5 Classic Movie Scenes That Were Surprisingly Gross to Make
With the exception of movies with the words "Brett" and/or "Ratner" in the credits, you'd expect Hollywood sets to be fairly hygienic. It turns out, however, that even some of the most beloved of films have icky, body-fluid-filled behind-the-scenes stories. So allow us to be the black light that illuminates the soiled hotel mattress of cinema, and tell you about how ...
The Shape Of Water's Musical Scene Involved More Projectile Vomit Than You'd Assume
Surprisingly made by acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and not, say, some guy who's not allowed within 50 feet of a Red Lobster, The Shape Of Water tells the story of a mute woman who falls in love with a grotesque fish-man. Like, love love. Like, "there's a whole scene in which she tells her friend about the crustacean-like shell that houses his fish dick" love.
While on paper all of this sounds like Jacques Cousteau's lonely fever dreams, onscreen it somehow worked -- enough to garner a Best Picture Oscar from voters who were disappointed that Lady Bird wasn't a similarly themed story about a giant feathered mutant. For all of its fish-monsteriness, the romance is quite sweet, and in one memorable scene, the couple shares a dance during a musical daydream.
Behind the scenes, though, the romance was undercut a tad by the same thing that ruins most prom nights and trips to IKEA's dining hall. You see, for most of the film, Fishy McHandsome was played by Doug Jones, the renowned creature performer who previously played the Pale Man in Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy's pal Abe Sapien (the mutant fish-man who didn't get any). However, the producers also brought in a "dance double" for the musical number, and presumably to stick around in case the monster was invited to appear on Ellen.
It ... didn't go so well. In an inadvertent testimony to the skills of Doug Jones, once inside the costume, the dancer "did one take, vomited, and passed out," as that wet, heavy, ultra-tight fish suit was way too intense. According to Del Toro, the poor guy "did one pirouette, and then proceeded to projectile vomit." If you ask us, they should have kept that shot and pretended that covering your partner's face in puke is part of the fish people's mating rituals.
The Goonies' Treasure Map Was Painted With Real Human Blood
For every kid who ever daydreamed about treasure hunting (with a side order of cruelly fat-shaming your friends) there's The Goonies, the family classic about a gang of incorrigible kids who go in search of pirate gold in order to save their town from being turned into a golf course -- because apparently, having your house repossessed by luxury sporting facilities was the #1 cause of homelessness in the '80s.
What gets the whole story going is the treasure map that belonged to famed penile swashbuckler One-Eyed Willie. While hanging out in the family attic, Mikey (lil' Sean Astin), his brother Brandon (mid-sized Josh Brolin), and their friends stumble upon the map, thus sparing The Goonies from being two hours of untangling Christmas decorations.
The film's producers could have simply magic-marker'd a skull and crossbones on whatever road maps were in their glove compartments, but instead we get a highly detailed, seemingly authentic antique map, complete with bloodstains.
So how did they fake that? They didn't. Production designer Michael Riva took great pains to make that map look as good as it did -- literal pains. After thinking the map looked "too new," Riva spent a day in a hotel room staining it with coffee. Then, to add to the pirate-ness of it, he decided it should be stained and edged with blood. Because they were on location in a small town, Riva couldn't find the right color of red paint, so instead of giving up on that idea or, say, travelling to a nearby city, he cut himself and bled onto the map.
Say what you will about computer effects versus practical ones, but at least with CGI (barring whatever godless rituals James Cameron dabbles in to perfect the beauty of Pandora), no blood is spilled. Now Riva admits that getting "so into it" was a bit "crazy." Still, his efforts resulted in a priceless and iconic Hollywood prop which ... Astin's mom ended up throwing in the trash. Meaning that somewhere in LA, there's a garbage man dedicated to finding One-Eyed Willie's treasure, unaware that he owns a film industry pro's DNA.
