Test audiences are supposed to tell studios the kind of movies real people want to see. But judging by some of the scenes that were cut out of our favorite movies, it seems like either the studios are raiding nursing homes for test audiences or the entire nation consists of whiners who call the police when they see more than an inch of cleavage.
Source: Columbia Pictures
10. The bums scene from Ghostbusters
It’s hard to think that a film so perfect could have so many scenes that didn’t make it into the final cut. It’s got everything that makes a film a masterpiece: Armageddon, funny material, and Sigourney Weaver on all fours barking like a dog in a loose, shoulder-free dress.
One of the most noticeable scenes missing from the print features Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, not as their respective main characters but as two bums debating everything from the U.S. decision to rebuild Nicaragua and who could kick whose ass in a fight between a kickboxer and a regular boxer. Both of them engage in such a ridiculously detailed conversation with equally ridiculous voice inflections that it’s only something the two of them could have pulled off.
Why Should It Have Stayed?: Playing multiple characters in a movie wasn’t a big trend in the 1980s and this was just a great way of playing with the convention. It also would have prepared audiences better for the onslaught of Eddie Murphy movies where he’s playing three to six characters at a time.
9. The killer octopus scene from The Goonies
Source: Warner Bros
The great thing about this staple of the ‘80s is its rebelliousness. The whole film is about kids rising up against all the evils of the world, overcoming great odds to win the day and finding new and interesting ways to humiliate the fat kid in the clique.
One scene that didn’t make it featured the kids fighting a giant octopus that almost kills Stef. Data defeats it by shoving a Walkman in its mouth to teach it the awesome power of ‘80s pop music. The octopus even gets a mention in the final scenes of the film, even though the regular cut of the film didn’t even feature a fight between the Goonies gang and a moaning mollusk (unless you count Anne Ramsey).
Why Should It Have Stayed?: Nine kids fighting a giant octopus screams awesome and it’s probably the only thing that could have made this great movie greater, short of a Kerri Green truffle-shuffle.
8. The War Room pie fight from Dr. Strangelove
Source: Columbia Pictures
Just about every Stanley Kubrick movie ever made has been about making the establishment look like a drooling bunch of mindless simpletons. Nothing screams that better than a good ol’-fashioned pie fight.
The lost ending to the iconic Cold War satire features the Americans and the Russians flinging tasty desserts at one another in the underground War Room. The President takes one right in the kisser and promptly falls down in an attempt to mirror his falling as a leader, but the assassination of John F. Kennedy prompted its pulling from the final release.
Why Should It Have Stayed?: Kubrick once remarked that he removed the scene because he felt it was more farce than satire. However, it’s hard to make a better metaphor for the concept of war.
7. The plants overtake the world in Little Shop of Horrors
Source: Warner Bros.
Frank Oz’s original cut followed the original story of the musical it was based upon that not only included the death of Seymour and Audrey, but also the destruction of the entire human race as its leafy tentacles reached out for the audience. In the movie, Audrey II multiplies across the world and begins going on a global buffet run as his minions take over each continent with a final shot of a plant crawling on top of the Statue of Liberty and busting through the screen of the theater.
Why Should It Have Stayed?: Nothing makes for a downier ending than a happy one. It screams, “Hey, we’re not gutsy enough to let you enjoy the darker side of life, so here’s one with happy trees and a white picket fence and a house in the country to help keep your mind off of the fact that the world is a really rotten place sometimes.” That literally describes the last scene in the movie that the studio decided to go with.
6. The time traveling scene from Army of Darkness
Source: Universal Studios
Having a upbeat ending in a horror movie is like having a massive gun fight at the end of Remains of the Day. The two just don’t go together.
Sam Raimi’s tail end of the Evil Dead trilogy featured just such an ending that included cherry happiness and a mega f***ton of guns. Ash magically returns to our time and picks up right where he left off in the housewares aisle at S-Mart when a Deadite follows him and almost kills his latest pile of tasty-looking sugar. Ash defeats the evil, wins the girl, and a 30-piece orchestra plays him off the screen. It made me wanna puke in my popcorn.
