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Bela Lugosi and the Chiropractor

     I was watching ESPN this morning, while I worked out. One commentator mentioned that football players are afraid to admit to injury because the next man up in the lineup may push them out of a job. That reminded me of Bela Lugosi. Scary movie time.

Bela Lugosi came to the United States in 1920 to pursue his acting career. He initially became known on Broadway by his portrayal of Count Dracula.

After three years, the play shuttered and Lugosi began to accept roles in film such as Count Mora in “Mark of the Vampire”.  You can probably catch him in one of those movies that play late at night. At that time, if it was a movie with a coffin, morgue or Frankenstein, it probably starred Bela Lugosi.

There came a time that he also began to accept roles that almost bordered on comedy. Some attributed his lack of discernment in the parts that he accepted, on needing money to support his drug and alcohol habit. Specifically, he had reportedly become addicted to morphine and methadone because of radiating sciatica pain. He was no longer the master of horror.

Because his parts began to dwindle, he began to take parts in movies directed by Edward D. Wood. A quick analysis of Wood as a director as well as his films, can be best summed up by the fact that he was awarded the Golden Turkey Award and called the worst director of all time.

Despite the terrible parts, Lugosi needed the income. Unfortunately, his ending is the basis for this blog. During the shooting of one of these Wood pictures “Plan 9 from Outer Space”, Lugosi suffered a heart attack and died.

Now, here is the kicker. Instead of re-shooting the Lugosi scenes or cancelling the movie, Wood just kept going. Wood asked his family’s chiropractor to step in and take over the scene. A man that had no acting experience and did not even look or sound like Lugosi.

This story made the blog because of pain, sciatica, and a mention of a chiropractor. Sometimes “next man up” might be plausible in sports. It might even be forced in the movies. Beyond that… I have no other application for the blog. Honestly, I just think that is quite a crazy story. Poor Bela!

For pic o’ day, a reminder that it still will not go away!


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