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San Francisco Chronicle Picks Rosemary’s Baby as the number one Scariest Film! It was and is!!!

San Francisco Chronicle Picks Rosemary’s Baby as the number one Scariest Film! It was and is!!!

I am not sure I am ready to talk about “Rosemary’s Baby,” but I think I must.  Deep in my core, I know that somehow I am responsible for unleashing evil into the world.

I read the gallies of Ira Levin’s book and knew it would make a great film.  I bought the rights to the story the very next day.

It would become a day I would cherish and  a day I would regret with every fiber of my being.

And yes, the stories are true, bad things happened upon making this film.  Bad things. Very bad things.

I had an inking of what I had stepped into by the hate letters I received from members of the Catholic church.  I didn’t take the message in these letters lightly. I read each one of them. I read them width=”322″ height=”400″ />

I am not sure I am ready to talk about “Rosemary’s Baby,” but I think I must.  Deep in my core, I know that somehow I am responsible for unleashing evil into the world.

I read the gallies of Ira Levin’s book and knew it would make a great film.  I bought the rights to the story the very next day.

It would become a day I would cherish and  a day I would regret with every fiber of my being.

And yes, the stories are true, bad things happened upon making this film.  Bad things. Very bad things.

I had an inking of what I had stepped into by the hate letters I received from members of the Catholic church.  I didn’t take the message in these letters lightly. I read each one of them. I read them more than once. And each one of them took its place in my beating heart.

Then a dear cousin stopped talking to me.  His wife was appalled that I would make a film so provocative,  a film about the devil. I had very few relatives, to lose him cost me dearly.

The film was made.  And I fought hard so that Roman could tell his story.  And he told it beautifully.  I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t direct.  I was.  But I had my hands full as the producer.

The studio was constantly on back.  “Stay on budget,” they would scream. “Stay on time,” they commanded.  We did neither of those things.

And then there was trouble brewing for poor Mia and her husband Frank.  And at times, I found myself right in the middle of a very complicated situation.

The film premiered in June of 1968.

It was a smash hit.  I had finally made it to the big leagues but the taste of success did not seem so sweet. It was 1968 and everything changed.  The entire world shifted.  I won’t be arrogant enough to say my little film caused all this. But I was a sensitive man.

January 1968, I watched horrible images on my TV set in the comfort of my beautiful living room. The TET offensive affected me deeply.  Our boys were dying in a war I didn’t believe in.  Then in June of the same year, I watched as Senator Robert Kennedy was gunned down in a Los Angeles hotel.  Our nation was in turmoil.  “Rosemary’s Baby” premiered and then a little film by George Romero called “Night of the Living Dead,” opened up in October of the same year. Horror films would never be the same again.  I watched, with thousands of others as “zombies” munched on human flesh. It was a master piece.  And thinking about it now, a brilliant commentary about the time in which we lived.

I enjoyed my success as much as I could for as long as I could.  But it didn’t take long before all hell broke loose.  First, the brilliant composer of the film Christopher Komeda died from head injuries on April 23, 1969.  This was one day before my fifty-fifth birthday.   Months later while I was on a small summer vacation with my family in San Francisco, we were walking by a newspaper stand and the headlines caught my eye,  causing my blood to run cold. The day before, on Aug. 9, 1969, Sharon Tate and her unborn baby were but two victims of the most hideous crime I had ever seen.

We returned home that same afternoon.

Nothing would ever be the same again.

October 31, 1969, Halloween night, my kidneys failed me and I had to have major surgery.  As I watched the anesthesia drip slowing into my arm, I swear I saw Rosemary’s knife carrying the reflection of the devil’s eyes dig deep into my flesh. “No, not that knife” I screamed but nobody seemed  to hear me.

This was the beginning of the end.  I didn’t die right then.  It took years.  But I suffered.  Enough!

I have told my tale.   Now I’m dead.  And I have a responsibility to the strangers.

Who are the strangers, you ask?  You will meet them soon.  God willing.

WC

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