7 Movie Flops That Wasted Soul-Crushing Amounts Of Effort

There are those filmmakers and actors who are so wholly dedicated to their craft that they'll stoically go through hell and back simply to score a convincing performance. Sometimes their efforts pay off and you get something like Apocalypse Now or the now-classic Daniel Day Lewis Eating Nothing But Goddamn Ants For 900 Days Because He's Penciled In 40 Minutes Of Voice Work To Play A CGI Anteater. Other times, this self-inflicted punishment is in the service of a project that's a colossal turd, and all that suffering becomes more like some sad, philosophical exercise in pointlessness. Like when ...

#7. Waterworld Went Through Aqua-Hell

Universal Studios

Waterworld's budget famously ran over the equivalent of several micronations' worth of GDP, and while it wasn't the total failure that many now think of it as, some of the bad decisions on display were truly majestic. Such as when Kevin Costner chose not to hire Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and demanded that the studio hire his pal Kevin Reynolds, director of Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, a movie in which England's legendary bandit talked like a guy from Ohio. And aside from having to deal with the issues of swamp crotch and an unsettling proximity to Dennis Hopper, life on set presented its own set of challenges.

Universal Studios
Visual representation of the shoot.

You'd think that when you're making a film in which constant dampness is an uncredited co-star, constant, fungally-responsible wardrobe changes would be the order of the day. But the movie's requisite love interest, Jeanette Tripplehorn, says that she wore the same filthy rags for six freaking months. And when she wasn't adorning her body with what appeared to be the exploded remains of a rattan chair, the actress was arguing with the filmmakers, who desperately wanted to add her bare butt to the world of water. (They ended up compromising by using a body double. "I picked my dream butt from one from three finalists [...] She had the right derriere," Tripplehorn later remarked.)

"If Hopper's not showing his ass, then neither am I."

Meanwhile, to play the part of the cute kid with the map to paradise tattooed on her back, nine-year-old Tina Majorino had to spend hours getting the freaking thing painted on every day, even for scenes in which she appeared fully clothed. This was on top of getting spray-tanned by the makeup department daily.

Universal Studios
Secret Spoiler: Kid Rock has survived all these centuries in child form.

As for the life-threatening shit that went down, aside from an entire multi-million dollar set sinking into the watery abyss, Majorino and Tripplehorn nearly glubbed their way to the bottom after being pitched off a boat. Costner himself almost became hammerhead chow when a squall kicked up during a scene in which he was tied to a mast. And then there was the incident in which Costner's stunt double, Laird Hamilton, was nearly lost at sea when his jet ski ran out of gas. The film would've been safer had they just redubbed it Fireworld and sprayed kerosene all over an abandoned warehouse.

#6. The "Video Game Scene" In Doom Was Stupidly Complicated

Some doughty souls believe that the movie Doom deserved a bit more respect than the critical mauling it received upon its release in 2005. And the only arguments in favor of this minority position are A) Doom starred The Rock, and B) the movie's first-person shooter scene, which pays homage to the Doom video game with a few sort-of-neat / sort-of-cringeworthy minutes of demon-mutant obliteration:

If that scene looks like it was a pain in the ass to put on film, you're only half right. It was actually a huge pain in the ass. Those few minutes of badassery took two weeks to shoot and three months to plan. And once that ordeal was accomplished, it took no less than six months to complete the scene in post-production. All in all, this sounds like an ordeal not unlike filming a Tetris movie that required the crew to blow up the set several times daily.

"Oh shit, we accidentally killed Bobby Moynihan and Stephen Merchant."

The movie also had a wheelchair demon battle -- look it up, we're not spending 100 words explaining that shit -- that required 2,000 frames of film and involved the laborious process of "creating bullet hits, debris, sparks, blood splats, muzzle flashes, smoke, [and] adding CG rats." There were also the countless hours The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment had to spend in a makeup chair to look like a half-assed Walking Dead extra.

Universal Studios
Not even one from the good show. A Fear The Walking Dead one.