Why Should It Have Stayed?: The deleted scene features Ash accidentally taking too much of a sleeping potion that transports him way too far into the future into a post-Apocalyptic wasteland. It not only provides a better, funnier ending to a great horror movie, but it also sets up the inevitable sequel in which Ash has to fight off a mutated army of radioactive, undead, flesh-hungry, brain-eating Reform Party candidates (or some variation thereof).
5. The human sacrifice scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Source: Universal Studios
I hate it when some snooty film buff proclaims that the “movie was so much better than the book.” The only time that I don’t immediately punch them in the testicles is when they are talking about this movie.
It’s not that Terry Gilliam and friends didn’t do a fine job putting together this awesome homage to the late Hunter S. Thompson’s greatest work, but it did leave out some defining parts that made the book a classic piece of adventurous satire. Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo corner a vice agent in a bar and relay a real horror story of drug enforcement about a pair of junkies who murder a girl in a McDonald’s parking lot as part of a bizarre, drug-fueled religious sacrifice and pretty much shake the officer’s foundation to his core.
Why Should It Have Stayed?: Duke and Gonzo’s entire goal at this drug enforcement convention is to cause as much chaos as possible without alerting the authorities or getting themselves into trouble. In other words, classic Hunter. Losing that key scene in the movie disrupts that destructive flow of rebellion. Thankfully, it didn’t completely disappear. It’s still there in the opening scene in some form when you can hear the guy on the phone describing the same scene as Raoul tries to keep his acid-filled head from falling off his shoulders.
4. The bathtub scene from The Seven Year Itch
Source: Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images
Just about every movie featuring Marilyn Monroe came with the thin hope that the sexually repressed 1950s male would get to see an inch of flesh. The classic Seven Year Itch has plenty of moments like that, but the audience really missed out on one that would have carried them through to the end of the millennium.
A brief deleted scene featured the bombshell stuck in a soapy bathtub with one of her dainty toes stuck in the faucet. It’s not only hot because she’s soaking and naked, but it makes her look twice as ditzy due to her failure to grasp the concept of basic plumbing.
What Should It Have Stayed?: Because you have a penis.
3. The sex scene with the dead guy from Alien
Source: 20th Century Fox
If you are one of those people who always get complaints about being too cheery in the office and can’t afford Quaaludes, just watch Alien alone on a Saturday night. Drinking a lot also helps.
Apparently, this very dark but classic sci-fi horror film actually had a moment of levity that didn’t even make it into principal filming. Ripley reaches the end of her feminine tether and turns to Dallas for a bit of “spacial docking,” but the mood is killed when they discover Kane’s lifeless and bloodied body floating by the window.
Why Should It Have Stayed?: “Alien” is great, but it’s basically one human after another getting shown what their intestines look like in the vacuum of space. It sure could’ve used a joke. I would have been happy with a simple “Boing” sound effect as the chestburster jumped out of Kane’s ribcage.
2. The beehive scene from The Wizard of Oz
Source: Warner Bros.
The Wizard of Oz is cool and all, but it’s definitely a girl movie. Every time the thing comes on television during a holiday, my mother and sister have to immediately stop what they’e doing so they can watch it and sing along to it. Sometimes when I’m trying to block out the sounds of my chirpy mom and baby sister, I’m secretly wishing that the Munchkin Coroner’s death certificate was for me.
But one scene could have made the movie a lot cooler and more tolerable. When the Wicked Witch of the West appears on the top of the cottage in the Haunted Forest, she does a lot more than try to set the Scarecrow on fire. She actually turns the Tin Man into a giant human beehive of death.
Why Should It Have Stayed?: The Wizard of Oz is actually a very dark and dismal tale of oppression. There are numerous cuts that turned the movie into a giant ball of squishy happiness and this is just one of them. It’s the one movie where a bottle of Absinthe left in the editing room could’ve done a world of good.
1. The lesbian love scene from Basic Instinct
Source: TriStar Pictures
This film was supposed to include a lesbian sex scene featuring the film’s sultry femme fatale Sharon Stone, but the film was eventually cut as part of a massive editing campaign to get the film down to an R-rating. Between this scene being left on the cutting room floor and ticket prices, I’m still amazed that every movie theater has not been burned to the ground.
Why Should It Have Stayed?: Because your penis still hasn’t forgiven you.