Stan Winston, forever the bellweather in movie special effects, skipped the million-dollar puppets and Oscar-winning animatronics for this finale in James Cameron's classic movie. Cue to 1:36 in the clip above, and the image of the crushed terminator head is a $62 million industrial robot destroyed for 3 seconds of film.
Really? No. It's actually some aluminum kitchen foil, a red LED and Stan blowing cigarette smoke into the 8" set. There's nothing like getting inventive in post production when you've blown the budget. Nice work!
You could practically fill the list with just George Lucas hacks, but this one stands out in the List of Bizarre mainly because it's completely unnecessary. Replacing a pretty decent puppet with some of the ropiest CGI ever rendered is a decision that fans of the franchise have been questioning for years.
Note the dreadful texture mapping and plating, and especially enjoy some of the "bad physics" of where Harrison Ford is standing in relation to Jabba. Why George, why?
Oh what the hell - let's throw another Star Wars clip into the mix. Yoda's fight scenes were basically hysterical. Positioned somewhere between a rapid chipmunk and a ferret with a Starbucks addiction, the greatest Jedi knight was reduced to a light saber-wielding blur of CGI irrelevance.
You hear that cracking sound? That's the sound of your childhood dreams being trampled by George Lucas. Again.
Produced before CGI arrived to ruin everything, the head-splitting scene remains a tricky animatronics effect that's just plain strange. Stuck with the problem of having to put an Arnie robot head instead the disguise head, the scene has endless scale problems (watch how many times the head changes size) and they just couldn't make Arnie look real. That had problems making realistic eyes and teeth in other scenes in the movie, but this one stands out as - you know - bizarre.
See the full review, "Pure Ahhhrrnold at his best".
Following the quality trajectory of M Night ShYamalyan career, The Mummy started reasonably then jumped in the Great Hollywood Abyss with sequel after dismal sequel. But the Lawnmower Man rendering of the Rock is completely out of place amidst other film-grade effects - it's like somebody forgot to do the final rendering pass before leaving the office for the weekend. It's not just strange - it's bizarre!
For extra credit, let's add the abominable snowmen from the fourth Mummy outing. Note to budding computer animators: don't try to get a hair-covered creature right before you figure out how to turn on the computer.
There was much pre-release fanfare about the Hulk and a massive rumor about how the CGI was so incredibly realistic that George Lucas had soiled himself from afar. They hid all the detail from the trailer on the basis that it might cause the audience's eyes to bleed, but the actual secret was that the effects were just unwatchably terrible.
Unfortunately, since he was the lead character, it pretty much torpedoed the film. Well, after the script laid the initial depth charges.
Stephen Sommers, winner of the M Night Award for Producing Unwatchable Sh*t, underwhelms audiences again with a film that manages to disappoint on every possible level. Not content with thoroughly trashing the Mummy franchise, Sommers decides to take on Universal's monster library and jump up and down gleefully on their legacy. Achieving the high holy pisspot of god-awful storytelling, Sommers also manages to simultaneously waste our time and bore viewers spectacularly.
But lest I get carried away with this enormously large and expensive pile of crap, I would submit the "open mouth" effect that you can find at around 6:30 in the clip above. Presumably something happened to this director as a child that makes him fearful of people opening their mouths too wide, as it's the same freaking thing that all Mummy monsters did too. It makes no sense but more importantly this unnecessary and poor effect is just bizarre.
The much heralded Burly Brawl sequence is proof that you can have too much of a good thing. The novelty of the slo-mo wire work in the first film was pushed the max in the first sequel, suspending our disbelief high enough to give it permanent vertigo.
There was a lot of talk about the multiplying effect of Hugo Weaving and the chasmic leaps forward in CGI - it's all very impressive until you realize that half of the doubles in the sequence really don't look like him at all. And that's bizarre.
Also a well-qualified candidate for the Unnecessary Remakes List, I started watching King Kong in 2005 and it's still not finished. The budget for Kong made the bail-outs look like small change, and yet the monster effects are really bad. Mixing Michael Bay-style fast editing with Jerry Bruckheimer's common sense, physics and general disdain for movie-making, Peter Jackson makes the audience wonder what's going on before finally not caring.
I think I was about 5 years old when Tron arrived, and even then I thought it was very un-Disney and couldn't work out what they were trying to do.
Nearly two decades later, Disney has inexplicably decided to reboot this bomb, and given us a more polished version of CGI in a scene that still doesn't make any sense. Is it strange? Kind of. Is it bizarre? Absolutely.