Brandi Weed was kind enough to send along the following excerpt from the now out-of-print Murder Ink, in which Roy Scheider reminisces about his first film outing:
"The first motion picture I ever did was called Curse of the Living Corpse. I was an actor at the Arena Stage, and the producer came up to me with the idea of filming a horror mystery on the estate of Gutzon Borglum, the guy who did the sculptures on Mount Rushmore.
"You have to understand that when they started this film, they went to the film library in New York, picked out all the titles of horror movies that had made big money and from this list put together the three most popular words-- "corpse," "living" and "curse." First they wrote the title, then they wrote the script.
Anyway, as an actor who'd never done a movie, I couldn't pass it up. Not only that, but the script was the most outrageous thing I'd ever read in my liFe. I played the drunken-sot-weakling-brother in a family that were all after the father's inheritance and wouldn't get it if they committed any of the standard unspeakable acts. In this film I got the opportunity to: burn my mother in her bed; cut off my brotber's head; strangle my wife; kill three servants; slip through secret passages behind the library bookcases; wear an outfit that looked like something out of The Shadow; move around the house for an entire hour and a half with the audience unaware that I was the vilIain. At the end, when I'm found out, there's a tremendous battle in a quicksand bog, and I sink in it, and die. Every fantasy, every dream, every kind of horror story that I ever imagined as a young man, I got to act out in one movie.
"This film has become a minor classic in that it plays on network television, in almost everv major city in America, on Halloween-- usually about two o'clock in the morning. I've had friends call me up from San Francisco, New Orleans, Mexico City, and say, 'Oh, Roy, what I'm watching on my TV set! It's just terrific! And look at how young you look, how strange!'
"This turkey has haunted me for fifteen years."
It might also be noted that she was, at least at the time, Mrs. Tenney; thanks to Brian's Drive-In Theater for this info.
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