people, going as far as reading as “annoying” amongst certain circles. Whether Duvall’s work rubs you the wrong way or not is irrelevant, the point is that she genuinely seems to be terrified, which is fundamental to the role. The only stipulation here is that apparently Duvall’s performance isn’t so much a wonderfully channeled piece of acting, but rather the result of the onslaught of torture that Kubrick put Duvall through, in order to get her performance to where he wanted it. Kubrick is known for being an eccentric and filmmaking using unconventional methods, but here Kubrick was constantly dismissive to the actress (going as far as telling her she was wasting everyone’s time), told crew to never show her sympathy, and would have her do hundreds of takes for scenes. By the end of the production Duvall was losing her hair and had to carry bottles of water around for how dehydrated she was from crying. That’s a lot of work to create the most terrified wife in horror.
5. Priests Were Present to Bless Moviegoers Seeing The Conjuring
Audiences were so shaken up after watching James Wan’s The Conjuring, that a special screening in Chicago had a priest present after the movie to cleanse any audience members who felt violated by evil spirits. Naturally, this was a whole lot of showmanship, but so much of horror is buying into an illusion that this gimmick actually worked and incited more fear and paranoia from moviegoers. A special piece of boilerplate was even present, warning that, “The film you are about to see is psychologically and emotionally disturbing.” Maybe for The Conjuring 2 they’ll even sprinkle brimstone around the theater.
6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s Original Title Was Head Cheese
If you work your way through The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s commentary track with director, Tobe Hooper, you’ll come across the interesting tidbit that the film’s to-the-point title went through a bit of a revision process. Hooper and the film’s co-writer, Kim Henkel, had originally given their film the unusual title, Head Cheese, of all things. From that point the title slowly morphed into Leatherface, before ultimately taking on the title that we’re all familiar with (which wasn’t too popular at first, either). It was likely the lack of impetus and rationale behind Head Cheese as a title that sort of explains why thing’s slowly evolved. But can you imagine if one of the most unnerving films of all time had this as its title instead!?
7. The Skeletons in Poltergeist Are Real Human Skeletons
How expensive would you think rubber prop skeletons are? Well, they’re a whole lot more expensive than the real thing, apparently! Makeup artist on the film Craig Reardon brought up that real skeletons would actually be cheaper than creating something, and so this macabre mix of fantasy and reality was incorporated into the picture to great effect (although the actors weren’t told originally, mind you). While not as prominent, Hooper would employ the same technique on Texas Chain Saw Massacre as well, with the skeletons present there, also being the real deal.
Now spread this knowledge and inform every horror fan you encounter! Perhaps they’ll even have something new and unbelievable to respond back with! But what about you? What do you think the crème de la crème of horror trivia is? Sound off in the comments below!
You know, I had heard that on the set for Oujia 2…