When Is A Film Horrific Because Of A Cast Member? It Might Be – When Orson Welles Is In It!
Orson Welles may have made one of the greatest films of all time, “Citizen Kane”, but he was anything but a model citizen in person!
Here is Welles interacting with a radio Producer as they attempt to record a “Findus Frozen Pea” commercial in the 70’s!
“EVerything’s OK” With Orson’s Head!
And now, there is a new web series that uses Welles in a unique way! Imagine a world where fracking has turned New York City into a desolate wasteland – and one girl learns to fight the power with help from Orson Welles’ revived head.
That’s the new web series “Everything’s OK!” Read all about it here:
If you want to hear more about Orson’s aggressive meanness, you can start here:
Lunching With Orson!
Another independent filmmaker, Henry Jaglom, published a book of his lunches with the legendary Welles – lunches full of catty commentary by the iconic Director!
As described in a story on Dailymail.com:
“Here is Welles as he has never been seen before: talking intimately, disclosing personal secrets, reflecting on the highs and lows of his astonishing Hollywood career, the people he knew—FDR, Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Laurence Olivier, David Selznick, Rita Hayworth, and more—and the many disappointments of his last years. This is the great director unplugged, free to be irreverent and worse—sexist, homophobic, racist, or none of the above— because he was nothing if not a fabulator and provocateur.”
Here is a link to a story about the book:
And now, let’s hear from one of Hollywood’s sex kittens, Pamela Franklin, as she discussed working with Welles on a film in the 70’s – or was it two? And how was the experience? Here is the answer:
A Cult Movie So Good It Has Two Titles!
One of the great things about the movie industry is how “industrious” Producers were at times – like this, a film so good it got released twice – under two different titles!
This Is “Necromancy” Starring Orson Welles!
OK, I know you’ve NEVER heard of this film. That’s because it was barely released in 1972, and yes, the grumpy Orson Welles starred in this occult horror film – and guess what? He also starred in this film as well!
That’s Because “The Witching” IS “Necromancy!”
Cinema history is littered with films that were re-released under different titles, and that was the fate for this cult horror gem.
Orson’s An Ass!
As we’ve discussed, there is much evidence that points to Mr. Welles NOT being the nicest person on the set – we will look at additional evidence of that after we dive into the nutty horror of “Necromancy” aka “The Witching!”
Orson Welles was near the end of his career, and he stars here as the head of a witches’ coven, who needs the powers of Actress Pamela Franklin to raise his son from the dead.
But of course he does!
Thanks to Mondo-Digital, here is the story:
1972’s “Necromancy” was released briefly by Cinerama Releasing. However, as the website reports:
“The Director’s original version was suppressed after its initial release in favor of a radically reworked version in the early ‘80s for the VHS market called “The Witching”, with the story severely reworked, extended scenes of fully nude coven worship added (including a young Brinke Stevens), and an entirely new, senseless ending replacing the original one.”
Here is the trailer for “The Witching”:
The source for this fun trivia is the terrific website “Mondo-digital.com”, which always has the latest in cult film releases and reviews…see more of their review of the movie by clicking on the site here:
As for “Necromancy”, it showcased the acting talent of a young sex kitten named Pamela Franklin…
British Actress Pamela Franklin received great acclaim for her work in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” in 1969, winning the National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actress.
Franklin ended up in horror films, including the occult thriller “The Legend of Hell House” in 1973, as well as “The Food of the Gods” in 1977.
The Good And Bad Of “Necromancy!”
The website “DVDdrive-in” also has a great review of the film, and the site points out that the new blu-ray release of “Necromancy” includes a recent audio interview with Pamela Franklin, who says that meeting her husband (actor Harvey Jason) was the only good thing to come out of the movie!
The Actress speaks of working with Welles, and says on the audio interview that she felt Welles was dismissive of other actors, saying very succinctly:
“He was not a nice person”.
The website also has this great anecdote about the making of the film:
“Welles was notorious for being difficult on the set. In his autobiography The Amazing Colossal Worlds of MR. BIG, Gordon feared he would have problems with the actor when Welles’ secretary informed him that he didn’t work before 10AM or after 4PM. But Gordon appeased Welles with a gourmet chef and all his favorite foods and drinks, and the larger-than-life thesp then agreed to be at his director’s disposal!”
This great trivia comes from a great website, “DVDdrive-in.com” – see their entire review here!
OK, so we can all agree that working with Orson Welles wasn’t easy for many people, but thanks to great home video companies, we can still enjoy some of his work, like in the classic “Necromancy!”
If you love finding obscure cult horror films like this, check out both websites I linked to, and also, check out this film:
“Girly” is so bad it’s fun!
Check out the campy horror fun of “Girly” by reading my story here:
And if your idea of horror involves lesbians – and why not – then you should check this film out:
Yes, legendary cult Director Jess Franco’s lesbian vampire masterpiece is now out on a remaster blu-ray – read all about it here:
Let me know if you fancy “Necromancy!”
Categories: 70's Films, Artsploitation, Camp Cult Classics, Classic Horror, Cult Classics, Grindhouse, Horror films, JRsploitation, Talent / Celebrites, Uncategorized
Seems like Welles and I are on the same page when it comes to Hitchcock. That book looks great, I would love to hear Orson telling it like it was. 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
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He was a candid interview, Pete, but also a pain in the ass!
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I suggest he enjoyed playing the role, John. 🙂
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Necromancy is on YouTube but almost no nude witches , sadly
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