10 Deleted Horror Scenes That Have Never Been Released
King Kong (1933) – Spider Pit
The Holy Grail of lost footage is, of course, the Spider Pit sequence in the original King Kong (1933). For many years, the scene that shows insect attacking the crew of the S.S. Venture was thought to be nothing more than rumour, until stills were published in the magazine Famous Monsters Of Filmland. The grainy black and white images revealed that indeed the scenes did exists and was shot. No one really knows for sure why the scene was removed from the final cut of the film, with many coming to the conclusion that the shocking scene might have been too much for audiences. What ever reason, the footage was cut and most probably destroyed, leaving the world to wonder what exactly this scene would have looked like?
The Exorcist III (1990) – Headless Priest
The third Exorcist film, and the direct sequel to the original 1973 film, is a great example of a film heavily improved by editing and reshoots. During its post-production, director William Peter Blatty was frustrated by Morgan Creek studio heads, who wanted a horror movie, instead of the thought provoking thriller Blatty had produced. The film’s script was based on Blatty’s Exorcist sequel called Legion, and the writer/director had delivered on this premise. However, the studio wanted a more traditional horror sequel and insisted on changes and a new ending that included an exorcism, you know…so they could call it The Exorcist. And so reshoots and editing transformed the film into the amazing sequel we have today. However, it seems even Morgan Creek would not stomach one scene that revealed a priests decapitated head sitting in his own lap. The scene was shot, with images of the sequence being made available during the films advertising, however, the scene never appeared in the film, nor the directors cut that restored Blatty’s original cut. The Exorcist III is relatively light on the gore, so maybe this scene was just the wrong tone?
The Ring (2002) – Serial Killer
Chris Cooper’s role in the 2002 remake of The Ring, was completely cut after test audience reacted to his bookend appearances. Director Gore Verbinski decided to remove Cooper from the film when audiences loved his scenes so much, they wanted to see more.
Cooper was cast as a serial killer that was introduced at the start of the film. Naomi Watts’ Seattle journalist, interviews the killer, who tries to convince her that he is a reformed man. The young journalist doesn’t believe him, and at the end of the film, she passes the tape on to him, knowing that the curse will pass onto him. The test audiences were so blown away by Coopers charismatic cameo, that they questioned why he did not have a bigger role. This caused a huge distraction from the films main plot, so Cooper was removed from the theatrical release.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980) – Piranha Scene
Cannibal Holocaust is a controversial 1980 Italian film directed by Ruggero Deodato. It’s most famous for launching the found -footage film genre which has grown in popularity in recent years. This grotesque shocker follows a University anthropologist Harold Monroe (Robert Kerman), as he aims to track down some missing film-makers, but instead discovers their film footage which reveals their grisly demise at the hands of an Amazonian cannibal tribe. The ironic twist here, is that this lost-film footage film has some prominent lost film footage. One scene in particular has been highly sought after by film fans, who feel that this nasty snuff-like film could do with more gore. The scene in question is commonly dubbed the piranha scene, where an injured Shamatari warrior is lowered into a river of hungry piranhas. The scene was partially filmed, but apparently never completed due to issues with filming the scene. Images of the scene were released, but any actually footage has never been seen outside of an editing suite.
War of the Worlds (2005) – Camelot
Stephen Spielberg’s version of the classic HG Wells novel, War of the Worlds, failed to really make much an impact when it was released in 2005. The films depiction of the Martian invaders and their giant Tripods were excellent but the films screaming cast and lack of pacing just let the film down. However, one of its most enduing legacies is from a cut scene that would have been as chilling as it was thrilling.
The deleted scene, quite simply known as “Camelot”, takes place between the ferry sequence and the hill battle sequence. The scene in question would have seen Ferrier and his children passing through a deserted street when they are forced to hide behind a car, when a tripod appears. It searches one of the nearby houses with its tentacle and starts to pull screaming people out from the building.
The live action plates were shot and the VFX was almost finished, when the scene was cut in the final weeks of post-production. Due to the VFX plates never being formally delivered, the scene would have never been fully formed, however, this has not stopped a growing number of fans clambering for more information, or even a glimpse, of this chilling cut scene.
Childs Play (1988) – Mona
In the 1988 supernatural slasher flick Child’s Play, young Andy Barclay made a best friend in Chucky, his innocent looking Good Guy doll. Whilst Chucky turned out to be a crazed serial killer, Andy made one other friend that was removed from the final film.
in a minor subplot, Andy becomes friends with a young girl named Mona, whilst he is under observation at a psychiatric hospital. It is Mona who lets Chucky into Andy’s room, when he tricks her into believing the two are “best friends”. Whilst it’s believed that this scene was destroyed along with other cut footage, hence why it has never surfaced on any DVD or Blu-Ray, there are posed set photos that show Mona holding chucky. Mona did get one brief scene later in the third half of the film , when she tells Andy’s Mum, Karen, that she talked to Chucky.
