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13 Completed Films That Were Never Released

1CK1S
1CK1S Members Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
13. DON’S PLUM

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Before Leonardo DiCaprio was an environmentalist champion or winning Oscars for being really cold, he was part of a group of Hollywood bros dubbed “the pus*y Posse” by an infamous New York Magazine piece. The group, which included other young male stars like Tobey Maguire and Kevin Connelly, had developed a reputation of womanizing, picking fights and generally just being privileged, obnoxious brats.

While these antics are largely forgotten, a black and white independent film called Don’s Plum has documented some of the unsavory characteristics of its young, ensemble cast. The film itself is a mostly improvisational affair, one that paints Leo and company in very negative light.

DiCaprio and Maguire, fearing that the film exposed “personal experiences or tendencies,” rallied powerful lawyers and prevented the film’s release in the United States and Canada. One of the producers of the film has started a campaign to get the film released in these regions, but after almost twenty years, Don’s Plum seems destined to remain buried.

12. THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED

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Something of an urban legend in the film industry, The Day the Clown Cried is a 1972 film starring Jerry Lewis as a clown at a 🤬 internment camp. Jerry Lewis, who was known for comedy, was reluctant to take on the role of the clown, but agreed to star and direct the film. He felt that he would be doing something worthwhile by exposing the horrors of the Holocaust.

The film had financing problems from the start, with Lewis financing much of the film out of his own pocket. The problems that would eventually prevent the film from ever being released arose when the film’s writer, Joan O’Brien, disagreed with changes that Lewis had made to the script. The rights of the film were entangled by claims of numerous parties, however Lewis himself managed to secure the rough cut of the film.

In the years since its completion, Lewis has gone on record numerous times stating that he is embarrassed by the poor quality of the film, and that he is happy that he was able to suppress its release.

11. THE LAST FILM FESTIVAL

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Before his death in 2010, Dennis Hopper played an aging Hollywood producer named Nick Twain who is in desperate need of a hit. The Last Film Festival follows Twain as he tries to market his latest flop of a film to the thousands of film festivals around the world, only to find that they all turn him down, except for one in a small backwater town of O’Hi.

This comedy film, which lampoons the film festival world and the film industry as a whole, had completed filming when Dennis Hopper succumbed to cancer, however additional funding was needed to complete post-production. Director Linda Yellen turned to Kickstarter to secure the money needed to finish the film, and it looks like this unseen film may finally see a release sometime in the near future.

10. BLACK WATER TRANSIT

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Tony Kaye, the director pushed out of American History X, directed Black Water Transit, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Carsten Stroud. In it, a shipping executive played by Laurence Fishbourne gets caught up in a federal investigation centering on an illegal firearms dealer played by Karl Urban in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Described as a Die Hard-esque thriller, Black Water Transit was reported to have screened at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Unfortunately, a seemingly never-ending stream of litigation have kept this one at bay. With lawsuits being thrown left and right, the most recent being in May of 2016, it is unlikely that audiences will see a cut of this film any time soon.

9. HIPPIE HIPPIE SHAKE

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Based on the memoir of Australian publisher Richard Neville, Hippie Hippie Shake is a period drama focusing on 1960s counter-culture. Cillian Murphy stars as Neville, and Sienna Miller portrays his girlfriend Louise Ferrier, who are put on trial for publishing an “obscene” issue of their magazine, Oz.

While test screenings have garnered positive reviews, the film remains unreleased after almost a decade. The exact reason as to why the film was shelved is up for debate. Some concerns were voiced by real life people being portrayed in the film.

8. DARK BLOOD

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From George Sluizer, the celebrated director of The Vanishing (the ’88 film, not the Americanized ’93 remake starring Keifer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock), Dark Blood is the story of a young man known only as The Boy, who believes that the end of the world is nigh. The Boy lives in self imposed exile in the desert after his wife dies of radiation poisoning due to nearby nuclear weapons testing, spending his time carving Kachina dolls to appease the Gods. Meanwhile, a man and his wife break down as they are travelling through the desert. Seeking help, the couple meet The Boy, but soon realize that he is not the salvation they hoped for.

