13 Literally Toxic Movie Sets That Poisoned More People Than Kim Jong-Un

These people were not looking to die for their art.
13 Literally Toxic Movie Sets That Poisoned More People Than Kim Jong-Un

The more we know about the entertainment industry, the less glitzy and glamor-y it seems. Countless behind-the-scenes documentaries have spilled the beans on actor/director infighting, less-than-ideal working environments, and even downright toxic, poisonous conditions on set. It turns out that movie sets, with their elaborate designs and intricate structures, are not exempt from safety risks (and filmmakers are not exempt from negligence.) 

Incredibly toxic, even carcinogenic materials have been dumped on actors over the years, and you might think these tragic tales are all from Old Hollywood, but some completely shameful shit has gone down in pretty recent memory. Anything for the shot, eh? These treacherous filmmakers did anything to make their vision come to life, and anyone who thinks that comes before human life is a completely superficial megalomaniac. In the grand scheme of things, you point a camera at people playing make believe. Get over yourself. That’s the message we’d like to convey to whomever attributed to these 13 toxic movie sets that poisoned more people than Kim Jong-Un. 

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Man, films in the ’80s were treacherous.

Unclean water on PREDATOR They shot the 1987 movie in the jungles of Palenque, Mexico, and many of the cast and crew got sick with travelers' diarrhea because of the unpurified water. Kevin Peter Hall said, Predator wasn't a movie, it was a survival story for all of us. CRACKED

20th Century Studios


Those crazy Canucks.

CRACKED The cast and crew of TITANIC ate PCP-laced clam chowder Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were spared, but on the film's last night in Nova Scotia, James Cameron, Bill Paxton and crew were sent to Dartmouth General Hospital with bad trips, fearing they'd O.D. Cameron made himself throw up, a lot.

Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Studios


We’re sure he had a much better time as Jed Clampett.

THE WIZARD OF OZ almost killed Buddy Ebsen Before Jack Haley, Ebsen was the original Tin Man, but the aluminum dust used to coat the costume almost killed him. The cramps in my arms advanced into my chest and | wouldn't even be able to take a breath. | was sure | was dying. CRACKED



Don’t waste money on that fog machine, fellas.

CRACKED THE TERMINATOR filmed without a permit and poisoned the crew Since they didn't pay for permits, they snuck a lot of shots on L.A. streets. They didn't stop filming when pesticides were sprayed over the city, so the fog washing over the cast and crew was incredibly toxic.


Screen Rant

Just a light daily dusting.

Asbestos rained down daily on FULL METAL JACKET Matthew Modine (joker) said, That was one of the most toxic places I've ever been. We'd be having a cup of tea in the morning, and all the dust would fall in. You just drank the tea and didn't think too much about the dust. There was asbestos everywhere from the buildings that were knocked down. CRACKED

Warner Bros. Pictures


You name it, they caught it.

A myriad of diseases on the set of SORCERER William Friedkin's 1977 thriller was shot in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic for 10 hellish months. Не lost 50 pounds and contracted malaria, and at least 50 cast and crew were evacuated from the set with malaria, food poisoning, gangrene, or other injuries. CRACKED

Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures

​​Ice Cream 4 Freaks

Possibly the most remote set in history.

CRACKED Starvation on the set of RAPA NUI In 1994, Kevin Reynolds' passion project was filmed on Easter Island, in the Pacific. We had one flight a week from the mainland, and there were times we ran out of food to feed people, and things like that, it was...it was very bad.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Den of Geek

What a way to find out about a sun allergy.

CRACKED Sun poisoning and a dead cobra on ISHTAR The 1987 movie was shot in the Sahara Desert, where director Elaine May found out she was allergic to the sun. She had to wear bandages completely covering her face. Oh, and a cobra that was supposed to appear in the film died of a heart attack.

Columbia Pictures

Vanity Fair

Herzog winning Best Director at Cannes was salt in the wound.

CRACKED Death and snake venom on FITZCARRALDO In Werner Herzog's 1982 film, several indigenous extras were killed or injured. A logger was bit by a venomous snake, and had to cut off his own foot with a chainsaw to stop the poison from spreading.

Werner Herzog Filmproduktion


Not only one of the worst movies of all time, but one of the most lethal.

THE CONQUEROR was the most carcinogenic set of all time They filmed so close to an atomic bomb test site that 91 out of the 220 cast and crew members got cancer later in life. 46 of those, including John Wayne, died from it. Radiologist Dr. Robert Pendleton said, Blame for their exposure on set would hold up in a court of law. CRACKED

RKO Radio Pictures

Intermountain Histories

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