Mission: Licence to Kill
Released: June 13, 1989
Bond: Timothy Dalton
Director: John Glen
Budget: $42 Million
U.S. Boxoffice: $34.6 Million
Worldwide Boxoffice: $156.2 Million
Running Time: 133 Minutes
UnivEx Rating: 005
Villain: Franz Sanchez
Scheme: Selling cocaine
Henchmen: Dario, Heller, Truman-Lodge, Milton Krest
Girls: Pam Bouvier, Lupe Lamora
Allies: Q, Felix Leiter, Sharkey
Bond's Kill Count: 12
Bond's Conquest Count: 2
During the film’s finale, Bond and Sanchez battle it out in tanker trucks over a stretch of highway known as the Rumarosa Pass in Mexicali. While filming a scene where a tanker exploded, a special effects crew member was taking photos from behind the scenes.
When he looked at his photos later, he saw what could only be described as a flaming hand reaching down from inside the explosion. Even more eerie, director John Glen went through every single inch of footage filmed that day, frame by frame, and couldn’t find the hand anywhere else.
The original flaming hand still photo
(click to enlarge)
Now, it can be said that this was just a trick of light from the angle the photograph was taken. However, the exact spot where it happened has a long and checkered history; years earlier a minibus full of nuns fell over the cliff and burst into flames. Since then the road had been closed due to its “dangerous curves.”
In addition to the flaming hand, the crew of Licence to Kill had all sorts of other mishaps over the course of filming. While filming a scene where Sanchez shoots off a Stinger missile, the prop stinger went haywire and hit a utility worker on a telephone pole more than two miles away. Other examples include the truck that mysteriously burst into flames in the middle of the night for no reason, the truck that started its engine and drove a few feet with no one behind the wheel and the apparitions that the security guards reported seeing that disappeared when challenged.
Were these all just random and freak occurrences or was there actually a higher power at work during the filming of Licence to Kill? Director John Glen thinks there might be, as evidenced by a quote from his book, For My Eyes Only. “There was definitely a strange atmosphere on that stretch of road. The special effects boys where convinced there was something spooky about the place. If there was any doubt left in my mind, it was dispelled by a bizarre photograph…” While we will never know for certain, it sure is fun to speculate.
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