5 Iconic Movie Scenes With Hilarious Test Runs
Movies don't just appear out of thin air, which is why Disney hasn't attempted to buy out the Earth's air supply ... yet. As we've previously shown, movie-making is a long, painstaking process. For more elaborate sequences, previsualization allows filmmakers to work out exactly how scenes will play out in advance of shooting. This not only makes a movie better, but also means there are a bunch of ridiculous-looking versions of some of cinema's greatest moments. For example ...
Jurassic Park -- There's A Goofy Stop-Motion Version Of The Raptor Scene
After almost two hours of enough dino-trauma to ensure a lifetime of staggering therapy bills and awkward Murphy/Hammond holiday dinners, Jurassic Park's youngest attendees, Tim and Lex, end up in the seemingly safe visitor center. Except their enjoyment of shelter and Jell-O is soon ruined by a gang of bloodthirsty Velociraptors. In one of the most memorable cat-and-mouse sequences ever, the raptors stalk the kids through the kitchen. They were presumably created with the DNA of whatever West African frog can capably operate door handles.
The Test Run:
Before figuring out that computers are basically magic, the filmmakers behind Jurassic Park were going to use stop-motion animation for the dinosaurs. To test out those effects, they blocked out this intricate scene with miniatures. And while the dinosaurs look great, the humans are a tad less convincing ...
Yeah, Tim and Lex straight up look like they've come from a rejected Robot Chicken sketch.
When the characters have to run, they do so on a fixed rod, as if it's a table hockey game designed with part equal parts madness and LSD.
Of course, as we all know, the final movie utilized CGI instead of the same technology that gave us Celebrity Deathmatch. But hey, at least the figures here look better than the actual Jurassic Park action figures we got.
The Phantom Menace Podrace Looked Like A Terrifying Kids Show
In the midst of rushing to thwart an intergalactic conspiracy, Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn decides that rather than, say, slicing the slave-owning Watto in half with his lightsaber, the best way to save Anakin Skywalker is to bet on him in a lethal drag race. And it's good thing he does, because the podrace is one of the few exciting parts of The Phantom Menace. After all, it features no discussion of tariffs whatsoever.
Anakin emerges victorious in the cosmic Ben-Hur race, leaving the other pilots, like Sebulba, to live with the grim knowledge that had they not eaten his dust that day, they would have literally prevented multiple genocides.
The Test Run:
This early assembly of the race sequence was comprised of rough effects and test footage. Apparently, even Industrial Light and Magic's process involves creating stuff that looks like a janky '80s TV show. Take the announcer aliens, who originally weren't CGI, but rather two dudes in masks seemingly bought at a Spirit Halloween.
And Anakin was played by ... some kid who definitely wasn't Jake Lloyd ...
Meanwhile, Sebulba was a grotesque puppet seemingly imported from a Power Rangers porn parody.
So maybe instead of blasting George Lucas for his over-reliance on computer effects, we should all thank the Force that the prequels didn't look like a Jim Henson fever dream.
A Batman v. Superman Fight Looks Like A Ugandan Action Movie
At the end of Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, we finally get to see Batman do his thing after patiently sitting through him plotting intricate alien murder and doing bizarre CrossFit routines. The Dark Knight full-on Arkham-style stomps his way through a bunch of goons to save Superman's mommy, who *gasp* has the same name as his mommy.
The Test Run:
The filmmakers fully staged this scene in advance, albeit in a warehouse filled with cardboard boxes and with a guy who couldn't even be bothered to throw on a Batman T-shirt. (We have like 12; we'd have loaned you one.) The scene also includes rough visual effects, including explosions and gunfire, making the whole thing look like a Wakaliwood movie set in an IKEA.
We do get glimpses of some trademark Batman moves, such as the use of his grappling hook.
Though, again, he's not dressed as Batman, so there's less of a "Caped Crusader" vibe and more of a "mountaineer hopped up on bath salts" one.
The Previsualization Of The Matrix Reloaded Car Chase Is A Wacky Nintendo 64 Game
After weathering a film that was mostly techno raving and techno babbling, audiences finally got a kickass chase scene toward the end of The Matrix Reloaded. Morpheus and Trinity escape on a freeway with the "Keymaker" (sadly not played by Rick Moranis), pursued by two Agents and the "Twins," rogue programs that look like the unholy love children of Predator and Michael Bolton.
The Test Run:
The previsualization process for this scene included planning every shot using sophisticated computer technology. But since this was 2003, that advanced tech made everything look like a sad mod for GoldenEye.
So breathtaking moments like this ...
... started out looking like this:
Sadly, we don't know whether they made a rendering of that rave, but we doubt early 2000s computers had enough RAM to process that much gyrating and thrusting.
Alien -- There's a Screen Test Where The Alien Is A Dude In A Speedo
The Alien alien is without a doubt one of the scariest movie monsters of all time. Even after 40 years of spinoffs, sequels, prequels, and a commercial in which the vicious beast is placated by a can of soda, the acid-blooded killing machine is still terrifying. But back during the production of the original Alien, the filmmakers presumably didn't know whether the titular creature skulking around the halls of the Nostromo would come off as scary or just downright goofy.
In '79, the producers filmed a screen test for actor Bolaji Badejo on the set of the Nostromo. It starts out creepily enough, with the alien slowly lurching like a drunken Frankenstein or a normal Gary Busey.
But when he gets closer, we can see that they didn't spring for a full Xenomorph costume for this test. In fact, the dude is wearing nothing but a Speedo, plus a headpiece that looks like a homemade costume made out of a punching bag stuffed with his dignity.
Seeing the alien like this absolutely of ruins the horror. In space, no one can hear you scream, but they can sure hear you laugh. This just makes us glad there are no Friday The 13th outtakes in which Jason stalks the teens of Camp Crystal Lake while sporting a banana hammock.
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For more, check out 5 Terrible First Drafts Of Iconic Characters - Obsessive Pop Culture Disorder:
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