Warlock (1989) – Frozen Head
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… Julian Sands? Director Steve Miner delivered a mixed bag of ideas in his epic horror fair Warlock, which follows time travelling Sands’ as a Warlock who travels from Boston, Massachusetts in 1691 to 20th century Los Angeles, California. Whilst the films effects have aged badly, with a flying Warlock being one of the least impressive efforts, one of the more graphic special effects shots was completely cut from the film. During the Warlocks visit to a fake psychic, he finds out that he is to collect the pages of The Grand Grimoire. In order to find them he removes the eyes of the psychic. Whilst this scene was done off-screen, in the original cut, this was done in camera, with a special effects shot. The psychics head is frozen and the Warlock gives it a hefty smash into the table, spilling the heads content, eyes included, onto the table. The scene was most probably cut to prevent the film from getting an X/18 rating, which also means that more content could also have been cut to achieve an R/15. The only reason we even know about this scene is because shots feature in the films original trailer. These scenes have never been released and there has never really been much of a deal made about getting a fully restored version, which is a real shame, because this shot sounds friggin awesome.
Curse of Frankenstein (1957) – Acid Bath
The Curse of Frankenstein is a horror film produced by Hammer Films in 1957, starring Christopher Lee as the Creature and Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein. The classic monster movie is notable for being the film that launched the “Hammer Horror” series of classic horror films. However, the film board for the UK, the BBFC, made a cut to one of the films more morbid moments that has never been seen since.
When Victor receives the body, to which he plans to create his creature, he finds that the corpse’s head has been pecked by hungry crows. Deeming the ghastly bonce as being ill fitting for his new creation, the good doctor removes the head and drops it into a vat of acid. The cut scene saw the head melting away inside the vat, but thinking it was too much for 50’s audiences, the BBFC ordered the scene to be cut. The film now jumps to Victors reaction, with bubbling noise hinting at what is happening to the pecked face. The lost footage has never surfaced over the years, and judging how British film makers dealt with old video reels, it’s most probable that footage was destroyed, never to see the light of day again. Shame!
Shining (1980) – Extended Ending
Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining is still considered to be one of the best horror films ever made. Thanks to Kubrick’s urge for utter perfection, one cut scene has seemingly been lost to time, as it has never been seen outside of a few cinemas that showed early versions of the scene.
When the film launched in theatres, on the 7th November 1980, Kubrick decided that the films ending needed a slight alternation. The call went out to theatres, asking them to cut a scene that shows Danny and Wendy in a hospital after the events of The Overlook Hotel. The scene shows Stuart Ullman, the Overlook’s manager, coming to visit the recovering mother and son, and telling them that they found nothing unusual at the hotel, adding further mystery to whole film. The scene ends with Ullman tossing a yellow ball to Danny, hinting at a more nefarious motive for Ullman’s visit and that Ullman was very well aware of the supernatural forces inhabiting the hotel. The film still ends with the photo of Jack, but the cut scenes would have added an extra layer of detail to the film. Because of the nature of the cuts, it’s unclear if any of the cinemas kept the removed footage, as to date, it (much like Jacks body) has never been seen since.
Jaws (1975) – Alex Kintner’s Death
When Stephen Spielberg’s Jaws release in cinemas, it become one of the worlds first summer blockbuster movies, being the first film to opened in theaters nationwide on the same date. Thanks to an extensive marketing campaign and much anticipation from audiences, the film became a massive success. Whilst many would point at the films failures for it’s success, such as the mechanical shark constantly breaking down, leading to more tension in NOT seeing the creature, one of the most sought after deleted scenes was removed due to the unrealistic nature of the prop shark.
The original Alex Kintner death scene showed the shark attack in more detail, where the creature rises up out of water and fall down upon the boy. Spielberg decided to remove the scene as it just didn’t achieve the look he wanted. The final edit replaces this scene with a shot from a different angle that sees the boy slipping below the waves. Whilst many deleted scenes have been released over the years, usually bundles as extras on DVD/Blu-Ray, the original Kintner death scene has never seen the light of day! Maybe Spielberg blew it up with the shark?
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“Hi Horror Fans – I do love a good CUT, but it seems that these films CHOKED it hard and made a MESS. Do you know any other films that have BAD cuts? Let us know in the comments below.