The Grossest Part Of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Was ... A Stinky Shirt They Couldn't Wash
Despite being inspired by the frustration of Christmas shopping, its cannibal farmhouse having been gentrified into a quaint cafe, and the fact that there's ample footage of Leatherface falling over like Kevin James in a family comedy, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is still a terrifying movie. So it's not entirely surprising to learn that there was some really gross stuff going on behind the scenes, although the most objectionable prop wasn't a bloody chainsaw or a rotting flesh mask. No, the real horror was ... laundry.
Yup, in real life, the grossest part of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was actually Leatherface's unwashable, foul-smelling shirt.
While making the movie, the filmmakers dyed Leatherface's shirt a certain color. But since their small budget had already been blown on film stock and, you know, a chainsaw, they only had that one shirt. And it never got washed, for fears that the dye would rinse out or that if they sent it to be dry-cleaned and it got lost, Leatherface would have to go full McConaughey for the rest of the shoot.
So after wearing the same damn shirt for the entire production, seven days a week for "12-16-hour days," the smell became "horrendous." According to Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen, "You could lean my suit up against the wall at that point because it so was hardened from the sweat." On the upside, it looks like the funky outfit helped the other actors find the motivation to try to get as far away from him as possible.
Planet Earth's Filmmakers Accidentally Ate (Yes, Ate) Piss
The documentary series Planet Earth has informed and entertained millions. It's beloved by children, stoners, Best Buy TV salespeople, and most of all science teachers who desperately need a miserable hour of peace and quiet. The episode "Caves" looked particularly fun, with filmmakers parachuting inside of a giant cave like they were in a Christopher Nolan Batman movie or something.
The actual making of the show sounds decidedly less fun, unless you have ... unusual ideas about what fun entails (we're not judging). First of all, the cave itself was full of animal turds, as well as "millions of cockroaches and venomous centipedes that moved like lightning." Even though the crew members were wearing bodysuits, those buggers still found ways to get in. Oh, and snakes randomly fell from the ceiling like in a Samuel L. Jackson movie.
Even grosser, what the crew thought was water falling from the ceiling (and occasionally onto their lunch) turned out to be "bat pee." Which they realized after three weeks. No amount of David Attenborough narration could make almost a month of urine-soaked tuna sandwiches seem not horrifying. According to one production assistant, the shoot was like "a month living like Gollum," but presumably without the attempted murder or jewelry.
2001: A Space Odyssey's Psychedelic Sequence Was Made With Rotting, Bacteria-Ridden Paint Thinner In An Old Bra Factory
One of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time (which also spawned the greatest children's menu of all time), 2001: A Space Odyssey is a masterpiece of ... well, all that stuff that happens in it, which we totally get. There's apes, spaceships, and a giant black Jenga piece that only listens to avant-garde symphonies. One of the most iconic sequences in the film involves astronaut Dave being hurled through the "Star Gate" -- which finds him travelling to new evolutionary planes of existence, not watching that Kurt Russell movie about Space Egypt.
Regardless of whether or not you were able to buy acid from the usher on the way in, the scene is still a knockout, mainly because of the groundbreaking special effects. Keep in mind, this movie was made back in 1968. That's the same year as Disney's original Herbie movie, meaning that if audiences were in awe of a sentient Volkswagen, this must have blown their goddamn minds.
So how did meticulous genius Stanley Kubrick craft this iconic scene? The answer may be stinkier than you'd think. The scene was a combination of "slit scan" photography and filming liquids. Instead of some lavish Hollywood studio, Kubrick initially set up shop in an "abandoned brassiere factory," like some kind of underwear-themed Batman villain.
With the help of a "small" company named "Effects-U-All" (really), Kubrick erected tanks full of black ink and a "particularly noxious World War II-era paint thinner called banana oil" -- which sounds less like the beginnings of cinematic genius and more like someone trying to make meth without Googling how first.
By dripping paint into his thinner/ink concoction, Kubrick filmed trippy images at high speeds, creating visions of "galactic tendrils streaming into cosmic space." To accomplish this, they needed super-bright lights, which also caused the lacquer to rot and bacteria to form. According to Kubrick's wife Christiane, it was "unspeakably disgusting," making this the grossest science fiction production ever until the guy playing Chewbacca gives up deodorant.
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