Movie making is an imperfect process. Anyone that has ever worked in the film industry will tell you that much is true. Sometimes though, you have a special effect or continuity error that sets your teeth on edge, filmmaker or not. Here is no particular order are images of numerous movie effects that really haven’t held up well over time.
Total Recall (1990): Quaid’s Fake Head
A horrifying fake head that disassembles in a nauseating fashion to reveal a horrifying fake head of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Pass, thanks.
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, Clone Elven Army
Apparently, Peter Jackson decided to take a leaf out of George Lucas’ prequels book on this one. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that this movie was made in the last five years, and given the budget and casting available, this comes across as an extremely cheap method of cutting corners.
V for Vendetta (2006): FIncher's Surveillance Jammer
Behold, the pinnacle of 21st century anti-surveillance: A book light with a red LED! They didn’t even make that much of an effort to dress it up much either by the looks of that photo.
Jurassic Park (1993): Nedry’s Obviously Fake CCTV Cam Feed
During the scene where Nedry is speaking with a park worker via telephone and watching on his CCTV feed, the playback bar at the bottom of the screen is painfully obvious. Somebody really should have cleaned that up in post-production.
Air Force One (1997): The Plane Crash CGI
At the time, this was some truly cutting edge CGI of a plane crash, but by contemporary standards it looks like something out of a 1990s era video game, and not a good one at that.
Total Recall (1990): Wrist Computers? Not so much...
In several shots throughout the movie, soldiers and other characters are seen with high tech looking devices on their wrists. They are high tech, but not as futuristic as you might think: if you look closely, you can clearly see that these are old Casio graphing calculators.
Public Enemies (2009): Worst. CGI Stunt Double. EVER.
Just take a look at this, and try not to gag. :::shudder::::
Jaws (1975) The Great White Robot
In the 1970s, this was definitely the most terrifying thing on the big screen, but by today’s standards it looks quite dated and mechanical. I would not be surprised if they decided to remake this movie with better special effects...sadly, Sharknado is a thing that happened in movies.
Cadillac Man (1990): The Logos
In a bizarre set design decisions, the movie Cadillac Man has logos for other car companies that are clearly fictional just for the film, yet throughout the script there are numerous other real-life car brands called out by name. The fake logos make no sense.
Let The Right One In (2008): Disease of the Fake Cats
This Swedish made film remains a horror classic that has received a great deal of critical acclaim, despite the obviously fake biting cats scene that is unfortunate eyesore in an otherwise excellent film.
The 5th Element (1997): The Bumbling Parasites
While the special effects and props departments did a great job disguising these, it is clear from the movement and shape that these parasites on the airplane are merely bumble balls with some extras attached.
Tremors (1990): Burt’s Basement
One of the greatest Kevin Bacon films of all time, this movie spawned a good number of sequels, and is still considered a cult classic. However, this scene of one of the creatures invading doomsday prepper Burt’s basement is so doctored/green screened that it is almost painful to look at compared to current special effects. Burt’s rapid fire jresponse to the crawler busting through the wall in the foreground does not synch up AT ALL with the bullets that are impacting and ricocheting everywhere in the background.
Red Dragon (2002): VHS from the Future!
Red Dragon is a prequel to 1991’s Silence of the Lambs, yet in this shot of the family movie drawer, a copy of Mrs. Doubtfire appears, which was not released until 1993. In fairness to the production team, continuity problems are hard, and who really wants to try to untangle all the webs and knots of the space time continuum?
The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn (2011): The Vampire Baby
Nothing quite says “KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!” like a CGI vampire baby head on an actual infant. Anyone who does not find this incredibly disturbing needs to seek immediate psychological help.
Star Wars Episode VI, Return of the Jedi: Ed Gein Ewok Mask
If you look at this still frame (and you don’t really have to look that closely) you can see the actor’s face through the eyeholes of this mask, giving him a macabre human-disguised-as-an-Ewok-ala-serial-killer-Ed-Gein look. It really sticks out like a sore thumb.
XXX (2002): The Sony Rocket Launcher
The compact rocket launcher used by Xander Cage in the final scenes of the movie is actually a prop-dressed camcorder complete with the camcorder fold out screen, an eyepiece, and cassette control buttons. Fancy.