There’s nothing like a bad movie effect to either spoil the mood of a gripping drama or exacerbate the embarrassing effort you’re already watching. However, a collection of some of the most laughably ludicrous special effects efforts in modern film history provides plenty of cinematic lessons. Check out the footage below and see if you agree with the choices.
The kitsch-centric folks over at World Wide Interweb have thrown together this mirthful montage of failure. Making the bold declaration of containing "The Worst Movie Special Effects Ever" will just as likely be met with angered outrage over a missing entry as it would with emphatic agreement. However, this compilation is nevertheless a short, but scintillating trip down the memory lane of the shockingly lame. There are likely loads of moments that you know are notoriously bad, some that you barely remember, and others that appear bad thanks to the power of hindsight.
To its credit, the video wastes little time in checking one essential entry off the list in 1983’s Jaws 3-D. The effort to utilize the gimmick of 3D to revitalize a franchise that saw the 1978 sequel make only about a quarter of what the legendary original film earned was an earnest in its attempt to awe audiences. The film depicted the new Jaws invading Sea World in Orlando, Florida, while building towards one magnificent multi-dimensional money shot. What moviegoers got, instead, was one of the most notoriously laughable effects scenes in history as the barely-animated, almost plush-textured shark with blue-screen borders, crashes through the glass of an underwater control center, sending shards towards the screen, at which point the creature comes to a stop. Clearly no compilation of bad effects can hold its head high without that clip.
Another notable moment that comes across as especially thought-provoking this year, is a clip with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Bestowed with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and having starred in mega-hit films like the billion-plus earning Furious 7, it’s easy to forget that his big screen debut in the 2001 franchise sequel, The Mummy Returns, had its share of embarrassing moments. Setting up The Scorpion King, Johnson appears later in the film as a horrendous example of CGI technology, with his face (barely) rendered on a human/scorpion hybrid creature who seemed to have a beef with our hero and the titular Mummy. It was an inauspicious start to the career of a man who is now arguably the biggest, most bankable action star in the biz.
Other moments in the video show some effects that simply didn’t stand the test of time. Even an obligatory dig at 1986’s Howard the Duck seems unwarranted considering the shown stop-motion "Dark Overlord" creature was basically on-par with the state of the industry at the time. However, keeping the critique in the George Lucas camp, we also get a glimpse of the grayish, puke-hued, early CGI Jabba the Hutt added to Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope in the 1997 Special Edition release. While the shot was eventually improved in subsequent releases, the digital cameo came across as weak, even to the nostalgia-fueled fans who went to the theater to see the film.
In that sense, the subjectivity of effects quality shows that even Star Wars, a movie that’s arguably the greatest of all time can rightfully have a solid place amongst this hilarious hall of shame, next to the likes of Birdemic and Shark Attack 3.