And if all that seems rather excessive for the type of movie that the SyFy Channel would be hesitant about airing during the Super Bowl, the principals also had to spend two weeks in training with a former special forces operator, learning how to pretend-shoot their space guns at make-believe hell-barons. You'd think the producers would've eschewed all this effort and opted to make a Call Of Duty movie, where randomly inserted footage of David Duke rallies could be used to simulate the joys of online gaming.

#5. It Took A Herculean Effort To Make That Shitty-Looking Dragon In Dragonheart

When Dragonheart came out in 1996, the computer-generated creature effects were considered groundbreaking, if for no other reason than they managed to make Sean Connery slightly less reptilian and boorish for a couple hours. Chances are you might not even remember this buddy flick about a medieval knight / dragon scam artist team, primarily because the movie was as forgettable as its direct-to-video sequels -- the most recent of which, holy balls, came out last year?

Universal Studios
It's nice to see that Godzooky was able to find work after his cartoon got cancelled.

Anyway, Draco, the disturbingly lippy mush-mouthed dragon from the original Dragonheart, only scored a total of 23 minutes of screen time, but it took over a year to make the damn thing, with every individual one of those minutes requiring over 1,000 man-hours to produce. And all that time wasn't only spent on CGI trickery -- on top of the five months spent merely making the dragon's skin, they also had to build practical effects like a giant foot and gaping, fang-filled mechanical mouth big enough to fit Dennis Quaid.

Universal Studios
"I always thought Jaws 3-D would be the worst jaws I'd be in."

And to provide a point of reference for the cameramen and scurrying actors playing terrified villagers, an airplane was flown around the set locations, after which they digitally "put Draco over the top and removed any traces of the aircraft" in the editing room. That seems like a rather expensive proposition when people could, you know, just pretend there was an immense wife-slapping Scottish lizard swooping around. But hey, at least they weren't lazy about it. And to be perfectly honest, the movie as a whole still kind of holds up, as long as you're a 10-year-old with Creationist parents who won't allow you to watch any of the Jurassic Park movies as a matter of principle.

Universal Studios
"Shadly, your noshtalgia shometimes doeshn't hold up to shcrutiny."

#4. Torgo From Manos: The Hands Of Fate Wore Satyr Legs For No Damn Reason

The 1966 horror movie Manos: The Hands Of Fate (or Hands: The Hands Of Fate for our non-Spanish-speakers) is one of cinema's great disasters, and would've been lost to the unforgiving annals of time had it not been salvaged and savaged by Mystery Science Theater 3000 nearly 30 years later.

Thanks for carrying the captioning load on this one, fellas.

Such was this movie's unbridled craptacularity that exaggerated rumors about the production persist to this day. This much we know is true: A fertilizer salesman named Harold P. Warren, after remarking to an Oscar-winning screenwriter acquaintance in a coffee shop that "making a movie isn't so hard," made a bet with said screenwriter that he could accomplish that very feat from start to finish, and promptly began hammering out a script on restaurant napkins. Armed with $19,000 and a cast culled from El Paso community theater productions, Warren dragged the actors out to the Texas desert, where this ensued:

Sun City Films
We've seen the movie, and we don't know what's going on here.

We won't waste time explaining the plot, which is basically a collection of the sort of dreams Buffalo Bill pit survivors would describe to their therapists. But easily the most memorable thing about the movie -- aside from Satanic concubine catfights -- is the character Torgo, a satyr who serves the film's handsy antagonist, "The Master."

Torgo was played by a young actor named John Reynolds, who sadly committed suicide a month before the film was even released. Although the entire cast's dialogue would be dubbed over by a small group of people in post-production, Reynolds still had to endure wearing improvised leg prostheses made of coat hangers, chicken wire, and car upholstery foam. You know, because he was supposed to be half goat. Not that the movie ever gets around to explaining this fact.

Sun City Films
Or anything else, for that matter.

It's been whispered that the grueling task of wearing these completely unnecessary prostheses caused Reynolds to develop a painkiller addiction, but according to a fellow cast member, he was already an an avid consumer of extracurricular chemicals to begin with. It's also been rumored that Reynolds wore the braces incorrectly, which also isn't true at all, mostly because there's no right way to wear random piles of garbage strapped to your legs.

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