Bad Effects In Good Films

Bad Effects In Good Films

by | Jul 11, 2015


I enjoy films as much as the next person. but what really bugs me is when a terrible film effect makes it’s way into a good film. We are talking about something so terrible, so poorly presented, that it stick out like a sore thumb. You’ll often wonder to yourself , just how it even made it into the final cut. Was this really the best shot they had? Was this best they could do? In a low budget film, it can be acceptable, even enjoyed. However, the following films in the list are great films, and the mistakes are unforgivable.


Alien – Ash’s End


When Ash loses his head, literally, things turn messy. Especially when the effect get lazy. Lets forget that we have Ian Homes, with his head stick through a table. All that is fine. But when Ian’s head is swapped out for a prop head, things take a turn for  the worse. Parker blasts Ash with a flame thrower, revealing a polystyrene looking head underneath. The Entire skin melts away to reveal, well ..nothing. no eye holes, mouth or anything else. It looks like the effects guys juts plopped a shop mannequin’s head down on the table and hoped for the best. Ash is supposed to be an android, so we expected to see some sort of robot type thing underneath. The prop head made entire scene anticlimactic .

Freddy Vs Jason – Worm Guy


A classic example of how wrong CGI can be in a genre known for its practical effects. We have seen a worm freddy before in the third film. That monstrosity had been a huge giant 8 foot creature that almost ate Patricia Arquette alive. So, why they choose to have a crappy CGI worm, in Freddy Vs Jason, is anyones guess. It looked awful and was a real low point in the movie.

Robo Cop – Dick Jones’s Death


Murphy finally gets revenge on corrupt,  OCP Senior President, Dick Jones. He shoots him out of the window where something odd happens. We see a shot of Jones falling towards the ground, only, his arms and legs seem to have grown, or his head has shrunk? Something really odd has happened, and Jones seems to have been twisted in to some weird puppet looking thing. Considering the amazing effects work through this film, This shot is just awful!

Nightmare on Elm street – Marge’s death


Night mare on Elm Street is a fantastically gory film. It has some of the most rememberable effects shots in any slasher history. However, it suffers from one awful effect at the end. As Nancy jumps into her friends car to drive to School , her Mother is suddenly grabbed by Freddy. His clawed hand smashed through the glass and grabs Marge, pulling her through the small window.’s not really Marge. It’s a clearly a dummy in a dress, on accounts of how rigid she suddenly becomes as she goes head fist through the door.

Langoliers – Meatballs


The Langoliers is an adaption of a short story by Stephen King. It had a great cast and a chilling story. It’s all going so well, then suddenly, they appear. The entire film built up to the appearance of the Langoliers, so when they did show up, we should have been terrified, but instead we were left scratching our head.  Now in the book they are described as ravenous fur balls with no legs and three mandibles, but apparently this description never made it as far as the special effects department.  Someone, at some point, had decided that hair would be far too difficult to do, and instead they created a iquid metal blob creature with chainsaw teeth that spun around like something from a warner brothers cartoon. It would not have been so bad if the CGI had been half decent, but it looked bloody awful, had been lazily composited onto the live action and just looked like it was half finished. The scenes where they flock together are the worst. This unfortunate CGI mishap ruined an otherwise awesome film.

Deep Blue Sea – Russell Franklin’s Death


It’s one of the standout and shocking moments in the film, but it’s also it’s worse. Samuel L Jackson has just started a motivational speech, when he is suddenly and unexpectedly eaten alive by a shark.  Created with three effects shots, the first is hopeful. Over Jackson shoulder, the shark emerges from the deep, then we swap to an terrible CGI standin, that looks like some sort of man-sized ragdoll. It looks nothing like Jackson and flailing movement and weight is all wrong. The shark lands on top the ragdoll Jackson and then we cut briefly to a reaction shot of the other cast gasping at how awful the thing looks. In the third shot, the shark is now inexplicable vertical, with ragdoll Jackson in it’s mouth. The whole thing is a mess and it looked rushed and unfinished.

Terminator – Eye Gouge


Ok, so its an old film, and visual effects were not digital back then, but the dodgy Arnold puppet, that drives a scalpel in its eye and gouges it out, looks awful. It looks like a sweaty action man doll with a hole drilled in it’s head. It’s compounded even more as the shots change from real Arnie, to puppet and back to Arnie again.  Each change making it even more obvious that it’s NOT schwarzenegger, but some plastic looking puppet. Now I’m sure they could have achieved this effect shot some other way? We even see the Arnie, as the T800, later on with the glowing red eye, so it was possible to show actor with a machine eye. However, the film leaves us slightly bemused as NOT Arnie rips out his eye and puts on shades.

Evil Dead – Finale


To give the film it’s dues, it did have a tiny budget. However, the film managed to use the budget to maximum effect through out, with some pretty terrifying creations, even by today’s standards. So when s demonically possessed Scotty and Cheryl turn into plasticine, things get a little silly. Up until this point, both Scotty and Cheryl were looking nasty, then suddenly they transform into something that came out of Ray Harryhausen’s workshop bin. Look, palatine is not scary. No matter what type of shape you mould it in to, it’s still going to end up looking like something your five year old made. The sudden change from pants wetting scary, to stupidly surreal, makes the ending more laughable than scary.

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

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