Was Famed Satanist Anton LaVey the Technical Adviser on Rosemary’s Baby?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Anton LaVey was the technical advisor for Rosemary’s Baby and/or he appeared in the film as the devil.

Anton LaVey was pretty much the most famous Satanist there was in the 20th Century.

Part of LaVey’s fame was self-fulfilled, though, as he was quite adept at promoting himself. By virtue of this talent, a number of the rumors, myths and legends that have sprung up about the man were fostered (if not created) by LaVey himself.

One of those legends, which he repeated on numerous occasions, was that he was not only the technical advisor on the horror film, Rosemary’s Baby but that he actually played the devil in the film!

Is it true?
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May 13th, 2016 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Which Original Cast Member of Grey’s Anatomy Was Added to the Show’s Pilot Through CGI?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: One of the original cast members of Grey’s Anatomy was added to the show’s pilot through digital effects.

As the years go by, the technology behind film and the television gets better and better, especially the world of digital effects. Shows like Supergirl and the Flash have action scenes that couldn’t even be imagined twenty years ago, let alone in the days of The Adventures of Superman re-using the same flying sequences over and over. One of the big advances in CGI is the ability to add actors to scenes digitally. This was famously used in Gladiator to allow Oliver Reed to appear in the film even after the actor had died during filming. Amusingly enough, similar technology would be used five years later with the pilot of the long-running hit drama series, Grey’s Anatomy, to add an actor to the episode who was not originally in the episode when it was first filmed!

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Read on to learn who was a late addition to the series.
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Comic Book Legends Revealed #574

Welcome to the five hundred and seventy-fourth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, in honor of Captain America: Civil War, legends involving Captain America, Iron Man and, well, Civil War! Were Captain America and Iron Man initially on opposite sides for Marvel’s original Civil War? Was the Mandarin banned as a villain in the Iron Man films? And what famous Captain America villain was inspired by…an ice cream sundae?!

Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to access it to update it in a while).

Click here to read this week’s legends.

Was Splinter of the Mind’s Eye Originally Written as a Cheap Film Sequel to Star Wars?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye was originally written as a film sequel to Star Wars.

One of the things that has been made clear in past legends about the early days of Star Wars (like whether Darth Vader was always supposed to be Luke’s father or whether Luke and Leia were always supposed to be siblings) is that George Lucas was often playing things by ear at the start of his epic film franchise. This makes sense, of course, as there was no way for Lucas to know that his first Star Wars film would become such a sensation, so how could he spend much time planning for future films when he wasn’t even positive that he would get a second film, let alone a franchise of films and related tie-in materials?

This uncertainty led to the intriguing origin of the first full length novel based on the world of Star Wars, Alan Dean Foster’s acclaimed Splinter of the Mind’s Eye.

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While the book is famous for being the first notable expansion of the Star Wars universe, it was also, remarkably enough, originally written as the basis for a possible sequel to the original Star Wars!
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May 5th, 2016 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Why Did “Woodstock” Songwriter Joni Mitchell Skip Going to Woodstock?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: Joni Mitchell skipped Woodstock so that she could appear on The Dick Cavett Show on that Monday.

It is a pretty awesome piece of irony that probably the best song about the famous Woodstock music festival of 1969 was written by Joni Mitchell…who did not even attend the festival! The most popular version of the song was performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, who DID attend the festival (one of the members of the band, Mitchell’s boyfriend at the time, Graham Nash, described the festival to her, which was her inspiration for writing the song).

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So what’s the deal? Why did Mitchell skip the show? As it turned out, it was so she could appear on The Dick Cavett Show…an appearance she could have made even HAD she attended the show! Read on for the details!
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May 4th, 2016 | Posted in Music Urban Legends Revealed | 1 Comment

Did David Brenner Really Shave NINE Years Off His Age When He Started Doing Comedy?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: David Brenner shaved nine years off of his age when he began doing comedy in the late 1960s.

David Brenner made his debut on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1971, at the age of 26…

Brenner soon became a favorite of Carson’s, and Carson had him on 158 times, the most any other performer has ever appeared on the Tonight Show!

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Brenner also served as the guest host for Carson on his day off.

Here he is talking to Helen Gurley Brown from Cosmopolitan magazine…

But as Brenner got older, people began to be more and more suspicious about his age.

Finally, in early 2009, on the Howard Stern radio show, Brenner “came out” about his age.
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May 3rd, 2016 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Comic Book Legends Revealed #573

Welcome to the five hundred and seventy-third in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, did Marvel edit out the “snap” when they reprinted the death of Gwen Stacy? Was John Byrne nearly part of Image Comics’ start? And finally, what amusing Jungle Book-related mistake occurred in Vertigo’s Fables?

Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to access it to update it in a while).

Click here to read this week’s legends.

Did a Video Game Company Once Sue Viacom For Ruining the Star Trek Franchise?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: A video game company once sued Viacom for, in effect, ruining the Star Trek franchise.

As we have seen numerous times over the years, there is a delicate balance between artistic freedom and the more commercial aspects of show business. One of the more shocking examples was when CBS wouldn’t continue with Cagney and Lacey unless one of the leads was replaced with a more “feminine” actress. However, even more on point with today’s legend is the strange situation that ended up with the legendary Neil Young being sued by his own record company for breach of contract because they claimed that he was intentionally not making “commercial” music. Think, then, about what if you were a company whose products were based on another company’s artistic output and you, too, felt that their output was not commercial. What do you do? That was the basis for the video game company Activision actually suing Viacom over “ruining” the Star Trek franchise.

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April 29th, 2016 | Posted in TV Urban Legends Revealed, Video Game Urban Legends Revealed | 1 Comment

What Bob Dylan Song Was Surprisingly Inspired by Prince?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: Bob Dylan’s “Dirty World” was an attempt to write a song “like Prince.”

During the height of Prince’s fame during the late 1980s, he and Bob Dylan did not have a whole lot in common (outside of them both being from Minnesota, of course).

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However, when Bob Dylan began writing songs for the Traveling Wilburys in 1988, he found inspiration for Prince in an unlikely song.
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April 29th, 2016 | Posted in Music Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments

Did The Hunt For Red October Accidentally Reveal Secret United States Submarine Technology?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the Movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: The Hunt for Red October accidentally revealed secret United States submarine technology.

The Hunt for Red October was a 1990 hit film about a Russian submarine commander (Sean Connery) who tries to defect to the United States, using the highly advanced nuclear submarine under his command as essentially an offering to the U.S. to allow him to defect.

Alec Baldwin plays the CIA analyst who figures out Connery’s character’s plan to defect. The rest of the film involves the Russians trying to destroy him before he can defect while the Americans try to find the ship and carry out the defection.

In any event, at one point in the film, the crew of the USS Dallas (the U.S. submarine trying to chase down the Red October to make contact and determine if the captain of the Russian sub actually IS trying to defect and if so, to help him in his attempt) note that they have “milligal anomalies”.

What does that mean?
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April 28th, 2016 | Posted in Movie Urban Legends Revealed | No Comments