Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Phantasm Mama

Inspired by last week's post about "Hidden Houdinis", magician Ash Adams sends over this shot from the 1979 horror cult classic Phantasm. Look at this tombstone closely. Hello Mama!

So is this a deliberate nod to Cecelia Weiss? Maybe not. This appears to be part of the exedra that was used in the 1976 television biopic The Great Houdinis. According to Ash, the production rented the tombstones from 20th Century Fox. The Great Houdinis was filmed largely on the Fox lot, although the graveyard scenes were shot at Home of Peace Memorial Park in East Los Angeles (you can tour that with me here). So the selection of this tombstone might have just been a happy accident.

I've always wondered what happened to The Great Houdinis mockup exedra, especially the bust of Houdini/Glaser. Now we know that it went to the Fox property depart and was still there in 1979. Would love to think it might still be there today!

Below is the real exedra marker for Mama. This was her original standalone headstone from 1913 that was later incorporated into the exedra in 1916.

Thank you Ash!

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