Behind the Fangs: The Making of Cursed (2005)
Wes Craven had an amazing film career that spawned epic film series such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, but even though the film director and producer knew a few things about the film industry, that did not prevent the “Master of Horror” getting stuck in development hell, when he turned his attention to a movie called Cursed. The troubled werewolf movie had a pretty straight forward set up, involving teens maimed by a werewolf who must then track down and kill the creature before they both turn into blood thirsty killers.
The filming was 90% finished when problems popped up with production and the script. The filming was halted for over a year, and by the time things were resolved, many of the cast could not return due to other filming commitments. Skeet Ulrich, Mandy Moore, Omar Epps, Illeana Douglas, Heather Langenkamp, Scott Foley, Robert Forster, and Corey Feldman could no longer be part of the film and this was a huge problem. Despite some of the actors only shooting smaller roles, Ulrich had been one of the leads, and so the script had to be drastically changed to remove him from the film, with many scenes scrapped and others re-shot. The finished film was a bit of a mess, and Dimension Films ordered major re-shoots to fix the already delayed film. But the trouble did not finish when Craven called “that’s a wrap” the second time round.
The film was planned to be an R rated, and it was shoot with that in mind, agonising death scenes, mutilated bodies and plenty of blood, to keep all those lovely horror fans pleased. In the fall of 2004, Dimension cut the film to a PG-13.The blood and guts were tucked and tidied, and much of the films gorier scenes were trimmed down to PG-13 friendly versions, with two major big set pieces dramatically changed. The bloody death of Becky Morton (Shannon Elizabeth) , and the discovery of Mya’s (Jenny Tate) body were both victims of the editors viscous cuts. To say that Wes Craven was not a happy man would have been an understatement.
“The contract called for us to make an R-rated film. We did. It was a very difficult process. Then it was basically taken away from us and cut to PG-13 and ruined. It was two years of very difficult work and almost 100 days of shooting of various versions. Then at the very end, it was chopped up and the studio thought they could make more with a PG-13 movie, and trashed it … I thought it was completely disrespectful, and it hurt them too, and it was like they shot themselves in the foot with a shotgun.”
The film was generally panned and it made very little at the box office, but even with such animosity behind the scenes, the footage that made it out to the wider public (Thanks to Media Graveyard) made everything seems orderly and under control, as the cameras rolled on the film that was truly CURSED!