Accidents are bound to happen in life. It is inevitable. Even in Hollywood where extra precaution is exercised to ensure everyone’s safety on the set, especially if the scene involves some dangerous stunts. What producers and directors don’t want are injuries that can result in lawsuits. There have been a few instances where an experienced truck driver rights lawyer or a labor attorney’s services are called on because of certain unfortunate events on set as some car chase sequences or fight scenes didn’t go as planned.
Here’s a list of some of these instances where even under extraordinary safety measures were put in place, accidents still happened on set:
6 Movie Stunts Gone Horribly Wrong
Cinema is designed to showcase spectacular and enthralling storytelling that compels its viewers to give an emotional response. One of the ways that Hollywood does it is through exciting and sometimes chilling stunt performances. However, things don’t always go well and freak accidents do happen on set.
1. Romancing the Stone (1984)
If you think that action and adventure movies are the only ones that require stunt work, think again. This rom-com has one of the most dangerous on-set mishaps ever to happen. In its unforgettable waterfall sequence, a veteran stuntman almost lost his life as he failed to get to safety before the truck he was driving fell off the waterfall. He plunged to the whirlpool to everyone’s shock. Good thing he was strong enough to swim against the powerful current and got to safety.
2. Se7en (1995)
Director David Fincher is well-known in Hollywood for his countless retakes. However, he’s also open to improvisation under certain circumstances, like when they were filming the film Se7en. The cast that Brad Pitt had on his arm during the movie? That was a real cast caused by a nasty cut he got from planting his arm through a window that sliced his hand open, breaking a bone in the process. Even the simplest of stunts can go horribly wrong.
3. Ghostland (2016)
Remember earlier when we said that some accidents end up in lawsuits? Here’s one of them.
Director Pascal Laugier is known for the shock value of his movies, pushing the boundaries of cinematic gore to new limits. However, he took things too far in the 2016 flop Ghostland where he actually allowed an accident to happen onset. This led to the disfigurement of one of his stars, Taylor Hickson. The actress ended up falling through a glass window where no safety measures were put in place to prevent and protect her from falling on the shards. As you can probably guess, she fell on the broken glass which caused permanent scarring to her face.
A lawsuit was filed against the director and the production company shortly after for gross negligence. It’s bad enough for accidents to happen on set but getting sued for actually taking part in it is something else.
4. The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Mel Gibson’s controversial biopic about Christ is quite famous (or infamous depends on how you look at it). Other than causing quite a stir in religious and non-secular movements, it is also where the film’s star, Jim Caviezel, suffered a couple of dangerous accidents.
The first one is where he was accidentally flogged for real where one of the props accidentally sliced open the flesh on his back. It’s bad enough to get cut by mistake once, but it happened to him twice during that scene due to the very realistic portrayal of the actors.
The other accident occurred when he was carrying the wooden cross uphill leading to his crucifixion when lightning struck him. This made the superstitious claim that even the heavens disapprove of the film. But in reality, it was just an unexpected health and safety hazard. It could literally happen to anyone.
5. Back to the Future III (1990)
While the Back to the Future trilogy had its shares of stunts gone wrong, one scene in the third movie almost had one of its leads, Michael J. Fox, almost die of suffocation. In a scene where he was supposedly strung up by the bad guy, Fox and director Robert Zemeckis agreed he would hold on the rope securely around his neck to prevent choking.
Unexpectedly, things went south from there and Fox choked for real while filming. Luckily, an extra on the set realized what was going on and called for everyone’s attention to the mishap. Fox lost consciousness and needed to be resuscitated immediately on the set. The actual take still made it to the final cut.
6. Rocky IV (1985)
As a director, Sylvester Stallone prefers to get as realistic with his shots as possible. So in Rocky IV, he asked Dolph Lundgren, who plays his menacing Russian opponent Ivan Drago, to hit him for real in their fight scenes. One of Lundgren’s punches hit him hard in his ribs which shook his heart and caused it to bump into his rib cage. This led to the swelling of his heart and landed him in intensive care at the hospital for five days.
Hollywood will keep producing action-packed movies that require stunts. Even with CGI embellishments available, we will still likely see actual stunts being done for real. As technology continues to advance, stunt coordinators, producers, and directors will continue to figure out ways to keep actors and stunt doubles as safe as humanly possible.