River Phoenix, who portrays The Boy, died suddenly during filming, leaving the fate of the film up in the air. Sluizer estimated that roughly 80% of the film had been completed before his death, and approached River’s younger brother Joaquin to fill in, a request that the Phoenix family rejected.

Undeterred, Sluizer assembled a somewhat “complete” cut of the film, simply providing narration over the missing scenes. This version of Dark Blood was screened a handful of times at International film festivals in 2012, nearly twenty years after it was originally filmed.

7. EMPIRES OF THE DEEP

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Following the massive success of James Cameron’s live action FernGully remake, China attempted to cash in on the attractive humanoids fighting each other craze, and Empires of the Deep was born. It’s a fantasy epic that, judging by it’s trailer, revolves around mermaids battling giant crocodiles and possibly engaging in interspecies romance with Spartan (?) warriors.

Starring former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko and originally slated to be directed by Catwoman auteur “Pitof,” Empires of the Deep had a budget of $130 million USD and went through approximately 40 drafts over the period of five years from eight different screenwriters.

The budget was the largest in Chinese film history, but the production was troubled from the start. Different directors seemed to start work on the film only to be replaced a short time afterward, the cast was made up of largely unknown actors and the special effects heavy feature was beset with rendering delays.

Finally, a trailer was unveiled to industry critics, and was met with universal ridicule. The film, which had been touted as a rival to tent-pole Hollywood releases, looked more like a mockbuster from The Asylum than a $130 million epic. Will we ever see this hilarious mis-step? No one seems to know.

Comments

  • 1CK1S
    1CK1S Members Posts: 27,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    6. THE BRAVE

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    The Brave featured one of the final performances of screen legend Marlon Brando. The film was an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Gregory MacDonald, who also wrote the novels that Chevy Chase’s Fletch is based on. The Brave revolves around a Native American man named Raphael, who is desolate at his inability to provide for his family. Depressed and seeing no other options, he agrees to star in a 🤬 film in exchange for a large sum of money. The bleak film explores Raphael’s relationships over the final week of his life, and coming to terms with his fate.

    Despite receiving decent reviews at the ’97 Cannes Film Festival, American reviewers were particularly critical of the film. Disgusted by the hostility of the American press, Depp forbade its release in the U.S. Although the film has received an under-the-radar release in other countries, The Brave is virtually unknown, despite its world famous star. Thankfully, Depp resurrected the bandana for Captain Jack Sparrow.

    5. MY BEST FRIEND’S BIRTHDAY

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    Today, Quentin Tarantino is a household name, known for his uber-violent, black comedy films. Before Tarantino was wining awards and flurries of praise from around the globe, he was working at a small video rental store in California, and taking acting classes in hopes that he would one day become an actor.

    Tarantino’s friend and co-worker had written a short script about a man trying to do something nice for his friend’s birthday, only to have his efforts backfire in comical ways. Tarantino helped flesh out the script into a feature length film, and with $5000, the two set out to produce the film. Enlisting the help of friends from his acting class and other co-workers at the video store, Tarantino co-wrote, co-directed and starred in My Best Friend’s Birthday.

    The original cut of the film was approximately 70 minutes, however due to a fire in the processing lab, roughly half of the footage was destroyed. The surviving film was re-cut into a 36-minute short film which has been screened at film festivals, but has never been made available commercially. Although it’s more of a curiosity than anything, the good news is that it’s not all that hard to find on the web.

    4. ALL AMERICAN MASSACRE

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    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a highly regarded horror film. Unfortunately, each subsequent film in the series has only served to alienate fans of the original. With tonally different sequels, remakes, prequels and re-imaginings, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films have one of the most confusing chronologies in all of horror.

    Back in 1998, the son of franchise creator Tobe Hooper, William Hooper, set out to make a short film that delved into the past of everyone’s favorite family of cannibals. The short transformed into a 60-minute feature, which saw Bill Moseley reprise the role of Chop Top from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and had a soundtrack composed by that guy who wears KFC buckets on his head and was in Guns n’ Roses at one point.

