For every rare deleted scene that is actually funny or interesting-say, Boogie Nights' "John C. Reilly Files" or the scores of improvised outtakes in Anchorman-there are a half-dozen more that leave you wondering not only "Why is this scene included on the DVD?" but "Why was this scene ever SHOT in the first place?"
Here are five deleted scenes that we can't believe were ever shot in the first place, along with our guess as to why they were shot and why they were deleted.
5. The Giant Octopus Attack
Movie: The Goonies
Director: Richard Donner
Why this scene was deleted: Because having a giant killer octopus appear in the final act of a movie that, up to that point, had at least pretended to exist in the real world, makes absolutely no fucking sense. If Donner had ended his next film, Lethal Weapon, by having Pterodactyl fly out of the sky and attack Riggs and Murtaugh, it wouldn't have been any less nonsensical.
Also, by cutting the infamous octopus scene and leaving in Data' line later in the movie that confusingly refers to it ("The octopus was very scary!"), Donner was able to push his apparent belief that Asians are prone to exaggeration and not to be trusted, an agenda he was able to further explore in Lethal Weapon 4, quite possibly the most racist movie ever made.
Why this scene was ever shot: Probably because some old college buddy of Donner' was on the payroll as "Unit Manager, Octopus Effects," and kept nagging the director and bringing up "all those times I bailed your ass out in the Quad" until Donner finally sighed and said, "Alright, fuck it. Let' shoot the 'pus."
4. Cameron Crowe Wants You to Watch People Listen to Music
Movie: Almost Famous
Director: Cameron Crowe
Why this scene was deleted: Because in this scene the young wannabe rock critic wins over his skeptical mother by making her listen to the poetic majesty of Stairway to Heaven"a song that Crowe wasn't able to license for use in the movie. Which is thankful, because even with the music dubbed in, the scene is incredibly boring. The above YouTube clip features Stairway dubbed in, but we wish Crowe had actually left the original scene in the movie, sans music, as eight minutes of these characters rocking out to awkward, awkward silence.
Why this scene was ever shot: Because no one on set had the balls to tell Crowe, "Hey Cam, I know this movie is based on your childhood, and that playing Stairway is actually what convinced your mom to let you write for Rolling Stone, but"dude, it' an EIGHT-MINUTE SONG. And we're filming a bunch of people just sitting around, looking at each other and listening to THE ENTIRE THING! I mean, I like a good nostalgia jerk too, but can't you just rub one out to the Houses of the Holy cover and be done with it?"
This scene was an early sign of Crowe' increasing belief that directing a movie means filming actors sitting around while good music plays in the background. Had Crowe deleted every scene like this from his next two movies, Vanilla Sky and Elizabeth Town, those movies would have been a total of three minutes long.
3. Jim Carrey Gets Jealous
Movie: Bruce Almighty
Director: Tom Shadyac
Why this scene was deleted: Because having Jim Carrey' "God" make Steve Carell' rival news anchor burst into flames seems remarkably sadistic for what is otherwise a fairly innocuous comedy. Not to split hairs, but we're pretty certain that lighting someone on fire constitutes attempted murder. And the nosebleed thing is just creepy. It' tough enough to root for a character played by Jim Carrey in the first place. Having him try to kill off the only talented guy in the cast half way into the film would have made it impossible.
Why this scene was ever shot: Maybe Shadyac was desperate to focus the camera on something that hurt worse than Carrey' ad-libs. Maybe Carrey, a notorious diva, was genuinely jealous of the fact that Carell was clearly more talented than him, and Shadyac let him blow off some steam. Either way, in light of the fact that Carrell got the nod for the sequel, we're guessing this is a pretty close dramatization of the first thing Jim Carrey would do if he were given godlike powers.