To brighten this time of family festive cheer a new movie hits the screens on December 22nd called the Curse of the Iron Claw, starring Zac Efron, about the tragic von Erich family, controlled by a hard-driving world champion wrestler father Fritz who outlived five of his six children, three of them dead by suicide. In its heyday wrestling, despite being a pretend sport, was a superstar arena awash with fantasy and riddled with staggering drug problems – steroids, cocaine, and painkillers – all kept out of sight.
Father Fritz was in reality a Texan who adopted a “Nazi” German persona for his public career, pushed his teenage offspring into tough workout schedules, punished them with a leather strap, and blatantly picked favourites. He marketed them as something that – in some cases – they couldn’t live up to and stooped to cashing-in on their deaths.
The film makers were so wary of the darkness of the story they omitted the story of one son altogether.
And the litany is tragic. One son died at 6 being electrocuted after touching a bare wire and drowning in a puddle. Kerry lost a foot in a car accident but continued to wrestle with a prosthetic boot, eventually shot himself when facing prison on drug charges. David, who lost a daughter from SIDs, may have overdosed or died from enteritis. Mike overdosed after not recovering from toxic shock from a surgery. Chris, an asthmatic, shot himself at 21.’ Kevin is the only one still alive.
Fritz, born 16 August 1929 in Texas, had a flamboyant Leo Sun trine Saturn in Sagittarius with Saturn in a hard-edged, can-be-cruel square to Mars – with his Sun conjunct his Mars/Pluto midpoint = relentless, ruthless, brutal. He also had a manipulative Pluto Venus conjunction in Cancer probably opposition a Capricorn Moon square Uranus – both controlling and rejecting in the family, constantly double-messaging his children. Plus he had his constantly-plotting-and-planning Taurus North Node conjunct Chiron, maybe in an Earth Grand Trine to his Moon and Mercury.
The Chiron North Node conjunction may be a key part of his damaging and damaged family life – his development demanded facing his own wounds which clearly never happened. That along with his Moon tied into Pluto and Uranus, Mars square Saturn and Sun conjunct Mars/Pluto.
Kevin 1957 – a Sun conjunct South Node square Pluto, Sun trine Jupiter – the controlling father, though with Jupiter he’d look for positives about him and his ever-optimistic Sagittarius Moon may also have helped keep him afloat.
David 1958 – Sun square Mars opposition Jupiter – the opportunistic father, aggressive and covering it with a veneer of enthusiasm.
Kerry 1960 – Sun opposition Uranus and a Mars Saturn Venus conjunction trine Pluto – the disconnected and cruel father.
Mike 1964 – Sun Mars opposition Uranus Pluto – a scary father, both control-freaky and rejecting.
Chris 1969 – Sun Uranus square Mars; with Saturn trine Venus trine Mars and Saturn inconjunct Sun – explosive, disciplinarian, self-esteem denting father.
Apologies for the gloom but family dynamics fascinate me. Interesting that Kevin, the one survivor, does not have strong Uranus aspects to his Sun so would not feel quite so distanced from his father and his look-on-the-bright-side Jupiter and Sag Moon would definitely help.
What a time to release a feel-bad movie.