    The story was a prequel/sequel that saw Chop Top reminisce about his family’s penchant for blood while orchestrating one final massacre. Supposedly the entire movie was filmed, and a trailer even hit the Internet roughly 15 years ago. Since then, there has been little news surrounding the project. A Kickstarter campaign was launched a few years back to obtain funding for post-production, however it failed to reach its goal. Judging by the quality of the trailer, maybe it’s a good thing that this film remains buried.

    3. 🤬 BLUES

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    A documentary film which chronicled the 1972 Rolling Stones American tour in support of their album Exile on Main Street, 🤬 Blues has never been released, and never will be. The tour was highly anticipated, since it was the first time the Stones had visited the United States since 1969’s Altamont Free Concert, in which a fan was stabbed and beaten to death by the Hells Angels.

    The documentary was shot in an observational manner; numerous cameras were available backstage for anyone to pick up and begin filming. This allowed the cameras to capture backstage parties, drug use, and other examples of debauchery.

    Fearing the film would tarnish their reputations, the Stones brought the film to court, as they did not want it shown. The film’s director, Robert Frank, felt differently, and a judge ordered that the film could not be shown unless Frank was present, and prevented him from screening it more than four times a year in an “archival setting”.

    2. NOTHING LASTS FOREVER

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    A 1984 film that was directed by Saturday Night Live writer Tom Schiller and produced by Lorne Michaels, Nothing Lasts Forever stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Billy from Gremlins. How have you never heard of this film? Mainly because its premise is downright bizarre.

    The film concerns a dystopian New York City where Gremlins star Zach Galligan works a dead-end job but dreams of being an artist. The totalitarian state makes his dreams impossible, until he learns that there are magical hobos living underneath the city who can grant him his wish of becoming an artist, but first he has to travel to the moon. Like we said, it’s weird, but bears some similarities with Terry Gilliam’s surreal sci-fi flick, Brazil.

    MGM canned the film after a disastrous press screening, and Nothing Lasts Forever has sat in relative obscurity ever since. Turner Classic Movies aired the film in its entirety once at 2am, and there have been broadcasts in other countries, but it remains unreleased in any official capacity to this day.

    1. THE FANTASTIC FOUR

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    Marvel’s first family has not had much luck in the film industry. Each attempt to bring the Fantastic Four to the screen has been met with criticism and ridicule, especially the troubled 2015 reboot. Way back in 1993 however, B-movie legend Roger Corman and partner Bernd Eichinger were about to release their version of the Fantastic Four, which included the group’s origin story and their first battle with nemesis Dr. Doom.

    Trailers were released in theatres and on home video, the cast promoted the film at festivals and Comic-Con and then, nothing. Stan Lee speculated that Eichinger had never intended to release the film, and that it was simply a way for him to retain the rights to the characters while he found funding for a bigger budget adaptation (something he would do in 2007). Eichinger denied these claims, instead saying that Marvel executive Avi Arad was concerned that the B-movie would harm the franchise, and paid the producers to shelve the film.

    In 2002 Arad recounted a story in which he met a fan who was excited about the upcoming premiere of Corman and Eichinger’s Fantastic Four, something he was completely unaware of. Fearing that the low budget adaptation would cheapen the FF brand, he paid Corman and Eichinger a “couple of million” in cash and ordered all of the prints destroyed. If only someone had done that with the 2015 iteration.
  • Lou Cypher
    Lou Cypher Make Reasonable Choices. H. E. Double Hockey SticksMembers Posts: 52,521 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Heard of most of these. That first one with Leo, apparently him and the director were good friends and Leo did it as a favor but didn't like the end result obviously.

    I want to see that rolling Stones documentary. I bet it's nuts.
  • CracceR
    CracceR ૐ☯★♑☮⌘ Members Posts: 4,346 ✭✭✭✭✭
    that's crazy
    watched the empires of the deep trailer, wtf smh
    i wanna see that di caprio maguire documentary
  • lazypakman
    lazypakman when the real holds you down your supposed to drown right? Members Posts: 4,913 ✭✭✭✭✭
    CracceR wrote: »
    that's crazy
    watched the empires of the deep trailer, wtf smh
    i wanna see that di caprio maguire documentary

    The Di Caprio one is on on youtube.

    Which means it's out there.....if you explore.