Oliver Stone’s reputation precedes him. He’s known for being notoriously difficult to work with, antagonistic toward his actors (he once told Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx, “You’re just not good at all, are you?”), and occasionally downright reckless (remember that whole James Woods and a gun incident?).
His directing debut, which he also cowrote, contains an appropriate amount of on-screen and offscreen menace. The 1974 film Seizure, about a horror novelist’s recurring nightmare that shockingly comes true, is a nice slice of cult weirdness. The cast is equally entertaining. Where else can you find Dark Shadows’ Jonathan Frid, Bond and Hammer Films hottie Martine Beswick, Fantasy Island’s Hervé Villechaize (who happened to be Stone’s roommate back in the day), cult icon Mary Woronov, and fading heartthrob Troy Donahue in the same movie? So why would Stone essentially disown his debut? By all appearances, Seizure isn’t as terrible as some of his other entries, although many filmmakers would like to forget their horror-film roots. An interview with star Beswick reveals a possible answer.
The making of the movie sounds like it was a downright disaster.
In a 2007 interview with the actress, Beswick discusses the general state of the set, which happened to be the same lakeside estate that the cast and crew were sleeping in to cut down on costs. Stone was strict about everyone’s activities at the home since a flushing toilet or the sound of dishes being washed could ruin one of the takes. Beswick goes on to reveal that everyone relied on pills and booze to get through the shoot and that the house became a filthy sty. Originally dubbed Queen of Evil, the movie was renamed Seizure and it was released with almost no marketing support. Another story from the set reveals that one of the film’s producers, a gangster named Michael Thevis, anonymously bankrolled the movie to launder money while he was being investigated by the FBI. No wonder Stone wants nothing to do with the picture.
Here’s Seizure if you’re morbidly curious, thanks to website Dangerous Minds.
Warning: Parts of this film may be NSFW.
MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB: