Film Fatale

Comedy Film Nerd Graham Elwood joins Kevin, Joe, and Toren to talk about the perils of making moving pictures – film tragedies! The Crow, The Ten Commandments, The Twilight Zone and more horrible, horrible occurrences just so we could be entertained for 90 minutes.

Music: “Hooray for Hollywood” by Johnny Mercer





Wizard of Oz
Toren: 8/10
Joe: 6/10
Kevin: 7/10

The Crow
Toren: 5/10
Joe: 7/10
Kevin: 7/10

Joe: 5/10
Kevin: 8/10

Twilight Zone: The Movie
Joe: 6/10
Kevin: 5/10

21 Responses

  1. Hey guys,

    Awesome, fascinating episode!

    WIZARD OF OZ- The original actor for the Tin-Man who had an allergic/lung reaction to the makeup had the last laugh- he was Buddy Epstein, who eventually became Jedd Clampett on THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES. An apocryphal story also states you can see a fired extra hang themselves in the background during the sequence where the apple trees hurl the apples at Dorothy; subsequent investigation shows that the movement in the background is a stork 🙂

    Actor Peter Barton was seriously burned during a fire stunt gone wrong on the Eighties series THE POWERS OF MATTHEW STAR.

    A stuntman on horseback during THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER (1982) ran full speed into a branch on horseback and got whacked heavily, breaking many ribs- he recovered and the accident is actually used in the film!

    During David Lynch’s DUNE, at the point where Jurgen Prochnow breathes poison gas into Dean Stockwell’s face, the gas inside the prosthetic cheek built up and burned Prochnow’s face badly- the take that burned the actor was used in the film!

    Jenny McCarthy accidentally tore Trey Parker’s lip open with her teeth during a passionate kiss sequence on BASEKETBALL (1998)- again, the bloody take was used in the film!

    1. I was coming here to make the same point about the Tin Man, although it was Buddy Ebsen, not Epstein. He did go on to have a remarkably long career, with Jed as his most iconic role.

  2. Awesome episode, guys! About the radioactive dirt on The Conqueror, you might want to check this Skeptoid episode:

    “According to the National Cancer Institute, in 1980 the chances of being diagnosed with a cancer sometime in your lifetime was about 41%, with mortality at 21.7%. And, right on the button, People’s survey of The Conqueror’s crew found a 41.4% incidence with 20.7% mortality. (These numbers make an assumption of an age group of 20-55 at the time of filming.)”

  3. John Wayne smoked 6 packs of cigarettes a day. That might have contributed to his death from cancer.

  4. Great episode. In my top three for sure. Hilarious.

    I’d trademark “Look Behind You!: The Movie” soon before someone else grabs it. There is “Don’t Look Behind You!” starring Pam Dauber.

    Don’t Look Behind You

    Speaking of crazy stuntment, I did hear about Vin Diesel’s stunt man dying while filming “XXX”. He felt the successful take wasn’t thrilling enough so he asked to do it again. He was killed during his second take. The worst part was the guy’s family was on set to watch him work so they got the pleasure of seeing him die.

  5. There was a Fall Guy episode where he helps an old stunt pal who is in a wheelchair, but I can’t remember if it was a stunt gone wrong or some other accident.

    Excellent episode and nice guest scoop!

  6. Werner Herzog is a magnet for weirdness. You guys really should dedicate a whole episode to him.

  7. My brother once worked on a non-union film that involved explosions. It was so low-budget that the crew had to work as extras, and part of it involved a large group of them running away from an explosion.

    The safety lecture that the special effects guy gave on that one was “Don’t trip.”

  8. Well, you can actually watch the making of Fitzcarraldo, called “Burden of Dreams” by Les BLank, the same man who filmed “Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.” Not as much fun as watching David Lynch eating panties though.

  9. Dar Robinson — the legendary albino stunt man who parachuted into the Grand Canyon after driving a car off the edge, set the world record for free fall from a helicopter, did a 700 ft wire fall from the CN tower (highest paid single stunt in history) and performed the brilliant free fall in Sharky’s Machine backwards, shooting a gun, into a pool (still the highest no-wire free fall on film) — who never broke a bone in his career, died AFTER a motorcycle stunt take when during a routine camera pass his brakes locked and he drove off a cliff.

    Lethal Weapon is dedicated to him — it was one of the last films he worked on.

  10. Also, there are a large number of people on the PoCo Trail who now think I’m insane. Due to the laughing while walking.

  11. I should like to mention Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”. Although there were no deaths there were a number of other problems including a flash flood which wiped out a set and actually changed the colour of some background cliffs making the already filmed scenes unusable. The final blow came when lead actor Jean Rochefort was injured on set. He was diagnosed with a double herniated disc and was unable to return. Gilliam scapped the film entirely. The “making of” was released as the documentary, “Lost In La Mancha”. In the past couple of years he has been trying to start the project over again with Robert Duvall taking Rochefort’s place and also starring Johnny Depp.

  12. I had heard there were one or two fatalities in Ben-Hur’s chariot race, but subsequent investigation makes this look more like an urban legend.

    Also, you guys expressed some confusion about performers being a ‘triple threat’. I’ve been working in theatre for a long time and in my experience that refers to someone who’s talented at Acting, Singing, and Dancing. Assuming it’s the same for film, dancing was the part you couldn’t remember.

    1. The version of Ben Hur with a huge chariot race debacle was the 1926 version, not the 1959 version. Though one stuntman died during that one too.

  13. In case you’re interested, the Fall Guy series sounds similar to a late 90s/early 00s British series called Jonathan Creek (starring Alan Davies) about a magician’s assistant who is very good at solving crimes. Great show, very clever and funny in that understated British way. 🙂

  14. i love it when someone references RGB 🙂
    for those who aren’t aware of the meta joke about peter venkman remarking that ‘he doesn’t look anything like me’: the voice actor Lorenzo Music (aka voice of Garfield) was criticized by Billy Murray on the grounds that ‘he doesn’t sound anything like me.’ Music wound up getting replaced by… Dave Coulier (who sounded more like Murray but lacked Music’s better grasp of Venkman’s dry wit.) later on Murray would voice Garfield the cat in the live action version in a manner that sounded nothing like Music.

    1. When they were casting RGB the voice actors who auditioned were directed with “no impersonations” – Maurice Lamarche got the role of Egon (only his 2nd voice acting role after Inspector Gadget) despite the fact that he ignored the direction. Also, Ernie Hudson auditioned for the role of Winston, but it went to Arsenio as everyone knows.